Being a counselor at Pine Lake was not what I thought it was going to be. I had pictured a summer of easily building relationships with campers and sliding effortlessly into the role of counselor. Looking back, it is not shocking that that is not what my summer looked like.
It was my first summer as a counselor, and the job stressed me out, especially at first. I learned what it was to struggle working well with a partner, struggle with my leadership skills, struggle to prioritize my own relationship with God, and struggle with not seeing the fruit in campers that I wanted to see.
My summer was not easy and I was not a perfect counselor, but that did not stop God from working. The struggles that I went through grew me and stretched me in ways I am incredibly grateful for. I learned more by struggling than I ever would have by experiencing my idea of a perfect summer. Even though the events of the summer looked different than I had expected them to, God pushed me to look closer for how He moves in His own better ways and in His better timing.
Pine Lake Fellowship Camp (Meridian, MS) hosted evacuees over a three week period following the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida on August 29. After Ida hit, it was obvious that the storm damage was far greater than anticipated. Most evacuees had only packed for two nights expecting to go home immediately after Ida passed! All evacuee homes were without power, some roofs were severely damaged and caused internal damage, but there were many feelings of helplessness and anxiety. So, any previous lodging fee was waived, and we moved around existing reservations so that they could stay for as long as needed. Over the course of three weeks, 35 people stayed at Pine Lake. Some stays lasted only 4 nights, most 10, and others 21. A few evacuees had been to camp many times and several were new to camp within the last year as part of a guest group. Others were neighbors, friends, or in-laws who networked or tagged along to get out of Ida’s destructiveness. The group was made up of several segments/families from different parts of New Orleans and St. Charles Parish. There was a community that formed who supported one another through grief of damaged homes and the unknown.
Even in the midst of the chaos and unknown of what was going on back home, Pine Lake was a refuge where there was no immediate concern about food, shelter, or air conditioning. While overlooking the lake from the Lodge porch, one first time guest said he was so eager to get home while being displaced and caring for his elderly parents & mother in law over the last 6 days. “But now that I’m here, I don’t really want to leave! That’s the peace and renewal that the Holy Spirit can bring to even the most chaotic of situations.
So many supporters “Answered the Call” when you contributed gift cards, provided meals, & donated to PLFC utility expenses during those three weeks in September.
Give a contribution to our “Answer the Call” campaign as we celebrate people answering God’s call to draw closer to him at Pine Lake!
Have you ever missed a call (or text) because you were too distracted or in another room? Urgency, full schedules, and flashing screens can subtly drown out the voice of God. Pine Lake is a sanctuary of retreat from daily distractions and helps us to hear the voice of God speak into our lives. That call invites us to draw into a closer and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ & follow Him! We praise God for the gift of camp which helps us hear more clearly.
Pine Lake is a place to hear God’s voice and answer the call!
For campers like Landon, summer camp has served as a primary part of his Christian journey. To him, a week at camp has always meant fun games, Christian community with fellow campers & staff, and a deepening of his faith in Christ. Last spring, while in discussion with his parents about his upcoming baptism, Landon expressed a desire to be baptized at Pine Lake, because it’s been a formative place for his faith journey. He said it is “the place he feels closest to God.” This past summer after his week at camp ended, he was baptized in Pine Lake with family, church members, summer staff, & cabinmates there to support him! Praise God that Landon heard & answered God’s call on his life!
The Pine Lake community was able to hear and answer God’s calling in many ways in 2021. Here area few that stood out:
Volunteers organized Camp Sale at Pine Lake for the first time and rallied to raise $27,500!
213 campers learned about Jesus Christ at summer camp. One camper said, “I’m learning that God will shape me in small steps to make me who he wants me to be.”
Our inaugural week-long Day Camp saw 58 campers learn about the Armor of God over two programs!
16 summer staff experienced “life-changing” moments as they grew in confidence to “share the gospel, lean on community, and prioritize their walk with Christ”
Supporters rallied around 35 displaced Hurricane Ida evacuees and provided food & gift card donations as well as contributions to supplement Pine Lake’s cost of hosting evacuees over three weeks in September.
This ministry thrives because of your prayer & commitment which carry forth this important work! As we move into 2022, we anticipate the ways God will use Pine Lake’s supporters, staff, & resources to reach campers, guests, & others in ways we cannot comprehend. I invite you to offer a donation that helps campers & guests “Answer the Call” to grow closer to God.
This year we got new lighting in the bathhouses, painted the girls bathhouse, cleaned cabins, raked pine straw, cleared storm debris, fell two dead trees, and tidied up at Tall Pines Fellowship Center and Lake View Lodge. (Comment with jobs we missed!) More importantly, this community was able to gather and work towards a common goal while enjoying beautiful sunshine and delicious food!
It’s Camp Sale time! While it won’t be the same to gather in person with great food and better community, we still push forward in support for God’s work at Pine Lake in 2020. So, here are a few details about this year’s event.
When is the virtual Camp Sale?
Camp Sale will start on October 3 at 1:00pm with a Kick Off Video on Facebook & YouTube. Following the video, Items will be available to bidding. We will start the event with a video before the auction goes live for bidding. Bidding will last until October 7 at 8:00pm.
Where is Camp Sale?
From the comfort of your living room, fishing boat, or tractor. The virtual auction is completely online in 2020. Visit it from your mobile phone, tablet, or computer wherever you have internet access!
The bidding is set up in an online silent auction format (similar to ebay). All bidders will register to bid and be eligible to place bids. The end time for the auction is October 7 at 8:00pm CST.
What if I win an Item? How do I pay?
If you win an item, you will be sent an invoice which you can pay with a credit card or mail a check to Pine Lake Fellowship Camp, 10371 Pine Lake Road, Meridian, MS 39307
How do I get my item?
If you win an item it will be set to be picked up at camp. If you would request shipping, we can give you a quote and send an invoice if approved. If the item is large and unable to be shipped, arrangements can be made to pick that item up or have it delivered through an alternative method.
Can I Preregister?
Yes, please preregister at this link: CAMP SALE. Click register to bid and complete your registration After registration is complete, you will be sent a confirmation text with a link to the auction. *You can also register after the auction begins
How can I support Camp Sale?
Before the auction starts – Contribute/Donate an item to the Auction and send it to Pine Lake ASAP to be sure it’s listed. Pray for this event!
Attend& participate in the virtual auction on October 3. Hold a watch party and bid!
Go LOCAL – Create a local fundraiser in your church or community to benefit Pine Lake. Several churches and groups do this already! Hold a lunch/dinner take out meal, host a silent auction, hold a bake sale (in person or pre-order), etc. Utilize your strengths and gifting you wish to help support camp.
If there is not anything you wish to bid on at the auction, consider a cash donation to Pine Lake Fellowship Camp as part of the fundraiser.
Why Camp Sale?
Camp Sale supports ministry to children and adults at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp. 2020 will only the second year since 1984 that we are unable to have an “in person” Camp Sale (other was 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina). God is abundant and has provided for PLFC’s needs. We knowingly and actively place our trust in God in the times of plenty and in the times of need. We invite you to be part and engage in this event to support Pine Lake Fellowship Camp and the lives that will be transformed as a result.
With the help of our Winter Service volunteers December through February, the gym walls were prepared for the final step for interior finishes. In late March, a local contractor finished installing the wall carpet! Following many years of donor support and volunteer and skilled labor, Tall Pines Fellowship Center is “officially” complete. Praise God! We give Him all the glory and are grateful for his provision in this journey. We look forward to the next group who will enjoy Tall Pines Fellowship Center!