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Is Genesis History?

Is Genesis History?  If you ask this question in our society today you will likely receive two very different answers but both of them will be "Yes."  It's kind of a loaded question with a double meaning. 

Ask an evolutionist "Is Genesis History?" and they will likely answer "Yes, because it is an outdated theory that has no relevance in science today."

Ask a creation scientist "Is Genesis History?" and they will likely answer "Yes, we can depend on the Genesis account as the literal history of creation."

From either worldview, the topic of creation is a hot topic in our world today.  Our schools, media and courts assume creation is a myth that has been proven wrong by modern science.  But is that the truth?  Is Genesis History takes a close look at the scientific proof available to us about creation as described in the book of Genesis. 

For one day only Is Genesis History will be available in a movie theater near you.  I encourage you to visit the Is Genesis History website to find a location.  If you are in the LaCrosse area, Living Waters will be hosting the movie at the Marcus Theater.

Join us on February 23rd for this premier creation training opportunity.  Reserve your tickets today on the Living Waters website.

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Volunteer Training 2017

At Living Waters Bible Camp, we foster a culture of missions minded work by providing a platform for service.  If you would like to serve the Lord in mission work as a volunteer in our summer camp programs, you will need to attend one of these training sessions for essential training.
Lombard IL, March 25th
Wausau WI, April 8th
Westby WI, June 10th
Click here to find out more!

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Winter Reacharge 2016

Pray Like You Mean It!

Prayer was the theme of the 2016 Winter Recharge.  I must admit, with such a warm fall season, I was a bit nervous about the possibilities of winter conditions for Winter Recharge.  I prayed for good weather, lots of campers and spiritual growth.  Praise God, He is faithful and brought all three.  55 campers and 29 volunteers attended Winter Recharge with a focus on "Pray Like You Mean It."
Watch this camper interview to hear first hand how Living Waters impacted their lives.

 

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Built On The Rock

Any builder will tell you that a good foundation is the key for a sound structure.  A skyscraper cannot go up unless its footings are firmly set in bedrock, even if that means drilling down hundreds of feet!  Scripture reveals to us that the world around is like shifting sand, here today and gone tomorrow.  In the book of Second Samuel, God tells us that He alone is our rock and fortress.  In Matthew, Jesus refers to himself as the Cornerstone.

God’s word routinely warns us to build a foundation on the rock, our Lord Jesus Christ.  When the wind blows and the rain falls, only a life built on a strong foundation will stand strong. 

What is your spiritual life built on?  Joins us at Living Waters Bible Camp this year to help make you’re your life is “Built On The Rock”!  

Of course our new theme comes with outstanding programs.  A few of our nature programs will include Gold Panning, Mount St. Helens' Adventure and Rock Hounds.  Activities will feature repelling, bouldering and spelunking.  Make sure you join us for one of our unforgettable training events. 

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Continued Service

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Continued Service

As the summer schedule wrapped up in August, most of the summer staff went back to school or other jobs.  However, we were privileged to have three staff that committed to serving for three more months.  Jediah and Adelle Partenheimer and Rebekah Loew served a vital role during our busy retreat season.  Their time at camp has come to an end and they will be heading home soon.  I sat down with each of them to ask them about their experience.

Why do you serve at Living Waters?

Jediah's first response was a robust "It's the best camp!"  After further thought they all agreed that it was the joy of leading nature programs and working with the other staff.  Jediah concluded with, "It is a meaningful place to impact people for Christ while learning so much."

How did the retreat season differ from the summer season?

Adelle answered "Busier!  There are more needs and less staff make it happen."  However, that has a plus side.  Rebekah pointed out that when a group comes to camp you get to know them better than you do a summer camper because you are with them for more activities.  "In the summer, I led my one program and only saw each camper once."  Rebekah continued, "In the fall I facilitated several activities with the same group and got to know the guests better."

What did you do in the evening?

"If we weren't working we were at a Bible study," was the summary of the answer.  Bible studies, prayer meetings or group fellowship are available every night, Sunday to Thursday in the camp community. 

What was the most challenging task?

