Summer has come — and is nearly gone. A summer unlike any other Crossings has experienced over the last 20 years. Whew! It's disappointing and heartbreaking! No camp. No campers. No summer missionary staff. No worship centers packed out with 800-plus students and kids singing praises to God as loudly and as passionately as they ever have before. No hundreds of students and kids deciding to follow Jesus. No hundreds more hearing a clarion call of Jesus to serve in vocational ministry.
Our entire Crossings team is thankful to so many of you who have encouraged us and even supported us financially as we seek to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
So many churches and individuals have been very generous to us during this difficult season.
You've been generous by sending contributions to our ministry. You've been generous by "rolling over" deposits from this summer to next summer. You've been generous in telling us to just keep your deposits as a donation to our work! I could go on and on telling the ways we have been on the receiving end of your generosity. Please know how thankful we are for your financial support over the summer.
Kentucky churches have also continued to support our Cooperative Program. Since we are recipients of CP funds, we praise God that CP has remained so strong. We are so very thankful, because the truth is that this is by far the most severe financial challenge that we've ever been through. To miss out on summer camp is to miss out on 75 percent or so of our entire annual income. And still, we press on and hold on to hope that fall will bring a return of our guests to both Cedarmore and Jonathan Creek.
As this issue of the Western Recorder goes to press, we continue to make plans for retreats this fall, not knowing with any certainty what the circumstances and COVID protocols will be once October and November roll around.
We remain excited about our Renew Weekend retreats for students. Hundreds have already signed up, but the truth is we need hundreds more from across the state to take advantage of this great opportunity to get the students on either of our properties for a great weekend of worship and study of the Word of God. As you can understand, with the lack of certainty at the local church level concerning ministry to children, we had to cancel our plans for Best Weekend Ever kids events at four sites across the state. Maybe when spring comes around? We remain hopeful.
And as of now, we're still open for business for your church to come and retreat with us. It would help us greatly if you're considering a weekend retreat at either Jonathan Creek or Cedarmore. Call us and book now — fall's a beautiful getaway time at both properties!
Paul writes to the church in 2 Corinthians 4: "Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart." That verse speaks of where we are today. We've been given this ministry by the mercy of God. Over the years, tens of thousands have experienced the life-changing power of Jesus Christ at Cedarmore and Jonathan Creek. We know that. And we will remember. The magnificent choir anthem says it well:
"When we walk through life's darkest valleys,
We will look back
at all You have done. And we will shout,
our God is good!
And He is the faithful One!"
We will not forget God's faithfulness as we move through this together! Thanks for the blessings you have sent us and been to us in the previous months. To God be the glory for what we know He will do in the months and years to come!
Rusty Ellison is vice president of development for Crossings. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.