Monday, May 16, 2016

Alabama Campers on Mission

Do you know what a blessing it is to have a group of campers come out for the sole purpose of doing ministry? We sure do! During the first two weeks of May, Camp MACOBA experienced that blessing first hand, thanks to a group from the Alabama Campers on Mission, led by volunteer Wilton Whigam.
The campground filled up with all types of RVs -- more than we've ever hosted at one time -- as the volunteers came in and set up camp. What a joy!  
On Monday the work started in earnest.  The first big project?  Building a 16' by 70' deck onto the back of the pavilion, complete with rails, steps, and flood lights. You know how "they" say it's going to get worse before it gets better?
Yikes. But "they" are so right . . .
Isn't it beautiful? And here it is after dark . . .
What a fabulous addition this will be to the functionality of the camp in general and the pavilion, specifically!

The deck was the major project for the two weeks, but there were LOTS of things accomplished over that period of time.  This group works harder than any construction team we've ever seen! They finished up the bathhouse in the main campground, including adding steps and under-pinning:

They built a beautiful free-standing counter for the pavilion area:
The craftsmanship on this piece is just beautiful.  What an asset!

They built walls on either side of the 'kitchen' area at the pavilion:
We know that the new walls will be much appreciated by all 'camp cooks' who are up here in windy and/or stormy weather.

They shored up the main support beams all around the pavilion:

They built brand new benches to rest along the railing of the deck:

They built the frame for a storage area at the far end of the pavilion (for chairs, stands, other equipment, etc.):
I believe they got walls up on it, too, before they left -- we just haven't gotten a picture of it yet.

They finished the remodeling work in men's bathroom (off the back of the pavilion):

They built some awesome backdrops for the activity stations (archery, blow darts, hatchet throwing, etc.):
Not to mention all grass-cutting, trail-clearing, floor-and-wall-and-deck-painting, stove-cleaning, storeroom-clearing and flower planting that took place. There may not be any way to list *all* the things this group accomplished -- this is one handy, talented group! And I'd just like to mention that the average age of these twenty or so men and women is, according to them, 70. SEVENTY. WOW!!

During the week, we had seven churches who volunteered to bring lunch up for the workers. The workers were well fed and the volunteers bringing food were well-impressed with all the positive changes! 
Lunchtime was followed by a short time of devotions, the sharing of prayer concerns, prayer time, and a song.  What sweet fellowship!

On the Saturday between the work weeks, we had a fish fry and watched a Dennis Swan DVD under the pavilion, on the 'big screen'.  That was a fun time of good food and laughter!

During the week, we had an opportunity to spend some time around the campfire with them.
It was fascinating to hear stories about where they'd served in the past and the different ways they've ministered. It was also nice to have 'community' in the camp for a season, too.

This Alabama Campers on Mission group was a blessing in so many ways -- to so many people: families, church groups, Scout groups, etc. who will visit the camp in the coming years! We're so excited to share all that they did.  And we are already looking forward to having them back again, in May of 2017!

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