So here’s the story. Because when it comes to a good story with a happily-ever-after ending, it’s better late than never…. right? If you don’t have time to read this whole saga, here’s the short version: We’re in our new camp chapel!


Our first week of camp (Special Needs week) came and went without the chapel being ready for inspection. It was frustrating to be so close to done, and yet not done enough to use the building. But it was a good week, and the miracles that you prayed for did happen. Phil & Mindi Raber were here from Indiana for that week of camp. As Phil was working with Bruce and Samuel on the building, he couldn’t help but realize that we needed more workers. He called a couple of friends from home, and “Smash” and Jacob were here by Wednesday to help. Then Samuel Short called his family and they came down to work Friday and Saturday. With all those helping hands, things were more or less finished and ready for final inspections by 2:00 Saturday afternoon.  The plumbing inspector and HVAC inspector only work our county (Breathitt County) on Monday.  And Monday night we wanted to have our first chapel service.

IMG_3325Sunday evening our staff came in for orientation to get ready for our first week of overnight camp.  Monday morning Roger is calling to confirm that everyone is coming as planned, and the line to the Health Dept where the Plumbing inspector has his office is busy.  (Narration switches to Roger at this point.) The cell phone number that we had for the HVAC inspector was saying it had been disconnected, so we called the installer and he was on vacation in Florida.  It was one of those “God… you’re gonna have to work this out” moments.  I knew I was at the end of things I could try to make things work.  15 minutes later I got through to the plumbing inspector and he said he couldn’t come till after lunch.  30 minutes later the HVAC the plumbing inspector came, looked things over and slapped his green sticker on one of the Air Conditioning units. Whew….. Electrical inspection — check!  HVAC inspection — check!  Just two more.

IMG_3332Then the State building inspector called and left a message.  He said he got our request to be there today, but had another important meeting in Paintsville and would not be able to make it to Breathitt County today.  I called him back and when he found out the situation, I asked whether there was any way we could use the chapel Monday evening.  God must have been working and His people had been praying, because we found favor in that inspector’s eyes and he said that if we got the other inspections we were free to use the facility. He would come Tuesday morning and get the numbers off the inspections and check out what he needed to see.

IMG_3360 The plumbing inspector showed up about noon and looked over the building.  He put his green sticker on the water heater and we were ready to roll!


(Back to Ruthie.) You could see the relief and joy on Roger’s face as he walked back to the kitchen and told different people about the miracle that God had worked on our behalf.


And now, here we are:IMG_3540 It’s bigger, it’s cooler, it’s much more convenient, but the heart is still the same. Other than being more comfortable in the middle of the afternoon and having better acoustics, it really doesn’t feel that much different. And that’s a good thing.


It’s still Bethel Camp and it still feels like Bethel Camp.

If you were part of this building process, I hope you’ll especially enjoy seeing pictures of this chapel in use. So many of you put so much time and care into the details of this building. And now all of those details are just the backdrop to the beautiful action that is taking place. And that’s as it should be.IMG_3315