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Spruce Lake News - Fall 2022

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Fall & Winter 22-23ReflectionsReflections 2022Abide in ME and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in ME. John 15:4IN THE UPCOMING YEAR, 2023, Franconia Mennonite Camp Association will celebrate 60 years of ministry — six decades of living out our core purpose of Pointing People Toward Christ!SPRUCE LAKE was born out of a passion to live our biblical mandate of the Great Commission outlined in Matthew 28:18-20. During his life, Christ showed us how He lived out His relationship with the Father. The people Christ walked with daily got to see the perfect relationship God desires with each of us. Over the past 60 years we have worked to provide opportunities for God to invite us into the same kind of relationship as Christ had with the Father. And He’s done that!• CHILDREN accepting Christ as Lord and Savior for the first time, chosen in child-like faith to trust Him for their futures;• YOUNG ADULTS taking the next step to deepen their commitments to Christ;• ADULTS bringing their families back to Camp to experience Christ-centered worship and to discover again the God of Creation as they explore the Mountain, streams and woodlands that God has created and preserves year after year.WE HAVE SEEN GOD BRING SPRUCE LAKE into existence; He has protected and provided for this place year after year. His hand of provision has never been more evident than in the past two and a half years, when He sustained this place through the pandemic.We are in the ministry of bringing people together in a socially distant world. The pandemic made social distancing a mantra. As a result, two years of lock-downs, mandates and fear brought Franconia Mennonite Camp Association (Spruce Lake and Pinebrook) into a financial crisis only God could manage.AND HE DID! God not only sustained us, but He has strengthened us for the future. Campers, churches, groups are back! Praise God! He is obviously not finished changing lives at these two campuses.As I sit here today, I am struck by the following questions: WHY did God choose to sustain this ministry? And, now that He has, WHAT is He calling us to do in the future?As is sometimes the case, the answer is in plain sight.Celebrating 60 Years & Rebooting a Vision!>>>Girls’ tent circa 1980

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Reboot!Projected CabinTIMELINE• RECEIVE permits - Fall ‘22• ACQUIRE 70% of funding • BREAK ground - Spring ‘23• OPEN House - June 4 ‘23• UPGRADE Pavilion - ‘23 • COMPLETE by - Spring ‘24• DEDICATE - Spring ‘24All dates tentative, to be confirmed by GOD’S timing.Blessings!Mark Swartley, Executive DirectorSpruce Lake MinistriesOpen HouseJune 4, 2023Join us for a fantastic CELEBRATION!• Commemorate 60 years• See youth cabin worksite• Explore summer camps• Find out how we can serve your family or group• Fun, food & music for all!Reboot!continued from page 1OUR WORLD CONTINUES TO SEEK ANSWERS, continues to look for solutions to the mess we have created in our culture, families and lives outside of God. Thankfully, God does not change. He still wants a personal life-changing relationship with each of us. We need to continue to do what we have been called to do: POINTING PEOPLE TOWARD CHRIST. For we can have a walk, a relationship with God like Jesus had with His Father.As we plan to celebrate 60 exciting years of ministry, let us also prepare to share Christ with more people, TODAY and into the FUTURE!OUR WILDERNESS CAMPUS PROJECT, 16 year-round cabins plus pavilion upgrades, was put on hold during the pandemic. It is time to REBOOT and in our 60th year to bring this dream back to life! THERE IS NO BETTER TIME to create a year-round youth campus, a place where we can share the simple truth of the Gospel 12 months of the year. Youth today are fed so much information and are misled so often that a special place for them to experience Christ as the answer to their questions cannot come into existence soon enough.THE PROJECT COST has continued to climb with inflation and time, but the cost is still worth the investment into the youth of our communities. The project will cost approximately 4.2 million dollars. However, through this amazing community, God has already provided 1.7 million dollars toward the goal.Lord willing, we hope to break ground this coming spring. Here are the things that need to come together so that we can move forward:(1) PERMITS: As with all projects, permits and approvals from the state, county and township are required. Most are in place, but final Department of Environmental Protection and Barrett Township approvals are still pending as of this publication.(2) FUNDS: Our board has given a funding target that must be met before we can move ahead. We need to have $2,900,000 or 70% of dollars in hand before work can start.As you think about the ministry here, please pray that all the necessary requirements will be completed, and if you are able, to please consider joining us financially in the ministry of pointing more youth toward Christ.Looking ahead to celebrating our 60th year in 2023, I want to THANK ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN USED BY GOD TO BUILD, SUSTAIN AND PRESERVE THIS MINISTRY. Without each of you, there would not be a Spruce Lake or Pinebrook, nor the thousands of lives that have been reborn into God’s