  • Number 2 was staying up until 1:30am with the Ladies Retreat.  "Those ladies like to talk."
  • Number 1 was cutting down all the Buckthorn around camp.  "It can be painful."

Favorite moment?

Rebekah shared a story from her time facilitating a nature program.  She explained how her group stepped out of the nature center to observe the ropes which outline the dimensions of Noah's Ark.  The ropes are very high and very long.  She said one boy looked up and exclaimed "Holy Hannah!  That's bigger than my house!"

All in all they agreed that their experience at camp has been rewarding and life altering.  They are thankful for the time to be a part of the ministry and are sad about leaving.  We are sad to see them go and pray the Lord will provide strong workers again next year!

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Winter Recharge

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Winter Recharge

If you walk through any store right now, you will begin to see Christmas decorations going up.  Yes, it's early, but ready or not, winter is on its way.  As fall ends and winter starts, our focus at camp turns to Winter Recharge, one of our favorite events at camp!  Winter Recharge is like a summer camp reunion for 6-12th grade campers, bringing back campers for a spiritual "recharge". 

As our last event for the Remember Your Creator theme, it will surely be a special time to recap the importance of knowing God in your youth and putting Him first in your life.  Dave Hart will be our speaker.  He will challenge campers with a message of commitment and growth to be more Christ like. 

No winter event is complete without a friendly game of broomball, a graceful time of ice skating and a brisk afternoon of skiing at Mt. Lacrosse.  Returning campers will want to bring a friend to enjoy these adventures.

At the end of the retreat, if tradition continues, we reserve the special privilege of seeing the new, 2017 brochure, for Winter Recharge campers only!  Check out the new look and see if your picture made it.  

Registration is open now!  Be sure to reserve your spot today by clicking here.  The registration deadline is December 15th!  Hope to see you there.

 

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Leadership Training at Fort

Many of you are aware The Fort area at camp has been under construction for several years.  With some extra help this year we've been making some great progress.  You can see, in the picture below, that the courtyard of the fort is nearly complete! We have hosted a few groups at the Fort over the years including CRU leadership who has enjoyed the setting that promotes serving one another.

One purpose we have for the Fort is to offer Pioneer Programs for groups hoping to grow in developing leadership through serving in a rustic setting. In September, we hosted a group that is starting a new Christian High School (Issac Newton Christian School) in Cedar Rapids Iowa. They refer to the first class of students as the Trail Blazing Class which was a great fit for the Fort Experience. Together, with the Fort experience we also provided sessions that connect the Christian Life with overcoming obstacles while pressing forward. Heb 12:1-3

The new 9th grade class of the new Issac Newton Christian School also enjoyed Creation and Adventure Programs, team building, cooking meals over the fire, learning to focus on the right target and enjoying some great fellowship together.

As a team adventure challenge they designed a plan for an imaginary 5 month journey in a 10 foot long wagon. This activity prompted decision making and consideration of what is truly necessary for a journey to a new land.  This provided many analogies to our journey together as fellow believers.

A few of the students made some encouraging statements on their evaluations.

"Through spending time with my class, we grew closer together and to God."

One highlight was "learning about trailblazing and relating it to our school."

"I saw Christ working in my life."

A favorite was "learning about God's creation."

"It was fun using my spiritual gifts."

We look forward to seeing how God will use this unique resource at camp to impact His Kingdom!

 

 

 

 

 

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Retreat Guest Season

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Retreat Guest Season

Over the past two months, our staff and volunteers have been able to serve a wide variety of guest groups.  We served a total of 845 guests in August and September; youth groups, Christian schools, family retreats, and college students.  We had opportunities to share the Gospel and provide our guests with times of spiritual growth through our creation programs, team building activities and adventure activities. 

We welcomed two new school groups to the peaceful valley this fall.  Seven Rivers Public Charter school from Lacrosse came to camp in early September with their Junior and Senior class.  They spent time focusing on leadership development and team building.  We are always excited to serve a public school group!  Isaac Newton Christian Academy from Cedar Rapids, IA became our first school group to utilize the Fort for their 9th grade retreat. 

