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Stitches of Love

Pictures of participants around the Camp Quilt in Tall Pines Fellowship Center.

Many people gathered around the Camp Quilt for fellowship and quilting.

Though postponed twice due to COVID-19, quilters finally gathered in July for the Camp Quilt Retreat & Workshop. Laughter, conversation, and technical quilting questions rang throughout the gym of Tall Pines as folks from Gulfport, Des Allemands, Jackson, and Meridian added their stitches to the Camp Quilt, a queen size Mariner’s Compass pattern in black and gold.  Throughout the weekend over 30 people came to quilt or fellowship around this treasure, which will be sold in October to benefit Pine Lake’s ministry.

First time quilter Sherry Sheffield said, “I attended Camp Sale for years and wanted to see the process behind the scenes.” Workshop participant Rhoda Yoder said she loved working with and learning from veteran quilters who were patient and encouraging. “It was good to spend the hours with other women who love and support Camp.”

New this year, quilting took place in the spacious and well-lit Tall Pines, completed in March. Also new, kids could quilt or do classic camp activities like boating, carpetball and treehouse hiking. Pine Lake’s excellent summer staff led these activities. Sherry said, “My kids had so much fun. I got to enjoy sewing and fellowship and I didn’t have to worry about them.”

Many thanks to the planners: Andreah Davis, Carrie Geil, Jody Miller, and Karen Fedrick who pooled their ideas and resources to make this event possible!​

Kids at Quilting Retreat


Kids (big and small) had lots of fun at the Camp Quilt Retreat & Workshop.

Family Escape in July

Two families at Family Escape in July enjoyed various activities
Two families at Family Escape in July enjoyed various activities

Two families at Family Escape in July enjoyed various activities, including tie-dye and the new escape room.

In July while many families looked for ways to soak up summer with ever-changing restrictions and safety concerns, a couple families attended Pine Lake’s very first Family Escape Weekend, a fun way to deepen their relationship with God and each other.

With the help of trained summer staff, the families enjoyed the time-tested camp fun of zip line, boating, tie-dye, archery, and low ropes course; and conquered the challenges of Pine Lake’s new Escape Room! Pictured above, right, the Escape Room challenged families to work togetherin order to find and solve clues to break free!

Each family rested comfortably in their own climate-controlled lodging and prepared meals in their own kitchen space in Tall Pines.

While both families expressed gratitude for the time and memories made at camp, the kids look forward returning (or coming for the first time!) to Pine Lake as campers next summer! Nothing can replace the wonder of summer camp! 

Sad you missed the first Family Escape?
The next one is September 4th – 7th (Labor Day Weekend).

Tall Pines Fellowship Center is Complete!

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!

 

2011-2020 Galleries

 

2020 Photos


This post was part of PLFC’s April 2020 newsletter update.  Check it out!

May 2020 Newsletter

Summer Camp 2020 Suspended

Summer Camp 2020 Suspended

It’s with great sadness and a heavy heart that I inform you that the Pine Lake Fellowship Camp Board of Directors along with our year-round staff have made the decision to suspend Pine Lake Fellowship Camp summer camp programs in 2020.   Our strong commitment to the health and safety of campers, families, staff, and volunteers will prevent us from being together due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is clear summer camp cannot be the nurturing and encouraging environment we know and love with physical distancing and other difficulties.   This decision is our best effort to care for and prevent an outbreak in each of our camper and staff communities.  This decision includes overnight and day camp programs.

I know that this comes as a disappointment to each of you.  It is to each of us as well.   Since last Fall, countless hours of time and energy have been invested in preparing for another amazing summer of ministry!

  • Most summer staff were hired.
  • Facilities received facelifts with the help of many volunteers.
  • New and exciting features and activities were prepared.
  • We have all been praying for campers and staff

It pains us to think of Pine Lake’s rolling campus to sit empty this summer.  To know that each evening, no campfire will burn on the Island, that instead of campers and staff singing worship songs to God under the stars, they’ll be at home.  The challenge course, where campers in cabin unity, friendship, and self-confidence will instead serve as lonely platforms and old telephone poles in the woods. There will be no staff meeting where a summer staffer joyously shares that they prayed with his/her camper who decided to follow Christ at campfire the previous evening.  To think about these not happening breaks each of our hearts.

While we can’t gather with one another in person, we can come together in prayer. Please join us in praying for the following:

Campers and their families:  We realize this is yet another loss in a series of losses this spring.   While there is no summer camp to look forward to, we know that God is present everywhere, not just at Pine Lake.   Pray for God to be at work in the activities, lessons, and relationships they experience this summer.  May they lead to a deeper faith in Christ.

