Director's Corner with
Executive Director, Kyle Mills
As I sit down to write this from camp I am looking out the window to see a forest of trees covered in a light dusting of frost from last night. It’s a welcoming and beautiful sight. Yesterday, we had quite a scare. At around 3pm in the afternoon the Larimer County sheriff’s office came to camp to notify us that we were to go on “voluntary evacuation” because of the East Troublesome fire that jumped the Continental Divide yesterday and came screaming down into Rocky Mountain National Park. All the residents of Estes Parke were evacuated, Grand Lake braced for the worst, and we watched and waited to see if the fire would make its way closer to us. It felt like the apocalypse up here; thick, dark, red smoke filled the camp obscuring the mountains around us. Then an equally thick but unexpected blanket of cool fog came to rest on us pushing some of the smoke away as night fell and the frost came. It was eerily quiet and cold. Most of our staff and missionaries had left, our guests canceled, and a few of us remained to keep a close watch on what might unfold.
This year has not gone the way we had planned it. That’s a big understatement that I imagine you can identify with! Pandemic, quarantine, school closures, MASS CLOSURES!, loss of work, threats of fire, an unsettling election. What are we to make of all this? Frankly, I don’t have a good answer to that question.
I am reminded however of a little exhortation St. Paul gave a few years ago to the church in Philippi. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NIV). “I press on” – I find that extremely encouraging. What else can we do? God has not abandoned us. On the contrary God “is not far from each one of us” as St. Paul reminds us in another place (Acts 17:27). The grace of our faith will keep us strong and on mission.
Staying “on mission” has been a big theme for us up here at camp these past months. Though we have had to cancel nearly everything (accept weekend retreats and Family Camps!), we have continued to press on with welcoming a new crew of Altum Institute missionaries, pivoting our John Paul II Outdoor Lab program to go to schools, and prepping for what we anticipate to be an awesome summer camp in 2021. Registrations will go live any day now so please take a step of faith and give your kids something to look forward to next summer.
Lastly, I want to ask you if you could considering become a part of our monthly giving team? The pandemic hit us hard financially. We could really use your help in getting back to where we need to be and offer all the programs we are pressing on with planning. Any gift on a monthly basis helps to build the stability of our important mission to youth and families; it helps makes us stronger with you as part of our team. Please prayerfully consider and go to our website or contact us if you would like to join the team.
Now back to the fire watch!
Grace and peace to you and your family – from the Heights,