Lake Waubesa Bible Camp

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Smoking Allowed at Camp

Smoke can mean a lot of things-a warm campfire, a forest fire, a controlled burn, a tragic accident, and a number of other things.

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Our new meat smoker!

Coals smolder and glow; wood pops and flickers. You can tell what kind of fire you’re approaching from the smoke. A barbeque in the summer can make everyone’s mouth water as they smell meats cooking. Add some more friendly smoke to the process and you’ll get meals that sing with notes of whatever fuel you’re burning. A fire always need fuel.

 

Just as smoke differs based on what you’re burning, our lives reflect where we find our provision. One of the names of God is Yahweh Yireh, the Lord will provide. It is often easy to affirm this, then go back and rely on our own power or that which we can physically see or hold. Here at camp we are consistently blown away at the things that God provides for us. From big things, like new full-time staff who are passionate about working here, to small things, like a meat smoker, it all comes from God. We’ve been dreaming about getting a meat smoker since realizing that it could benefit a number of events that we are going to be hosting in the future. It was a dream that was fairly quickly realized. Now it will be possible not only to smell campfires at LWBC but also the full delicious scent of smoking meats. Perhaps this can become a small reminder for us here that not only does God provide for our physical needs but also provide for the most profound spiritual need that any of us have. In all things God is present with us.

Here at camp there are a lot of needs as we prepare for the summer. As a full time staff, we need God to continue to bind us together and prepare us emotionally, physically and spiritually for what is both a fulfilling and exhausting season. The summer staff still needs to be filled out, particularly with female counselors. It would be very beneficial for us to have some high school staff boys join the team. We need God to prepare the hearts of everyone who will be involved to grow closer to Him. There is always a spiritual battle happening at camp, but it becomes more evident over the summer and we need God to provide us with the strength and grace to continue in His work. We also need His protection during this time. There are likely many things that we don’t even know will be needed this summer and we trust that God will provide for us.

We are constantly overwhelmed by the way that God provides for us. It is both amusing and astounding that God provides not only our needs but also things that, while useful, are just things that we want. God is good, all the time. It is no mistake that He is likened to a father who gives good gifts. The way He provides for us is beautiful. As we look at the things that we need and have yet to prepare for summer, it is the best solace to know that we are in His care.

 

Written by Crystal Smith

Making All Things New

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Making All Things New

The past few months have been a whirlwind for me. I just moved and started working here at Lake Waubesa, and it’s been a special kind of challenge. It’s my first time living on my own, having apartment, having a year-round job that I’m passionate about, and so much more in this new, exciting, and challenging time in my life. As we approach Christmas and the winter retreat I find myself meditating on the fact that God makes all of us new upon salvation. 2 Corinthians 2:17 tells us ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ This comes right on the heels of reminding us that through Christ’s death and resurrection we have been changed. The birth of Christ makes all this possible. If God did not take the first step toward us in our sinful, broken state, then we would not have the chance to become new. With everything that I have been experiencing lately I know that new things can be terrifying but they can also be unimaginably fulfilling and exciting. This Christmas season we can not only stand in awe of who Christ is and the incomprehensible greatness of the gift of His birth, we can also allow this truth to change us and inspire us to follow diligently in our lives and become more like Christ.
                The winter retreat is focusing on our renewal in Christ as we live the Christian life. This too would not be possible without the life of Christ. As Christians, we are set apart for the purposes of God. We have a new purpose because of our salvation – a mission to live according to the will of God. After speaking of the freedom we have in salvation and the work of the Spirit in us after salvation Paul states ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.’ (Galatians 5:25) While we are made new by God we are responsible to actively live according to the Holy Spirit. We have been made new, our strength is not our own, by the work done in us we can seek to live as the instruments of God in this world. I still have a lot to learn working here at camp, and each day God gives me the strength to continue and the joy of following Him in this ministry. I pray that this Christmas season none of us will just celebrate the birth of Christ, but that we would allow the reality of it to change us for the better as we begin the new year.
-Crystal Smith

OVERWHELMED? THERE’S AN ANCHOR FOR THAT ………

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Personally, I have felt overwhelmed in 2016. The death of my parents just a few months apart early in the year left me depressed and overwhelmed by grief. I know many of you feel overwhelmed too. Maybe it’s a great feeling, overwhelmed by a Cub’s world series victory. Or maybe it’s downright helpless, like watching the 2016 election process. The one thing I know is that I can’t control any of it. Those are the times I need to be reminded that God is in control. It’s easy to feel out of control, tossed about by feelings and circumstances. The great news is that we can hold on to God in the midst of the storms of life and know absolutely where our security lies.