Summer Staff: These servant-hearted young people have been anticipating and preparing to serve and nurture campers this summer. Pray for God to use their energy to nurture young believers and grow in their faith this summer.

Year-Round Staff:  After months of preparation for summer camp 2020, we now pivot to re-imagine how the mission of Pine Lake can be carried out in the new circumstances we all face. May God continue to use Pine Lake to increase His kingdom.

We trust in God’s promises.  We trust that He is working all things out for his good and that even though it feels like we’re walking in the valley, he is still God. 

We are planning on alternative ways to connect with campers and families this summer.  They cannot replace summer camp, but we hope that they will bring that same camp feel and nostalgia to each of you. 

Thank you for your past and continued support.  We'll see you next summer.

God Bless,

Matt Graybill

Executive Director


ALREADY REGISTERED FOR CAMP?

Parents who have already paid a deposit or any amount over are asked to choose between the following options:

  1. Receive a Full Refund
  2. Donate to Pine Lake Fellowship Camp

Please reply to an email that was sent to you or contact our office with your choice of the above options (info@pinelakecamp.com).

 

Faith in Cheese

faith in cheese

faith in cheeseBut blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the streams.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
-Jeremiah 17:7

 
I bought too much cheese. Never mind that I can barely consume one small block of cheese before it molds, or that we should avoid overbuying right now. As the words “global pandemic,” “unprecedented,” “stay-at-home order”, etc. swirled in my head, I plunked 2 fat bricks of cheese (one mozzarella, one cheddar) into my cart, and felt a fleeting wave of reassurance.

The need for reassurance is natural; it’s human. But reassurance via cheese? God offers a reassurance far richer than stockpiles of cheese or toilet paper, the news, the stock market, or any government we might (unintentionally) place our trust and time in.

Jeremiah reminds us that true confidence comes from the Lord. As we reach out to Christ for nourishment, He fills us with knowledge of His unfailing power and love. We can stand tall in times of uncertainty and stress, knowing we have no reason to fear, for our Lord walks with us. No matter our circumstances, when we draw strength from Christ, we can bear His fruit and share His love and peace with the people around us.
How can you intentionally place your trust in God? What are three things you can do to share God’s love with someone else?


This post was written by Suzanne Opel, Program Director and was part of PLFC's April 2020 newsletter update  Check it out!

April 2020 Newsletter

Hands and Feet of the Church

Mr Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen
Mr Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen

Mr. Willie presented with a wall hanging for his kitchen by members of World Renew.

 “In His service, World Renew volunteers,” were the final words at a home dedication Meridian resident Mr. Willie on March 20.   Mr. Willie had a tree fall on and destroy part of his home during an EF-2 tornado in April 2018.  As a result, he was left with no kitchen or bathroom for two years and had to use homes of other nearby family members.  “Now, l live in a mansion,” said Mr. Willie thanked World Renew facilitators Gary & Bev Van Noort and Jack & Pat Buist after the dedication.  

For nearly two months, dozens of volunteers helped rebuild the back side of his house in just 5 weeks.  World Renew: Disaster Reponse Services “set up camp” at Pine Lake from February 6-March 20 to provide relief to homeowners affected by the tornado.  In that time, PLFC was the host site for 95 volunteers who served at Mr. Willie’s and several other storm damaged homes.  After working in the rain and mud each day, volunteers kicked back each evening to renew their strength and energy with conversation around the table or a walk around the lake.    One group of volunteer students from Grand Valley State University even spent a few days at PLFC cleaning cabins and painting bathhouses.   Then students prayed over the cabins for campers to take their next step with Christ this summer.  Praise God!

Ms. Mavis Scott’s home was built from the ground up in only 5 weeks by another group of volunteers from Orland Park Christian Reformed Church (Illinois).  At her home dedication on March 12, dozens of volunteers, community leaders, and partner agencies gathered to give her the keys to a new home.  She is thankful for a home “that isn’t falling down” (Watch Ms. Mavis in her own words).  This church even secured a $20,000 grant to help Ms. Mavis.  As hands and feet of the Church, each volunteer gave their time, skills, and finances to demonstrate Christ's hope to not only people in need, but an entire community.  Pine Lake is humbled to have played a supporting role in this example of love.  The Meridian community as well as our Pine Lake staff are inspired by World Renew’s mission and call to service. Thank you to each volunteer and partner agency for your role in this mission.

WTOK Ms Mavis

A heartwarming news report of the impact World Renew volunteers made in the Meridian community.


This post was written by Matt Graybill, Executive Director and was part of PLFC's April 2020 newsletter update  Check it out!

April 2020 Newsletter