New mailing address: P.O. Box 1025, Smithville, TX 78957
New main camp address: 1320 Park Road 1C, Smithville, TX 78957
Dear CWR Family,
September 4 or 5, 2011 wildfires consumed the Camp Wilderness Ridge (CWR) facilities (24 out 26 destroyed). We knew God was with us, loves us and would care for us.
Psalm 121: 1-2 (NIV) “A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Mark 10: 27 (NIV) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
As usual, I started to write…God started to provide…no, He always is providing and I am just not acknowledging His results, provisions or protection. Every breath I take is from the Lord…so is everything else. We did lift our eyes and we were hopeful as God provided:
- A house was provided to us because a family that evacuated needed to stay in Abilene to care for parents and appreciated that their home was not left unattended while they were away for 8 weeks.
- The phone call from a camp director whose facility had every weekend open except one Friday night from October through May 2012. This opportunity enabled CWR to meet the contracted commitments for Fall and Spring retreat/campout groups for those who wanted to come to this alternate location. Thank you John & Lisa Hoelscher, Cooper Farm, Ledbetter, for everything. God has provided making all things possible moment by moment, so these are the peaks along the time line.
- Christian Camping and Conference Association waved our membership fee for the balance 2011 until September 1, 2012.
- Cypress Bible’s Father/Son Campout was scheduled at CWR before we had an alternate location agreement in place, so Forest Glen Camp served them. Forest Glen Camp Director, John Davidhizer came to the CWR information weekend and presented CWR with a check for the “after cost” amount of the Cypress event.
- Right after CWR agreed that God would want the Wilderness Ridge ministry to continue Shawn Hammer, who had been offered the position of Assistant Camp Director a few weeks before the fire, confirmed that he was accepting the position right after the CWR Board voted to go forward. God is providing people to meet the Hammer family’s financial needs…they are nearing their budget target.
- God assembled an incredible summer staff and campers. On September 22, we will serve our first weekend…Epoch Family Retreat of Legacy Church, Round Rock at the new main camp location.
The new main camp is only 2 miles down the same road from the original camp. It is 119 acres of which only 2-3 acres were burnt. Is that not how God does it…all things are possible with God!
We used a propane fueled electric generator (45KW), which was donated to CWR, to provide electricity for our new restroom/shower facility and swimming pool pump. It provided what we needed until the very last day of our summer schedule. That morning we discovered a piston rod had broken inside and the rod had driven a hole through the engine block.
Analysis of “lessons learned” about operating a propane powered generator and fuel costs over the summer and power demands, plus maintenance and support and lead-times of rebuilding donated electric generator. We have decided the best approach is to have electric power through BlueBonnet Electric Cooperative. The construction cost (including poles, wiring, transformer) for running the electricity to the needed location and clearing the required 35 foot wide, right-away from ground to sky is $17,000. Please prayerfully consider if you can contribute to underwrite this cost. A byproduct of this project would make it possible to have an entrance to the camp off Old Antioch Road directly into a forest area with parking in the wooded area similar to the original camp location that burned.
Thank you everyone…
Using donations, volunteers and lumber milled from trees killed by the fire, new facilities were erected on the leased property.
- six cabins
- showers and bathrooms
- an above-ground swimming pool with a deck and fence around it
- archery and air gun ranges
- low-ropes course
An army of numerous volunteers came to serve CWR individually and as a part of a church/Christian group.
Living Stone Fellowship, Bastrop
Bastrop Bible, Bastrop
Plano Bible Chapel, Plano
Bridgepoint Bible, Katy
St. Matthews United Methodist, San Antonio
Crossroads Community, Austin
Timberline Fellowship, Bastrop
Cypress Bible, Cypress
Two Rivers Bible, Gonzales
First United Methodist, Johnson City
Grace Covenant, Austin
Other Christian Organizations
Grace Bible, Bastrop
Bastrop Christian Ministerial Alliance
Hill Country Bible, Austin
Hill Country Bible, Hutto
Christian Group from Canada
Hill Country Fellowship, Burnet
Mobile Ministry Assistance Program (MMAP)
Hill Country Bible, Pflugerville
Texas Baptist Men
Katy Bible, Katy
Texas Christian School, Houston
We received a package that contained a modest amount of money that was collected over several weeks by an elementary school class in Waco. Also, enclosed were handmade cards of well wishes.
There are many opportunities ahead to help with construction projects at both properties. Please come back or come join us to complete the projects. Email us at email@example.com to be added to our contact list.
Please pray for Camp Wilderness Ridge (CWR), as follows:
- Rain, rain, rain please.
- Each camper will continue to grow to have a relationship or build on his relationship with Christ Jesus.
- Financial needs be met…staff financial monthly targets, and building camp facilities.
- Financial needs…Corners of the Field funds for campers and summer staff raising support.
- God’s vision, holiness, wisdom and unity for the CWR Board of Directors and staff so that all decisions and actions bring Christ Jesus honor and glory.
You’re invited to come serve with us this Fall.
Check your calendar…commit today! Dad and son/daughter Family teams or small groups…come join us!
Some weekends we have capacity to serve one or more additional groups. If you have a group activity coming up please call us to discuss your requirements and available space.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Christ Jesus,