At the start of every year, I invite God to give me a word for that year. In 2019, as we were moving across the country to California, the word was “Adventure.” In 2020, long before the Coronavirus hit the US, the word ironically was “Hope.” This year, I was art journaling, and the word for 2021 came to me: “Thrive.” The definition of thrive is “to grow or develop well or vigorously; to prosper or flourish.”

The morning after I received this word, my devotional app took me to this scripture: “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.” (Psalm 25:8-9) This scripture was such an affirmation of God’s invitation to trust in His unfailing love and to praise Him for all He has done at Calvin Crest to carry us through 2020. It’s also a reminder that I am not alone; rather, I am surrounded by all of you, His faithful people.

Little did I know how that Psalm would become my ‘go-to’ in the days that followed. With the Mono Wind event ravaging through camp followed by several feet of snow blanketing everything, we were all thrust first into clean-up and then survival mode. (If you haven’t been following these events on social media, I encourage you to follow us on facebook and view the video recap on YouTube to see the extent of the damage.)
Even as Cam and I walked (or scrambled, really!) on Calvin Crest Road the day after the wind came through (pictured above), I heard God’s invitation to THRIVE even in this. Years of reading and listening to Dallas Willard say that our well-being is not determined by our external circumstances but on the reality of God’s active presence in our lives flooded my heart and mind. God was whispering His invitation to develop well, to prosper, to flourish in Him even in the midst of this chaos, just as we have during past snowstorms, financial hardships, lay-offs, Covid-19, and fire evacuations.

Recently, someone made the comment that he just felt so sorry for Cam and I because we had not had the full, rich, meaningful camp experience others have had in the past because of all the challenges we have faced. While we knew these comments were coming from a place of love, we reflected later on the peace we have in knowing that we are exactly where God has called us. He has been preparing both of us for this role at this place in this time. We have had the opportunity to invest in the lives of staff and guests and the physical spaces at Calvin Crest. Obstacles and challenges don’t impact our ability to have a meaningful camp experience; if anything, they throw us back on God and make our experience even richer. We would rather be where God has called us and face tremendous challenges than be anywhere else living in comfort and ease. Only then should anyone feel sorry for us.

That is not to say that we are not grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the Calvin Crest family. Your notes of encouragement, prayers, and financial gifts have brought tears to our eyes and strength to our bones. Those of you who have already shown up to help cut up trees and patch up roofs bring life and joy to us. I can not underscore how much this means to us and reminds us again that we are not alone but in the presence of God’s faithful people. What a gift to be a part of this amazing Calvin Crest family.
We are grateful to the Firefighters for Christ, who are mobilizing teams in February to come and help with the clean-up effort. There is plenty of work to do, so if you want to come and help (once the snow melts), just email us to let us know when you want to come. If you would like to give toward our $10,000 insurance deductible or clean-up expenses, click the donate button below.

As always, we are confident that God is right here with us, that He is able to hold everything together, and that He is good and can be trusted with the outcome. Therefore, we look forward to seeing how God will use these crazy, unforeseen events to help Calvin Crest THRIVE in 2021. Thanks for being on this journey with us.

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