Spread gravel, sanitize silverware, and trim the peninsula: in their two weeks at Pine Lake, Keith and Janet Graybill checked these and many other humble items off the perpetual to-do list. Driven by their appreciation for the reconciliatory ministry of Pine Lake, as well as the joy they experience from volunteerism, the Graybill’s happily pitched in at camp during their most recent visit with their son (Executive Director, Matt Graybill) and his family.
Primarily, they prepared Pine Lake to host upcoming guest groups: a homeschool group, a wedding, and a quilters guild. Tasks like washing the out of reach windows in the Lodge and raking and trimming brush in the Shelter Campsites spruced up the space quite a bit. For Janet, helping with hospitality is a way of joining in the mission of camp, which resonates deeply with them. “We enjoy making it look like a welcoming place for people.”
As Keith pressure washed nearly every picnic table & bench at Main Camp, he had time to reflect on God’s work in his own life. “In life one does not always see tangible progress or the making of a difference in our efforts … it is very rewarding to receive visible confirmation the beauty of reconditioned wood on a bench or picnic table revealed when a pressure washer beats off the accumulation of scaling from weather exposure. The beauty of camp is apparent, but more is waiting to be explored. Might volunteering also open us up for God’s exploration and reveal?”
Over the last year, more than a few guests have been able to experience peace and renewal in the natural beauty of Pine Lake because of supporters’ generosity of time! If you want to join in the fun, call the office and talk to Matt. We still have more pressure washing (among other things) to do!
Keith “Pap” Graybill and grandson Ian spreading gravel
Keith Graybill pressure washes one of many picnic tables.
The Pavilion tables gleam after being pressure washed
Janet Graybill washed the Pavilion silverware
All the Pavilion silverware and utensils were cleaned!
Beth & Janet Graybill made 25 pie crusts for a bake sale benefiting Pine Lake
In the 2020 Virtual Auction, Choctaw beaded Christmas ornaments, a Thanksgiving wreath, and a handmade table attracted the most bids while the Camp Quilt and the Southern Sampler Quilt brought in the biggest bids.
by: Matthew Graybill
“You have been outbid!” Eighty-five registered bidders received this text message or email a total of 408 times at the first virtual Camp Sale event, October 3-7. Each bid represented a statement of affirmation for the ministry of camp as well as appreciation for the many handmade items for sale. Like you, we were disappointed we could not gather to share in a bowl of gumbo or warm donut. The loss of working together, fellowshipping, and seeing old friends was echoed by many within the Pine Lake community.
Not to be defeated, PLFC supporters responded to the virtual auction with high levels of engagement and enthusiasm. Because the virtual auction could be accessed from anywhere, several folks across the United States & Canada were able to bid and win items as well. Many bidders dove deep into the competition for coveted handmade and unique items. Perhaps you watched with your mouth open as the Choctaw beaded Christmas ornaments (from Nanih Waiya Indian Mennonite Church) racked up 23 total bids and sold for $500 or as the wooden step stool (by Duane Maust) shot up to $240! The Camp Quilt ($1,150) and the Southern Sampler Quilt ($875) received the two highest bids.
A deep sense of gratitude sits with me as I think about the event as a whole. It was both humbling and thrilling to witness your level of involvement in the new format as well as in the communities that sold baked goods (Meridian), BBQ plates (Jackson), and gumbo & jambalaya (Gulfport), or held a craft & bake sale (Des Allemands) to benefit Camp Sale. Resilient and faithful, Pine Lake supporters still found ways to come together to care for camp. Pine Lake is blessed with a committed community that engages with and promotes this ministry. So we say, “THANK YOU” to each person who contributed items, bid, won, or donated to this year’s sale. You make camp a special place for each person to grow closer to God, nature, and each other.
The annual sale & benefit auction supports the ongoing ministry of adults and children at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp, Meridian, MS. PLFC serves people of all ages and backgrounds by providing a place to encounter God through nature, renewal, and reconciliation. A summer camp for children and youth ages 7—17 is the primary ministry. All proceeds benefit the ministry of PLFC.