When our kids were all small, my wife and I were bothered by the amount of negativity, self-centeredness, and general ungratefulness our children were displaying. She invoked a new practice at dinner time. We would all go around the table and say one thing we were grateful for. The goal was to re-train our mindset to focus on the good. And it worked! It changed the atmosphere, and is a practice I’m happy to say we continue to this day. GRATITUDE. It doesn’t take a ton of energy, but it transforms us. Keeping track of what we’re grateful for is a beautiful way of honoring the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness to us over time.
Today, Nicole and I want to pause to thank the Lord for all of you who have been with us in birthing Camp Refuge. Only 4 years ago, Nicole and I founded Camp Refuge on a vision of being a ‘safe haven’ where relationships could be reconciled, strengthened, and established. We didn’t have property, nor did we feel qualified, but we knew the Lord had called us to it. Today, our hearts are full. Not only have we seen 83 couples come through our weekend retreats where the Lord strengthened and healed relationships - Yay God! - but at the end of April (4 years and 2 days after Camp Refuge was born), we were entrusted with 42 beautiful acres of wooded land in Breaux Bridge. Everything we dreamed of for the master plan and more can happen out here. We have the ability to grow and expand over time, but will very soon announce new retreat types that expand beyond our original husband/wife retreats. Do you know what I see? Greater impact.
So it is with sincere hearts of gratitude, we want to say a big THANK YOU to those who are “with us” on it:
Our CareTeam. You are our committed core. Many of you are the first fruits of our past retreats, desiring to pay it forward to the next set of guests, season after season. THANK YOU for serving selflessly and tirelessly to make the experience for our guests top notch. You shine for Jesus - you really do!!
Our work crew. Those tents don’t just setup themselves. Nor does the landscaping get planted and maintained, the platforms get built, the lights get strung, or the decor get designed without you. You may be behind the scenes, but you must know how pleased the Father is with what he sees in your sacrifice.
Our financial partners. Whether it be sponsoring couples to attend our retreats, donating to a particular project like our capital campaign, or giving directly to support us in our mission, your joyful giving is such a blessing. THANK YOU!
Our guests. You are the highlight of our year and the reason we exist. We thank you for entrusting us to be a safe place to come and disconnect from the outside world. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to do what only He can do. And thank you for joining our growing community!
Our local business partners. You have given selflessly over the years, whether that be free or discounted supplies and equipment, race sponsorships, or laboring alongside us in your area of expertise - THANK YOU!
Our prayer warriors. To all of you who lift us up in prayer, we thank you for your faithfulness. You cannot truly know this side of heaven the fruit that is being accomplished through your faithful partnership with us. This reminds me of a story: we were setting up for retreats one season and a whole crew of us were across the street from my house swinging hammers on stakes, setting up tents. I was sweaty and exhausted. I looked up to see a prayer team member sitting on my porch, looking out on the land. I knew she was praying for the retreat guests that were to come the following weekends and that the Lord’s presence would settle on the land. In that moment, the Lord whispered to me, “She’s doing the most important work right now.” Yes. Yes, she was. And so are you, as you faithfully intercede for us and the work of Camp Refuge.
Our two property donor families. Thank you for believing in us and what the Lord has called us to enough to invest $790,000 into the mission of providing a safe haven for relationships. You are with us on it, and may you know you’re treasured by the King!
Our God. Thank you for Your pursuing love, Daddy God. Thank you Jesus for ransoming us and modeling abundant grace. Thank you Holy Spirit for coming in power to change lives for all eternity. We lift Your Name high and commit all this work for the building of Your glorious kingdom!
“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
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