by Mick Schatz
ROSCOMMON, MI – What a ride! I have now been at Bambi Lake for 3 years and 5 months, and what a ride it has been! Trying to navigate through the disruption of a global pandemic has caused me to think about how good God has been, how good He is, and how good He will be leading us into the unknown future. I may not know the future, but I do know who holds the future - an awesome God! He reassures me that His hand is still on Bambi and reminds me of the three things about Bambi Lake I am passionate about– it’s past, present, and future.
At every Camp or Retreat we host, I encounter stories of how Bambi Lake has impacted a life for eternity. I hear testimonies of individuals who were saved here as a child, now serve in a church or full-time ministry. Most often those individuals are now bringing their family or student group or church to Bambi Lake. I watch as friends reunite and share memories of first meeting each other at a camp or retreat fifteen years ago or more. I listen to students tell of the first time they heard the voice of God speak to them in the quietness and calm sitting by the lake. There are numerous tales of cramming a few hundred into Hubbs chapel, but it didn’t matter because worship was the priority of the day. Being uncomfortable was not an issue because God was in the house and His presence was imminent. That will preach! Many lives have been transformed by the power of the gospel here at Bambi Lake. What a heritage, what a legacy.
It has been said the best gift we can give ourselves and those around us is to be present. With such an amazing heritage to learn from and stand on, by the grace of God Bambi Lake now has the responsibility to be present. We cannot be satisfied and rest on the accomplishments of our past – however great – we must be present. We must be engaged in raising up new leaders and fiercely empowering young and old alike to share the Good News of salvation, the Good News of Jesus. I am excited to say that this is a reality at Bambi Lake. Every Camp and every Retreat new stories are emerging. New chapters are being written in the lives of those who are discovering freedom, healing, joy, and forgiveness in Christ. Bambi Lake is discovering new ways to encounter the culture with the love of Christ. We are implementing new programs and opportunities for the Body of Christ to be encouraged and empowered for the Kingdom. Bambi Lake is striving to be a lighthouse in our community, state, nation and world. Bambi Lake is present.
With a legacy of life change and a mandate to be present, I am ecstatic about the future of Bambi Lake. We should all be. As great as the past has been, I believe the future is going to be even more amazing. Not just because of new camps, retreats, or new activities, but because of people like you. Yes, people just like you who are reading this article. God’s people, Christian Michiganders who love God and worship together with other believers at churches filled with worship because the presence of God is evident. How may you ask? By praying for Bambi Lake and taking advantage of opportunities to participate.
Many of you already have stories written at Bambi Lake. Others have yet to experience a weekend or week of enjoying fellowship with God and making new friends and memories. I believe, like many of you, God has great plans and designs for Bambi Lake. His presence is being felt and experienced here in new and refreshing ways. The cool part? He is inviting you and me to come. So, come join the ride. Come be refreshed. Come find rest. Come be present and see God move.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.