Gratitude has been a real important theme for us here at Camp Pondo lately, and during this Thanksgiving week, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that we are thankful for.
Life is full of all kinds of crazy ups and downs, ministry is no different. There are amazing moments when the space between Heaven and Earth feels so thin, you can almost reach out and touch the other side. And then there are moments when you are acutely aware that we live in a broken age, the hard days, the want to give up days, the emotionally and physically exhausted days, but even then, in the regular hard work of earthly ministry, we are so grateful to get to do what we do, because God is always here, always providing, always loving, always offering us just what we need at that moment.
2020 was a difficult time, you know, you lived through your own long list of disappointments and heartaches. At Pondo, we were crushed when we had to cancel Summer Camp and furlough our staff. The path forward was a challenge as camps all over the world faced an uncertain future, and yet, by December of 2020, after a year of being shut down, our team, who had held together through it all, felt so strongly that the Lord was inviting us to pray confidently for a “double portion”.
Encouraged that God had big dreams for this ministry despite the uncertain times, we launched our End of the Year Giving in 2020 under the name, Double Portion. It was a bit risky, it took faith to make such an ask, to believe in abundance in a time when everything felt scarce. But the word of God in Isaiah 61 and this concept of the Double Portion was so powerfully imprinted on us, we knew this was what God was doing. And so we launched our end of the year ask, and our Pondo Family responded with abundance. We were so moved as we realized just how much our people believe in what God does here at Camp Pondo, in the lives of students, and the impact it has for all eternity.
As we have reflected on what 2021 has been, and the life that has come from the seeds of your giving, we are amazed and so grateful for God truly has given us a double portion in many facets of this ministry. Our staff is expanding, with new roles that allows our ministry to go deeper and reach beyond anything it ever has before into the more that God has for us to do.
This year launched with Winter One Days and the assembling of a wildly eager volunteer crew that was pumped to gather students to worship together once again after a very long year apart. Summer Camp 2021 sold out of nearly every week and lives were changed in profound ways as God continued to pour his abundant presence upon us and our mission to create a unique space to encounter Jesus. Our calendar was full of guest group bookings and speciality retreats, and time after time, we were flooded with gratitude to have life and Kingdom encounters happening here again.
Without question, we have seen God at work so much this last year, doing more than we even imagined.
Now standing on that gratitude, we look forward with expanding vision and say, “Let’s Go!” To the dreams of God for Camp Pondo and the exciting future ahead.
In celebration of all the ways we have seen God show up throughout 2021, we will close out the year by telling stories from youth pastors, students, staffers, and guest speakers as they share specific ways they saw God at work here. We hope that these stories will be an encouragement to you and an invitation to enter the more along with us. We want to invite you to come to the table God is stetting in our ministry, to come into family and be apart of the eternal, kingdom work of Camp Pondo through prayer and support. Thank you for being a part of what we do here. We are so grateful for you!
Happy Thanksgiving Pondo Fam!