First, two pictures:
There’s a huge hole in the landscape around here. An entire piece of Bethel Camp history is gone. How many times have I told someone I was going to chapel… and then walked the whole way there humming, “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…” (Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets that song stuck in my head around chapel time.) And now there’s no chapel to go to.
The building was full of memories. It had a ton of history attached to it. But I cannot feel sad about it being gone. And I think this is why:
We never would have knocked the chapel down if there wasn’t already a plan set in place. If the money hadn’t come in, we would have taken that as a sign that this new building didn’t need to happen. But it did.
When we first started talking about fundraising, our plan was to find a couple of big donors. If we could find someone to donate $100,000 and several people to give $50,000… we’d be able to raise the rest through friends of camp.
But as the money started coming in, we were surprisingly encouraged to find that we were completely wrong. Instead of a handful of big-money donors, there have been around 300 people who have given towards this project. We never got a $100,000 check. But we found out that there are a lot of people who care about this camp and want to see it grow – so many of you believe in this ministry enough to invest your money into it. And we are so grateful.
Not all of the money has been raised yet, but we’ve reached our 80% goal that we were shooting for.
We’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. If you gave money towards a matching fund, thank you. If you and your church organized a fundraiser for this chapel, thank you. If you took part in a fundraising challenge on facebook, thank you. If you’ve been sending in monthly checks, thank you. If you’ve given to the point that it hurts, thank you. If you’ve given materials or time, thank you. If you’ve given in any way at all, thank you!
I remember receiving the first check towards this project. It was an anonymous gift, and it was given by people who could have done a hundred other worthwhile things with that money. But they followed God’s leading and gave it to Bethel Camp as seed money. Seed money for a dream that we weren’t even sure could happen.
And now, because of that gift and because of a thousand other similar steps of faith, it’s happening. There’s a plan set in place. The next 4 months of are mapped out in a timeline on the wall of Roger’s office.
Each of the colored boxes represents a different step of the building project. He’s slowly filling in names next to each project – volunteers and workers. We’re following the plan. And, at the moment, we’re about 4 days ahead of the plan. This morning I got to be part of a conversation about pouring footers, and tying rebar, and I learned what a grade stake is. They’ve marked out the corners of the building spot, and there’s an excavator coming Thursday to start digging the footers.
This is all really happening! And yes, there’s a hole in the landscape right now, but it’s only temporary.