Ben Thomason shares his inspiration for our Vision 2020 event.
Hello Camp Family! As we launch into a new decade, it will be almost 35 years since the vision of King’s Camp was birthed and close to 45 years that believers first gathered to pray and worship in a horse barn...Thousands upon thousands of prayers have been lifted up over the grounds of King's Camp through the years.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 11:1)
This year we are celebrating that vision; we are celebrating faith - the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we cannot see with the natural eye. Below Ben Thomason invites you to our event and shares a glimpse of his faith journey since the passing of his mother, King's Camp visionary Molly Hartrick, who though she was physically blind had vision to truly see and hope with assurance in the faithfulness of God.
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
To my King’s Camp family: I am honored to share my heart with you as we move into a new decade, 2020. Growing up as a kid in the 1980’s some of my earliest formative memories were out at King’s Camp. I believe the first summer camp was in 1986. My mom, along with family and some close friends, had a vision for launching a summer camp where kids could experience the joy of outdoor activities like canoeing, archery and horses and most importantly experience the love of Jesus on a campground where we are reminded that He is our King.
I’d like to invite you to a celebration on October 31, 2020 at King’s Camp. We will celebrate God’s faithfulness throughout the years. We will reflect on the Lord’s call on our lives right now. Finally, we will look forward with vision for the future. Would you join us for King’s Camp Vision 2020?
I would also like to invite you into a story that I’m ready to share. This is a story of nearly a decade since my mom has passed and how this has impacted my life. Below I’m sharing two passages from scripture and my reflections from November 9, 2019, which would have been my mom’s 70th birthday. For those of you interested to read on, thank you for walking alongside me. I’d welcome connecting with you and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings to you and your families in 2020!
For this light and momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
II Corinthians 4:17-18
One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.
Thoughts from November 9, 2019
I’m spending some time this morning in reflection as today marks the 70th year since my mother’s birthday. Just 9 days ago we celebrated her 9th heavenly birthday. I find this window of time from Halloween to November 9th to be a contemplative one for me each year. It is special. It’s a time for me when the distance between the earthly and spiritual realm narrows, at least in my heart and in my mind. I know God is always near. In fact, mom used to say that “if he were any closer, then he’d be sitting on the other side.” Still, it is a time when my ears are more attuned. My senses are sharpened and the Lord speaks to me through his creation and his Word.
On Halloween morning I woke up around 6am. Our family tradition had been to go out to an open field on the west side of town to watch the day break and spend a moment remembering mom. From that spot, I’d start a commemorative run. One mile for each year since her passing. In the days before, we had been watching the weather forecast frequently. Each time, it was calling for thunderstorms. Have you ever been convinced you know the rain is coming? This was one of those moments, and we made an alternate plan for me to come home from work that afternoon for the run after the rain passed.
As I walked into our den, where Jenn, my wife, was reading her Bible, she looked up at me and said “no rain today” with a smile. Then she said, “do you want to go run?” and it just hit me immediately with a sense of peace that answer was “yes”. It was still dark outside, and there was a pot of coffee ready. I poured a cup and came back to my seat next to Jenn where we like to spend our mornings together.
This year, I’ve been reading through the New Testament. Though I’ve been a believer for decades, this is the first time I have methodically read through the Bible. I’m using a plan that takes the New Testament one book at a time, but in a different order. Today the plan providentially has me in John 9. Jesus heals the blind man. In this story, this man, who has been blind from birth turns to Jesus for the restoration of his sight. The disciples see the blind man and ask Jesus, is this man blind because his parents sinned or because he has sinned. Jesus, proclaims “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Now, Jesus did this miracle on the Sabbath. Quite scandalous to the Pharisees. They seek out the man to get his testimony in an attempt to build a case against Jesus. After not being satisfied with what they hear, they approach the healed man again.
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
God uses the physical to demonstrate a spiritual truth. Jesus, the Son of Man, the Light of the World, is in their midst and the Pharisees cannot recognize who he is. In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about the physical world which is seen, and temporal, and contrasts this with the spiritual world, which is unseen, yet eternal. He urges us to fix our eyes on the things that are eternal. Not only does he describe the contrast of time (temporal versus eternal) but also the concept of weight or heaviness. Though we face these light and momentary afflictions, there is an eternal weight of glory in store.