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Youth Ministry“OUR SON attends church and youth group regularly but the relationships he develops at Camp and experiences at Fireside are so deep and meaningful. Camp has been an essential part of his spiritual development.” A Parent, WILDERNESS CAMP“I WAS GREATLY ENCOURAGED with the quality of the classes I was part of. I love the spiritual integration! This program supports pointing students to our Savior and gaining a deep appreciation for God’s awesome creation!” A Middle School AdministratorOUTDOOR EDUCATIONsprucelakecamp.orgBibles were given to first-time Christians or campers who were seeking to know more about Jesus, or just didn’t have their own Bible at home. — Brian Espenshade, Day Camp Director20+VOYAGERS 2022, ages 11-13, led by Lydia & Phil BenefieldNEW classes, Archery & Slingshot, are being oered to schools this fall + the Spruce Forest Hike has gotten a face-lift. This hike now explores four dierent forest communities along paths & trails with little elevation gain. — Connie Wismer, Outdoor Ed Director2+2023 camp registration is open.Sign up early for discounts!BIKE WEEK, Day Camp 2022CHALLENGE INITIATIVES/led by Dylan Grimm, Outdoor Ed 2022“I feel closest to Christ when I’m at Spruce Lake!” Adventurers Camper ‘22“I wish day camp was longer!” Camper ‘22Pointing People Toward Christ

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Retreat CentersNew director appointed at PinebrookWe welcome Richard Brewer, who is our new Pinebrook Director, eective October 24, 2022.Richard was the Executive Director at Camp Men-O-Lan near Quakertown, PA, for the past eight years. Prior to that, he served in multiple leadership roles here at Spruce Lake. His steady personality, passion for people, and love for Christian camping will follow him to Pinebrook.Previous director Chad Strausbaugh, who served Pinebrook four years, has followed a call into pastoral ministry at First Baptist Church Allentown (PA).SnoGlo 1: JAN. 20-22SnoGlo 2: JAN. 27-29Both retreats for youth in grades 6-12 feature speaker Rand Hummel and the Boyce Worship Collective from Boyce: The College at Southern Seminary. Sponsored by the BFCIGNITE: FEB. 10-12 This weekend for YOUTH GROUPS in grades 6-12 is another opportunity for spiritual growth and fun!Winter YOUTH events @ PinebrookCouples RetreatFebruary 10-12, 2023MWorshipShaun & Aziah MeadowsCome, experience the beautiful Grace of God!NEW in 2023!Pursuit of Praise May 22-24 Worship Leaders ConferenceThis new retreat features Dave Helmuth, pioneer of the worship coaching ministry, Ad Lib Music. Gain fresh perspectives from a coach who grasps the true nature of worship!Learn more at to Events Calendar for all Spruce Lake retreats, family weeks & special events in & Andrea Jacoby SpeakersBrewer Family, L-R: David, Liz, Liam holding Emmaline, Naomi and McIntyreALONE WinnerMen's RetreatJanuary 12-13, 2023Dave McIntyre survived 66 solo days living o the land inBritish Columbia to win season 2 of ALONE, History Channel’s Survival Series. Dave has years of international experience in Christian education and missions.