Category

MC Squared: Church Leaders

Help Us End This Year Well!

By | Giving, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, MC Squared: Retreat Organizers | No Comments

43,379 is a 2017 milestone.

In the mid-1900s, facilitating youth retreats became a prevalent way of reaching the next generation; those camps appeared to be effective in communicating the message and love of Jesus. As a result, in 1965, a group of churches concluded its search for a suitable place to permanently anchor their annual youth summer camps, a permanent place to support the ministry of the local church. Through the sacrificial dedication of a few men and women, the dream of Miracle Camp became a reality.

Today, we are humbled that God continues to choose to use this place. In 2017, the number of lives that have been impacted since our inception by our Summer Camp program alone reached 43,379. Every person in that number matters because each represents an individual who is loved by Jesus. Amazingly, that number is only the beginning as it does not include our other programmed events, like Ice Camp, Man Camp, Women’s Retreat, Family Camp, Parent/Child Camps and Marriage Retreats, or our guest group registrations. Combining those means the lives impacted reaches into hundreds of thousands.

That number is not for our glory. God has chosen to use this place for His purposes, and He continues to show Himself in mighty ways. We believe God has positioned this place to be a catalyst that impacts the world for many years to come. Our heart’s desire is to bring others to Christ and equip them to spread His Word!

As you reflect on how God has impacted your life, please prayerfully consider joining us in this mission with a gift. You will be making a significant Kingdom investment. Miracle Camp depends upon the voluntary generosity of affiliated churches and supporting individuals. Your contributions help us share the hope that is found in Jesus, impact lives for the kingdom, and strengthen the ministry of the local church. To make a secure gift online, please visit www.miraclecamp.com/giving.

Blessings,

Jonathan L. Hyde
Executive Director

We’re Only $36,000 Away!!

By | Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, MC Squared: Retreat Organizers | No Comments

Thanks to your help and support, we are only $36,000 away from meeting our $300,000 match for the Evergreen Project! Starting last year, a donor came to us with this matching opportunity to completely fund the Evergreen Project. We are blown away by the generosity and selflessness of all who have helped but we still need your help to completely fund this renovation. Any gift, big or small, is appreciated!

As we look to continue to improve camp, our guests are always on the front of our minds. Our goal throughout this whole campaign is to increase capacity so more people can hear the message of Jesus Christ, improve the safety of our guests, and focus on stewardship towards the local church.

We again want to thank you for your prayers and support. Without you none of this would be possible!

If you would like more information on the Evergreen Project, or if you would like to give, visit www.miraclecamp.com/the-evergreen-project/!

FREE Pastor’s Retreat is almost here!

By | MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Retreat Organizers, Pastors Retreat | No Comments

In just a couple weeks, we will be hosting a completely free retreat for all pastors! That’s right, this retreat is completely FREE! We will be providing all lodging, meals, activities, and sessions. The only thing you will have to take care of is getting up here! These short, midweek retreat will be a chance for any and all pastors to come and relax, connect with others in ministry during some roundtable discussions, and to grow personally and professionally.

This year we are excited to have Mike Drury come and speak during this retreat. Mike is the lead pastor from Pine Hills Church and has been serving at Pine Hills since 2006.

This Pastor’s Retreat will be October 9 – 11, right about the time that the leaves begin changing color and the weather here in Southwest Michigan is perfect. If you are a pastor, or you know a pastor, that could use a relaxing getaway to recharge and spend time connecting with other pastors, this is the retreat for you! For more information you visit www.miraclecamp.com/pastorsretreat!

Free Pastors Retreat

By | MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, Pastors Retreat | No Comments

Know a pastor that needs a few days rest from ministry life? Know a pastor that needs a time of spiritual refreshment?

Miracle Camp can now help! For the first time ever, Miracle Camp is providing a short mid-week getaway for any and all pastors – TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE! We exist to serve churches, and one of the best ways we can serve churches is to serve those who lead churches. So, please, come (or make your pastor come) and use this time for whatever you need: spend time with God, solitude in nature, connect with others, or just enjoy camp’s activities. This offer is open to all pastors and will be held October 9 – 11, so spread the word! Register online at: www.miraclecamp.com/pastorsretreat.

  • Personal Devo Time
  • Nature
  • Biblical Teaching
  • Relaxation and Solitude
  • Networking and Fellowship
  • Activities
  • Round Table Discussions
  • Prayer
  • All meals, lodging, and activities are free of charge (you only need to find a way to get here)

Keeping Faith Rewind: Matt Boyers

By | Keeping Faith, Marriage Retreat, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, Men's Retreat (Man Camp) | No Comments

Matt Boyers

Today’s Keeping Faith rewind is the story of Matt Boyers, senior pastor of Crossroads Evangelical Church in Wauseon, Ohio. Matt has been coming to Miracle Camp and Retreat Center with groups for years, and he and his wife along with a team of other couples lead our annual Michigan Marriage Retreat.

Matt has watched many people’s lives change at Miracle Camp and then has walked through the process of discipleship with those people. For us, this is the example of the perfect partnership. We believe that Miracle Camp is best when done in partnerships with local church, like this one.

Enjoy the story, and think about how your church could partner with Miracle Camp today!

Keeping Faith Rewind: Kris and Sarah VanBogelen

By | Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, Staff | No Comments

This week’s Keeping Faith rewind is of Kris and Sarah VanBogelen. Kris and Sarah both started at Miracle Camp as campers and eventually as summer camp staff. (Speaking of being a summer camp counselor, the staff applications are now open to work at Miracle Camp for the summer of 2017).

But back to our story. Kris and Sarah both eventually ended up on our full time staff for several years and have made countless contributions to the way Miracle Camp and Retreat Center operates. Currently, Kris serves as the Youth Pastor for a church in Lawton, Michigan, just down the road from us!

