Two weeks ago Camp Grace was threatened by the Cow Camp Fire. God answered your prayers and gave each of us the privilege of watching God fight for Camp Grace by sending a hail storm that put out the fire that was threatening Camp Grace.
Today the outcome is different. Friday night at 1:30 a.m. we were were given three hours in which everyone was ordered to evacuate the property as the “Arapaho Fire,” which was started by lightning, started to cross the fire line at the Cottonwood Road. Friday afternoon we heard rumors that the fire had swept through the campground, but with no details. Sunday afternoon I was notified that all of the buildings are gone, completely burnt up, and that the cinder-block buildings turned to powder and only one structure remains, (I think the rock canteen building). Later Sunday evening I was given another report which was very similar and yet very different. Basically the second report said that all of the buildings on the West side of the road (ie. House, Pioneer, Chapel, Deer, Bear, Trail Boss, Lodge, and Elk cabins) were destroyed, as well as the Restroom building, the Dining Hall, the well House, the old maintenance building, and the little shed by the garage. However this second report says that Lion Cabin and the Garage are yet standing and did not burn.
The exact details do not matter for all practical purposes. God has made it clear that it is time for us to quit trying to renovate old cabins, and it is time for us to begin implementing a major Capital Building Program Fundraiser so that we can have the New Camp Grace up and running in a new facility by next summer. (There will be more on that in the next couple of weeks). Please pray for the leadership as we chart out the plans for the New Camp Grace.
Most of you have been following the updates on this “Arapaho Fire” which has expanded like greased lightening. As of tonight I am being told that this fire has grown to over 80,000 acres. Though we were surprised by the fire that so quickly swept through Camp Grace, we know that it did not take our Lord by surprise.
I believe God will be glorified as much from this loss as He was from the “save” of a couple of weeks ago. Please be in prayer with us for wisdom to know how to proceed in the future. It is no doubt that Camp Grace has been delivered a devastating blow, but not a fatal blow. The old camp buildings on the property have stood there for over 90 years without burning, and at this point we have no doubt that God will honor the labor and sacrifice of all of you who have sacrificially given and labored at Camp Grace through the past 7 decades to raise up a new facility for the purpose of using the unique activities of the camping ministry to reach young people for the Lord, strengthen families, and serve churches.
Please pray with our summer staff team, our volunteers, our Director, our board, and all our constituents, that God will encourage and strengthen our spirits and our hands, and that he will give us the wisdom and spiritual understanding to discern God’s will in all this so that we can proceed in all due, yet deliberate, haste so that we can once again see Camp Grace used as a place of decision for the Lord Jesus Christ.
How God will do this will be a wonderful unfolding testament of His grace and power, for we are sure He will do it in such a way that those who witness it will say, “Only God could do that!” We will, by the grace of God, rise to the occasion and step forward on the path He has laid out for us.
Though we are yet overwhelmed with the reality that Camp Grace has begun to transcribe a totally new chapter in the “Saga of Camp Grace” embodying the grace and divine enabling of our Great God. In the next twenty four hours we should have the plans for the rest of the summer solidified. We will announce our plans as soon as possible.
We would like to ask you to thank and praise the Lord for what He has done, and in faith, thank Him for the opportunity He has afforded us to watch him raise out of the ashes of this fire a citadel that will proclaim the grace of God to many generations.
To God be the glory, great things He will do!
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