Will you join us in prayer?
This year I have felt a deep burden for this ministry to be debt free. In 2005 Martha and I answered God’s call to take over a ministry that was about ready to close the doors. Not only was the ministry carrying a large debt due the building of the Robinson Retreat Center, it also had fallen behind in monthly payments that were due to many of the venders. It was daunting to work through legal issues as well as integrity issues. God was faithful and these past years have been a blessing of constant growth as well as eternal impact in the lives of campers and retreaters.
We have worked hard, put in countless hours, and learned to function under the weight of a huge mortgage payment. We worked to improve the summer camp program and book as many retreats as possible. All of this has helped to keep this ministry financially stable. We have campers or guests on the property at least 250 of the 365 days of the year. Many are week day groups as well as weekends. We have grown from under 1500 people a year to around 6000 guests a year. Still it has been our constant prayer that this debt be eliminated.
A few years ago I felt this urgency and initiated a campaign to raise money to pay off the debt. During that year donations were given toward that campaign and we are so thankful for those who gave and are still giving. But this campaign actually hurt the general fund giving. Since then the economy has also played a considerable role in our financial state.
I was given the privilege to take a sabbatical this past fall. During that time, I was personally challenged to begin praying for God to work specifically on the ministry’s debt. Each month, money is brought in through retreat income and donations. For the first years we made an $11,000 monthly payment. In 2012, the payment was lowered to $7000 through refinancing, which was another miracle. I sometimes lay awake at night and think of all the people who sacrificially give to keep this ministry open. Then I think of the many ways we could improve, repair, upgrade and rebuild this property, program and facility if we had the $7000 each month that we are currently paying to a bank.
I have been on my knees in prayer since October asking God to do a miracle. After the first of the year, our staff joined me in praying this same prayer. Every day we have spent time, together and individually, humbly going before God asking that he do a miracle by releasing us from this debt.
I don’t have any fancy financial campaign. I am simply asking people to join me in this prayer initiative. It is really pretty simple. Sign up today, give us your email so we can keep you updated and then commit to put us on your daily prayer list. I know that many of you already pray for this ministry and I thank you for your faithfulness over the years. Please take a moment to sign up below so we can rejoice together in this prayer initiative.
What would we do with $7,000 a month?
Remodel the campside kitchen and dining room.
Add sliding glass doors and decks to the camp side dining hall. This would greatly improve the function and usage of this building. It would also allow campers to sit outside enjoying the beautiful view.
Add an enclosed activity center including a basketball court usable for year round activities.
Finish cabins that were started this year and build new ones to accommodate the growth in summer camp.
Add summer staff housing.
Move the maintenance area out of site
Finish the basement of the retreat center to add more meeting/dorm rooms.
Put the decks on the back of the retreat center.
Add new activities for the summer campers.
Redecorate hotel rooms
Laying a new liner in the pond and enlarging the pond.