Six weeks after the Mono wind tore through Calvin Crest, the recovery effort is well underway. God has been so gracious to us to provide incredible volunteers who have been helping restore the camp.
Firefighters for Christ International heard about the devastation at Calvin Crest through our Facebook post and deployed a crew for 12 days (some pictured above with three Calvin Crest staff). Eight of the crew stayed for the duration while more than a dozen others came for several days at a time. They brought their own food service volunteers and provided more than $3200 in food. They spent long days falling hazard trees, removing trees from buildings, cutting them up, hauling, splitting, chipping, and burning debris. Our Buildings and Grounds team loved working alongside them as well as joining them for meals and daily devotions. We closed out our time together last Friday night with an inspiring evening of worship and sharing, marked by a beautiful spirit of Christ’s love and unity. Due to the sheer volume of work remaining, they have asked if they can come back for another week at the end of April, which is a tremendous gift to Calvin Crest.
Other volunteers have served as well. Charlie Ennes of Lemoore Presbyterian Church came and joyfully served in the kitchen the entire time Firefighters for Christ were here. Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church has organized two workdays, during which dozens of volunteers have come and worked on the grounds. Last Saturday, more than 65 volunteers gathered to cut trees, split logs, chip up branches, and rake debris. Eleven youth and two leaders from Woodlake Presbyterian Church came and were among the hardest young workers we’ve seen. Several members of the Oakhurst Sunrise Rotary served tirelessly. I wish I could name every one of the more than 50 volunteers that have given of their time and resources as each has been such a blessing!
We are also very excited to partner with Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church’s Jubilee program, in which the church helps individuals find employment who are out of work for various reasons. In essence, Sierra Vista has offered to pay these individuals to work at Calvin Crest two days a week to assist with our clean-up efforts. The three Jubilee employees are incredibly hard-working and eager to help, and we could not be more honored to be part of their journey.
As much has been accomplished, we have far to go! With Spring Break on the horizon, a couple of groups have asked if they can come and serve over their break. If you’d like to join them the last week of March (or whenever you can come!), we’d love to have you. Also, Lemoore Presbyterian Church is organizing a Presbytery-wide work weekend April 23-25 and trying to get as many volunteers as possible to participate that weekend. If you would like to participate, please email Dave Dack for more details. Covid-19 protocols are in place and ensure safety for all to come and serve.
This morning, I was listening to the song Waymaker, in which the chorus goes:
Light in the Darkness,
My God, that is who you are.
Maybe you need to pause and listen to this song as a reminder that God will make a way in your life through whatever it is you are facing. God is continuing to make a way for Calvin Crest, showing His goodness to us through His people. Volunteers remind us that we are not alone and that amazing things can be accomplished when people come together. God keeps His promises and continues to shine light in the darkness, and for that, we are grateful and say thank you.