I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you are tired of hearing and seeing the words COVID & Coronavirus? Me too. A global pandemic was the last thing I anticipated being my focus in 2020 for Mt. Gilead Camp. As you can imagine, 2020 was a discouraging year for our small ministry as well as many other ministries that focus (and rely) on large groups gathering together in community. Almost all in-person programming for 2020 was canceled this year at Mt. Gilead, including our entire summer camp program.

As the Executive Director here at Mt. Gilead, I find myself (and this ministry) in a new and vulnerable position we have not been in before. Don’t get me wrong, our small ministry has always been vulnerable, and only by the grace of God are we still ministering and serving young girls after 68 years. But this year, it feels different. Our vulnerability this year was not due to anything we could control. It was not due to any sort of poor planning, lack of fundraising, or lack of growth on our part as a non-profit. This pandemic arrived just as our spring season was beginning, and Mt. Gilead Camp, just like so many families, businesses, and ministries out there, got hit really hard.

Despite life not turning out the way we all thought it would this year, I believe God is at work through this situation. We teach it to our campers every week at camp, and we want to live this out now.

James 1:2-6 says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

As humans, we forget how vulnerable we are. God uses trials in our life to change our perspective because we are often unaware of how closely we are held by His grace. If we have a clear perspective on trials, it will build hope and confidence in our relationship with Christ. The hard truth is that God never minimizes the severity of the trials we will face. Our choice in life will sometimes be between suffering with hope or suffering without hope. That’s why James makes the jump between suffering and wisdom in the above verse. 

If there is one message I can leave with this letter, it is that God longs to come alongside Mt. Gilead Camp as a ministry during its trials. God longs to come alongside me as a director, a father, and a husband during my trials. Our message to you (as our extended family) is: HAVE HOPE – God is at work in you. God longs to come alongside you during your trials (even if that may be the entire year of 2020), and if you turn to Him and believe you have not been forsaken, you will come out with stronger faith and walking closer with Christ than ever before! 

Thank you for your ongoing love and support for Mt. Gilead Camp. We will see you in Summer 2021, and we can’t wait to see how God will move in Mt. Gilead Camp next year!

In Christ, – Adam Todd

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