So enjoy Kris and Sarah’s story!

Keeping Faith Rewind: Steve Shaffer

By | History, Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders | No Comments

Steve-Shaffer-3This week’s Keeping Faith rewind is Steve Shaffer’s story. Steve is currently the Executive Pastor at Pine Hills Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but has served at several other churches that are affiliated with Miracle Camp and Retreat Center before his current position. Steve has been coming to Miracle Camp since before Miracle Camp existed! He was able to come with his father on some of the initial trips to see what the camp was like before the initial purchase.

Enjoy the video below as we revisit these stories of how God has worked through this special retreat center in Michigan!

Keeping Faith Rewind: Jesse Kahler

By | Ice Camp, Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, Summer Camp, Video | No Comments

Jesse-Kahler_Thumb2

This week’s Keeping Faith Rewind is Jesse Kahler’s story. Jesse is the lead pastor of Archbold Evangelical Church in Archbold, Ohio, and has been one of our favorite speakers for the past 8 years at high school summer camps and winter retreats for youth groups. Jesse has been a youth pastor and has brought many students to camp before his time as a senior pastor.

So enjoy the video below as Jesse gives his perspective on the ministry of Miracle Camp and Retreat Center.

RELEASE: Annual Ministry Report

By | Giving, Keeping Faith, MC Squared: Church Leaders, Projects, Safety, Staff, Updates | No Comments

God’s Continued Faithfulness

I once heard it said that there are two ways to study history: as a scholar or as a soldier. Scholars look at what people used to do, while soldiers see what remains to be done. Those who are scholars study history to gain information or knowledge; those who are soldiers study it for the sake of mission.

I have come to the conclusion that, as Christians, our job is to approach life as both a scholar and a soldier. We praise God for His past faithfulness while allowing the knowledge of His faithfulness to drive us as we take part in the most important mission in the history of the world.

This directive is derived from Acts 1 and Matthew 28.

In Acts 1 the author says he recorded for us “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.”

The keywords here are “do” and “teach”, referring to Jesus’ works and his words. In the book of Luke, Jesus fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, played with children and showed kindness and compassion to the less fortunate. But he also said, “I am God,” “I am Savior,” “I am Creator,” “I am the Judge of the living and the dead,” and “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.” At Miracle Camp, we work to be very unapologetic about Jesus, preaching what Jesus said and did, and preaching the Truths found in scripture.

Matthew 28 speaks to the resurrection and validates, proves, and upholds the life and ministry of Jesus.

In this chapter Jesus takes it one step further and tells His disciples to go make disciples. They are given the authority to lead the church, and here, in His last words, Jesus confirms His Kingship and tells the leaders of the Church to begin the work of the great commission, and to do this work on His behalf. He is giving them authority and power to accomplish the spiritual work.

It is worth noting that this authority does not give His disciples the power to take land with the sword. The authority he provided is much more complicated. It is to go into the world and connect to people’s hearts so that people are prepared to listen to Jesus; that they would be moved from the inside out.

Those two points sum up everything we do.

Our hope and prayer is that our camp and retreat programs and our facilities are not for our benefit.

They are built to assist the local church to do the work of the local church. We first want to help the local church accomplish its goals and disciple its people. We want to help the ministry of the local church bond its people together around Jesus. Our prayer is that our facilities are utilized to develop relationships and facilitate discipleship so that, as Iron sharpens Iron, individuals in the local church can live life together and spur each other on in love.

As I look back at this year, the thing that sticks out to me the most is how faithful God has been. He has provided staff when we were short handed. He provided financially and organizationally – unifying the staff to implement a contingency fund, restructuring of the organization, updated policy to meet today’s changing world, and developed a healthy, conservative budget to bring camp back to a solid financial position. Most importantly, God has provided his Spirit. We continually hear stories of His faithfulness; individuals crossing the line of faith, families being strengthened, individuals recommitting their lives to Christ, and marriages being transformed.

He has provided Miracle Camp with guests. Throughout the entire year, we served a total of 13,188 people, representing 32,906 camper days. Of those people served, 6,652 were from Miracle Camp’s programmed events and 6,536 were from guest groups programming their own events. We praise God for His continued faithfulness; not just in growing numbers, but in continuing to change the lives of each person who attends Miracle Camp.

This year (2015 and 2016) we served the following numbers of people in our main programs:

The highlight of this past year was our 50th Anniversary. Throughout the past 50 years, there have been countless staff members, donors, and volunteers who have made Miracle Camp what it is today. Miracle Camp’s impact was not the result of one person, but the result of many many people working together. We are, first and foremost, your camp.

Our 50th birthday party also kicked off a capital improvement project. This campaign is geared toward increasing capacity, safety, flexibility for the events held on our campus. The campaign also intends to create reserves that will allow us to maintain the beauty and facilities we have been entrusted with. This includes items like building staff housing (so we have staff available to better serve our guests), adding a number of new meeting spaces, updating and fixing the gym, remodeling and/or rebuilding a number of the the cabins, beautifying our campus, and purchasing additional land for our programed events.

We recently finished a tunnel project to provide safety for campers crossing 80th Avenue during their camp weeks. This project was designed, built, and managed entirely by volunteers! Again, God has provided. We are also working toward building a new meeting space and renovating Evergreen this fall. This project will allow us to host more groups and better serve the groups we are given the opportunity to host.

If you haven’t already seen the stories of Keeping Faith, be sure to visit our website at miraclecamp.com/keepingfaith. It is incredible to hear the stories of how God has used Miracle Camp through the years.

Finally, below is a summary of our 2016 financial report. We are always striving to be good stewards of what God has given us and what you pay for fees to attend events.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Respectfully submitted,

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Jonathan L. Hyde, Executive Director