EDITOR'S NOTE: Nancy Spears is filling in as guest-writer for Mick Schatz's column this month. She serves as administrative assistant for Mick Schatz and the Bambi Lake Baptist Retreat and Conference Center.
ROSCOMMON, MI – Did I tell you that I love serving at Bambi Lake? Every day is a challenge met with the blessings and wisdom that comes from God, because we are fully incapable of doing this enormous task on our own. It is as it should be in ministry. If it is a job we can do without God, it is not worth doing. And so, we get up in the morning expectant of what God is going to do in and through us.
Truly we have been promised that the floodgates of heaven will open and pour down a blessing on us too big to contain. (Malachi 3:10b) We have seen the flood gates open and powerful streams of water rushing through. I know that is not quite the blessing spoken of here, and yet, it is a blessing that has followed the destruction that was caused by water here at Bambi Lake.
When you come to Bambi, you will, of course, want to have a milkshake. That is a given. You will walk into the shake shop on new ceramic tile that was laid by a youth leader and a church member (working separately to accomplish the task.) There is a new refrigerator, stainless sink and tables for prep work. This is the blessing that followed the damage of water seeping into the old floor and causing its removal and the renovating of the shake shop again.
Many people like to stay in the lodge, I know, because it is closer to morning coffee, the family room and the game room. It also has a nice covered walkway to the Wilson building. But, today, there are some new places that can be enjoyed by guests brought to you by floodgates of water washing over them.
Cabin 2, newly renovated, has new carpet, fresh paint and an on-demand water heater. This is a foreshadowing of what we want to have in all our rooms. New and fresh! This refreshing was preceded by the rush of water down the stairs and out of the walls when a pipe broke and water was filling rooms A and B.
A three bedroom mobile home with deck has become guest housing near the campground. Featuring a kitchen and living room set for your relaxation and comfort, this trailer has been completely renovated with new carpet and flooring, kitchen appliances, lighting and bathroom fixtures. The damage from roof leaks and leaky pipes was all torn out, new wood was installed. The cause of the damage was found and repaired.
The house by the beach has become guest housing. This was the original manager’s house on camp. It is a great addition for families or small groups who want to cook their own meals. This building has been completely repainted inside with new carpeting and new blinds throughout. Only minor water issues were there as older pipes needed replacing. Of course, two years ago, the water damage to the basement led to a complete renovation of that area.
And then, there is Chalet 2. This building is not currently available for anything. If you have been on Facebook, you may have seen the results of the water damage there. As pipes separated and water flowed, sagging ceilings fell and walls and carpet were destroyed. A team from Disaster Relief, with staff and others, tackled tearing out all the damage. Now the upstairs and downstairs are waiting for a team that is scheduled in late March to tackle the renovations. We know that newness is on the horizon.
Doesn’t this remind you of the redemption that only comes from God? First, see that there is a problem, sin (or in this case water damage), admit and repent (here we had to find the extent of the damage and remove it) and believe and confess that Jesus is Lord (in this case, trusting Him for the resources to fix the problem, and then do it). It would be easy to dwell on the damage that we have seen.
It is easy to be consumed with the lack of resources – money and labor – as we get overwhelmed by the circumstances that we see and cannot control. But God, we must keep our focus on what God is doing in and through our circumstances. God in his infinite mercy and knowledge has allowed what we need to compel us to do over and above what we could think or imagine, in only His strength to see these improvements and changes that are and were needed at Bambi Lake. Only by His grace have these things been accomplished.
Revelation 21:5, “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
I believe this applies here at Bambi Lake. He is making this place new. And His Word is trustworthy and true. And did I say I love serving at Bambi Lake? Every day is a challenge met with the blessings and wisdom that comes from God. Daily, no… moment by moment we see the Hand of God and His grace flowing out in us and through us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy has been a Christian since 1978 and served in various positions in church and WMU. She began working at BSCM in 2013. Four years later, God placed a desire, then a call to serve at Bambi Lake where she is blessed to work with an excellent director and staff. God gives her opportunity at Bambi to use the hobbies she enjoys – to bake, sew and decorate for the camp, as well as some down time to knit, crochet and quilt. Nancy is married to Daniel, a wonderful and understanding man who encourages her to serve where God calls. She has 5 children, 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild. They all love spending time at Bambi Lake.