We are so blessed to be able to tell campers and guests in these troubling times that they can rely on Jesus. Lake Waubesa Bible Camp had the opportunity to communicate that good news to over 500 young people this summer and thousands more as we serve retreat guests in the fall, winter and spring from literally all over the world! My personal story confirms that as an organization, LWBC stepped up and reminded ME that God is in control. An amazing group of board members, full time staff, and summer staff helped me get the rest and find the Anchor I needed in a time of personal storms.

I like to think of all of you as “links in the chain” without which LWBC couldn’t be as effective. So many of you pray, volunteer, and help financially to help keep our ministry working well and our staff housed and fed. In the summer LWBC gives out many scholarships to campers who can’t afford the full cost of camp. This past year we’ve upgraded a number of things like a new mower, video projector, lodge floor coverings, and many other items. All these things help us communicate God’s love as we surround every camp and guest with the best we can offer. Many of you might not even know that our full time staff also raise support to be able to work at LWBC. We have ambitious plans for the future too. Our desire is to replace / upgrade all the beds at camp (many of which are 50+ years old). We need new audio visual equipment, kitchen equipment, exciting new activities. We are also planning on adding a new full time staff couple early in 2017. I am asking all of you to pray about possibly helping LWBC with a year-end financial gift or even consider ongoing support for one of our full time staffers who serve so diligently. I can guarantee you that LWBC is one place where you won’t see your gift get gobbled up by administrative costs; every bit will go to do the work of communicating the gospel of Jesus right here in Madison where people need to hear about HIM!

I am praying that God will use YOU to help us raise $50,000 between now and the end of 2016. Please consider how much LWBC means to you and the community and prayerfully give what you can to help us realize this goal. You are able to give by check, credit card (phone) or online at www.lwbc.com. This is a huge ask, and I know I serve a HUGE GOD.

-Ron Kregness

…leaves…

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There are 200,000 leaves on the average oak tree. Sometimes it feels like there are 200,000 oak trees at camp. That makes for lots of thousands of leaves that come OFF the trees at some point between the end of green summer and the beginning of green spring. As winter melted into spring and the snow finally trickled into the earth and lake, it exposed oodles of red and brown leaves that had been hibernating since October. And now that it actually feels good  to be outside (praise the Lord!), I have tried to tackle this leaf infestation one armful at a time. Here is my method:

  • Step One: Choose an area and rake all the leaves into piles. 
  • Step Two: Put as many leaves as possible into a large garbage can. 
  • Step Three: Carry the garbage can to the burn pile and [attempt to] dump the leaves on top. 
  • Step Four: Burn leaves. 

   Repeat steps one through three until campers arrive or arms fall off, whichever comes first. 

One day last week when my arms were very near to falling off and discouragement was weighing down the leaves, I asked James and Emily to remind me why in the world we are doing this anyway. Jesus tells us to make disciples. He says nothing about raking leaves. James’ answer was not original; it was our camp mission statement: “To create opportunities for life change through the love of Christ.” But can raking leaves really play a part in changing lives?

Yes, I believe it can.

When summer camp is not in session, we still get hundreds of people on the property for retreats, community events, and other school-year programs. For the most part, our staff are not the ones who disciple our guests. They bring their own leaders, create their own programs, and communicate the love of Christ through worship, speakers, activities, and relationships. As a camp staff, our role is primarily backstage. We clean, cook, check out ice skates, and rake leaves. As mundane as that sounds, the joy is in giving each group of people the opportunity to spend a weekend not doing those things. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to focus on Jesus when you’re not doing dishes or yard work because a break from the routine of life can help you refocus on what is truly important.

The work we do at camp is not glamorous. I am more often found in ripped jeans than dress clothes, more often covered in glitter from craft projects than intentional fanciness, and more often smelling of pancakes than perfume. But Jesus called fishermen to follow Him and God had a carpenter raise his Son and even when He uses ordinary people for ordinary things He is still using them, and that is pretty incredible. Besides, you can’t have a banquet for a king unless there are people to cook the food, right?

Whatever you are doing today, whether you are backstage or on the frontline, remember that it matters. Make it matter. Thanks for playing a part in the bigger picture.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

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