Group after group have been enjoying the beauty of God’s creation at the Chalet this winter to date. A massive dump of snow over the past couple of weeks has created a winter wonderland and terrific skiing conditions. One of our groups really took advantage of this setting as they created a quiet space of introspection for their students, allowing them to seek the voice of God for themselves. It was pretty cool for some of our staff to see the formational process that the Chalet helped to enable for this group of emerging adults.
As you enjoy the slideshow, be reminded of God’s tremendous grace and provision that allowed the Chalet to resume operation after the loss of the sewer system last June. These past months have been a real testimony to the faithfulness of our God.
As I sit at my desk here in January, I look out my window at a winter wonderland of snow covered fir boughs on our property. I see kids from our ASA program enjoying the snow, even though it’s not much over 20 degrees outside. It’s not what you would call a typical scene here at The Firs but it is a beautiful one, nonetheless. And, with the beauty, comes a reminder. God doesn’t just surround us with the beauty of His creation so that we can enjoy it – though we do. He surrounds us with His creation so that we can hear from Him.
You probably remember Psalm 19 where David says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” “Declare” and “proclaim,” assigned to what God has made, infer that there is a level of communication going on. And, if the One who communicates is God, then it’s a good idea to pay attention.
But, there is a potential problem that could exist. Even though we live and do camp in the midst of incredible beauty, we can neglect listening to what God is saying if we don’t pause in order to do so. And even though we give kids an opportunity to live and play outside, we can fail to point out to them the source of the beauty all around. And, as a result, the message that God is intent on delivering may fall on deaf ears; a message that declares the reality of His existence and the extent of His power.
We are asking God for clarity this year on a number of fronts. We want to be aware of what He is doing now and what He aims to do in the future here at The Firs. We want clarity in regards to His provision and in regards to the people he wants us to serve. But maybe, before that can happen, we need to ask for clarity as we take every chance we can to listen to what He is saying through what He has made.
I trust that will be your experience this year as we aim to make it ours.
In His Service,
PS: You can SUPPORT US in our year of clarity knowing your gift will make a big difference.
Please pray for the final completion of the sewer system project up on Mt. Baker. Until the system is up and running it costs us $1000 – $2000 to pump the sewage for each group that we host at the Chalet. They are close to being done, but not there yet.
Pray for the funding necessary for our portion of the sewer project when all is said and done. It could be the project will end up costing $1.5 million or more. Our cost could easily be in the neighborhood of $300,000.
Pray for the final wrap up of our operational budget for 2020 which goes to the board at the end of this month. Once approved, we need prayer for all that it means to keep in line with this budget, from a revenue and expense basis. This will be a particularly challenging endeavor this year.
We are still in search of a registrar for our children’s ministries (ASA and Fircreek) programs. It is a part time position. Pray for the right person with the right skills and heart for this position.
Summer staff recruitment for the upcoming programs at Firwood and Fircreek is already underway. Please be praying for the right connections and the right people hired for these critical summer employment opportunities.
A big Scrapbooking program, run by some of the women on our staff, begins next Wednesday. Please be praying for the relationships developed during this time and for the opportunities to model Jesus during the four days over ninety ladies will be on our grounds.
Pray for the health of our staff with the flu bug going around. And, pray for safety on the roads – especially for those who travel back and forth to the Chalet during this busy season up there.
We are finalizing the arrangements for three interns for this year. Two will be serving at the Chalet and Firwood and one at Fircreek. Pray that the right people will be in place and that this year will be a great one for them, and for us, as we work together.
Pray for the groups we will be serving here at the Retreat Center and up at the Chalet. Pray that their needs will be met and their goals accomplished while they are here.