Setting Course for 2016

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

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Continuing the search for a long-term home

In response to the devastating Hidden Pines Fire, we have completed the clean-up of the damaged buildings on both properties. While small sections of each property escaped the October 2015 fire, it is not currently possible to operate overnight camps safely and successfully on the damaged properties. We are working to repair and enhance the lake area facilities at the West property and we have been holding our day-time Outdoor Wilderness Learning program at the two sites. Through the generosity of Camp Tejas and Cooper Farms, we continue to serve the retreats that we have contracted for Fall and Spring at other locations in the region.

We have been blessed to receive a double-wide manufactured constructionoffice to serve as our camp office. It has been delivered to the West property and we will be undertaking site prep work later this week in preparation of setup of the office. This is an answer to our prayers for the staff to be located together for our work. This common site will improve our team's communication and accelerate the recovery of the camp's full operation.

Office trailer donated by a construction company

Office trailer donated by a construction company

We continue to search for an appropriate property where we can build the facilities needed for summer camps and fall/spring retreats. We have investigated and researched more than a hundred properties, visiting more than a dozen sites in order to determine whether they are a proper fit for our low-cost, wilderness style camp experience. We are continuing to evaluate several properties to determine if they can meet our requirements and have the long-term suitability for our mission. The camp's Board of Directors is working to ensure that we select a property that will meet our needs now and in the future. Please continue to pray for God's providence on our camp in finding a site for rebuilding.

Excursion Camps

We are developing plans for several excursion camps in the spring and summer. With destinations in Central and West Texas, and the mountains of New Mexico, our staff and volunteers will take young men on adventures that will provide challenges and opportunities to grow in strength, wisdom and faith. Our hope is to compliment the recovery of facilities based camping with exciting trips to geographically unique locations beyond the immediate area. Please watch for the announcement of dates and destinations on our website.

$35,000 Matching Gift Challenge

Thanks to generous friends of the camp, when you make a tax-deductible gift toward the CWR Hidden Pines Fire Rebuilding & Recovery Fund before the end of the year, your contribution is matched dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $35,000. Your support for the camp helps to ensure we can continue executing on our vision of accelerating the development of boys and young men as Christian disciples and leaders.
Please be sure to donate before the end of December 31, 2015 to take advantage of this and make the most of your gift.

Perseverance

I am often asked about the impact of the loss of the camp's facilities not once, but twice, to fires. It is tempting to feel sorry for ourselves or that this is a setback in the mission of the camp. C. S. Lewis wrote, "The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day."

God has a plan for Wilderness Ridge and for each of our lives. Those involved in the camp are blessed with the opportunity to serve His purpose. He has provided for our needs and we continue to do all in our power to serve our mission. Civilla Martin wrote the following after encountering a couple who had lived for years with severe afflictions, but joyfully served Christ.

Whenever I am tempted,
whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
and hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.