Now, back to Halloween morning. It is 7am and nearing daybreak. There is no rain, but it is a cloudy morning. Muggy in fact. Unusual for this time of year. Yet, it is the perfect provision for this annual morning tradition we have adopted. One of our family values is to “be prepared”. In this moment, I felt totally prepared to step forward and “go”. It was not because of my own doing, but because of the work the Lord had done in me over the preceding weeks leading up to this. And going on this run was simply a metaphor for what He has been working in my life. My prayer is that he would allow me to see it.
I check my email before I take off and receive a beautiful message from my cousin, Jennifer Clark. She shared from Haggai 1:12-2:9, which was part of her daily lectionary readings in school. In this reading about the rebuilding of the temple it says that the Lord stirs up the spirit of those, the remnant, that are to rebuild the temple. Then it emphasizes Be Strong, Take Courage, Work! For I am with you, declares the Lord of Hosts (Gods of Hosts depicts God in His ultimate power). She shared her prayer that the Lord would stir up the spirits of those He is calling to be involved in any way with His vision at King’s Camp. Nolan and Jennifer stepped forward to oversee King’s Camp when my mom passed in 2010. Over the past decade, they have faithfully sought the Lord and served so many people that have come through the grounds. I can remember from my time growing up both how rewarding it was for mom to shepherd King’s Camp and at times how challenging it could be.
Fast forward, I’m two-thirds through my 9 mile run. I’m reminded of the reward of finishing the race while I’m in the midst of the struggle. When the steps get difficult. I count from 1 to 10, each step. One at a time, but as I work through each set, it somehow gets me through. Why 10? I remember this moment after mom had her second below-the-knee amputation. She came to a point in her rehab where she realized that she was going to have to work extraordinarily hard, or else give in and accept that a wheelchair would be her means of mobility. She was determined to not give up. I remember one day speaking with her on the phone and she was telling me about her physical therapy. She said, “Ben, today I took 10 steps. It was so hard, but I made it for 10 steps.” Small accomplishment, but yet so big. Taking those 10 steps that day was what she needed to do to move forward. She did not stagnate. She did not quit. She faithfully moved forward with what she needed to do that day. When I’m on my run, charting territory in terms of miles that my body is not used to, it begins to hurt. Thinking about how far it is to the end is daunting. I set my focus on the next step and count. 1…2…..3….4……5…all the way to 10. And again, and again. Before too long, the load becomes lighter. Before too long the path becomes more manageable. I’ve made it through another tough stretch. In life, we don’t know when the tough stretches will come, but we are all guaranteed to have some. When I’m in the midst of one, I’m reminded the importance of focusing on what needs to be done today. Where must I be faithful to keep moving forward.
A couple of years ago I checked Google maps to see how far the distance was from the top of Red Hill to King’s Camp. A path I traveled often with mom and one of her many chauffeurs like Robin or Jeannie or her mom, Baby Clark driving us down that country road. So many memories of that trek from home to “the camp”. In God’s great providence, it is 10 miles from Red Hill to King’s Camp. I’d like to invite you to join me on a journey down this path at daybreak on October 31, 2020 from Red Hill to King’s Camp. We will commence a full day of celebration for “King’s Camp Vision 2020: A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness”. Whether you run, walk or even ride a bike, I hope to see you that day as we take a moment to remember and celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives. King’s Camp has touched my life and so many others. How will God use King’s Camp in 2020 and beyond for his purposes and his glory? Let us fix our eyes not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen, those things which are eternal.
For more information about Vision 2020 contact us at email@example.com
For more information about upcoming events at King's Camp go to https://www.kingscamp.net/upcoming-retreats
To register your junior high or high school camper for our January ReUnite event go to https://kingscamp.wufoo.com/forms/q1oa1bv412zuopm/
To register your child for King's Camp 2020 to go