Another new opportunity we had at camp this month was to host the Westby Area Chamber of Commerce.  Local business owners and leaders, including the mayor, gathered in the Living Waters Twin Oaks room.  Dennis led them in strategic planning exercises.  It is a privilege for camp to be a resource for the community in this way.  Building relationships with our neighbors is an important value to the camp.

The guest group season is a busy time at camp, but it is also a very rewarding time of ministry and service.  Thank you to all the donors and volunteers that made it possible. 

To find out more about booking a guest group at camp click here

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The Rain Came Down; The Prayers Went Up

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The Rain Came Down; The Prayers Went Up

You might remember the fun children's song, "The wise man built his house upon the rock."  The moral of the song is to make sure you build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ because hard times "rain" is going to come. 

At camp, that rain came down, literally.  It came in 2008 and caused disaster at camp destroying roads, bridges and program areas.  Just as the song predicts, the rains came down and the water came up...again!

The Bridge

The Bridge

On the night of Wednesday September 21st, 5 inches of rain fell on the already water soaked ground at camp.  By 5 am the dry-wash was a torrent of rushing water.  The water crested over the top of the concrete driving bridge.  The waters washed away dirt and fill, exposing large rock and the foundation of the bridge. Thankfully the bridge stood strong!  Just like the "house on the rock - Jesus!"

The Ice Rink

The Ice Rink

The flood continued down through the valley, spilling over the barriers around the ice rink and filling it with water.  The water has since receded, but left behind a muddy mess.  As the water exited camp, it tore across the tube hill, depositing rock and washing away soil.  

The Tube Hill

The Tube Hill

All in all, the storm only caused superficial damage.  The bridge, roads and most importantly, the campers in the valley were all safe.  However, the clean up from this storm is going to take weeks, if not months, of work.  Tim Hadley estimates that he will need a bobcat skid loader and a backhoe excavator, for at least two weeks, to fix the damage.  If camp needs to rent these machines, it might cost more than $2,000!  

We are looking for anyone who might have machinery available for camp to use, for a few weeks, to help with the clean up.  Do you know of anyone that would be willing to assist camp in this way?  If you are able to help in anyway, please contact Dennis Siler.

Many of you contacted us and said you were praying for camp during the storm.  There is no doubt that the Lord had His hand of protection on His ministry that night.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

 

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New Bridge

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New Bridge

Old Bridge

Old Bridge

If you take a little stroll all the way down to the east end of the valley, and then north towards the Fort, you will likely notice a few very big changes. Yes, we are making headway in completing the fort’s courtyard and towers, but you would first notice the bridge. Or rather, the absence of one. Our regal, long bridge to cross the stream is gone! Where did it go? Well, it’s quite an interesting story.

Despite the fact that the bridge has been there as long as the younger generation can remember, the bridge had only been there about 16 years. And it might bring you further surprise to find out that it did not even belong to Living Waters. Who then, you might ask, did it actually belong to? The Snowmobile Club.  Yes, years ago, the local Snowmobile Club asked permission to place a trail across camp’s property. And in order to do that, they would need a bridge. And they happened to have one (hiding in the sock drawer I’d imagine.) A very large benefit to the Club using the property in the winter, was that Camp got to use the bridge year-round, and not just for snowmobiles! So a deal was struck, the bridge was placed, and it immediately became a very convenient commodity for Living Waters.

Bridge Removal

Bridge Removal

Until the fateful day when the club changed their route. Well, actually, it was 6 years after they changed their route, that it was decided they needed the bridge for another stream-crossing elsewhere. The other bridge on their current route was in shambles. So with nostalgia in our hearts, we helped the snowmobile club folks remove the bridge all in one piece, and it was hauled away using a tractor with a flatbed trailer. And what then? Would we ever have a bridge that looked as nice as that one? Probably not. But the intelligent minds of Tim Hadley and Tim Dehnart (lovingly referred to as Tim2) joined forces and put together an impressive bridge design.

Members of the Snowmobile Club kindly gave us some parts from their old bridge which were still very much in good shape and useful – in fact essential – for us to build a new bridge. Two very large steel beams from the Club’s old bridge were cut into four pieces and used as support beams in our new bridge. Using also some repurposed decking materials and a little bit of new supplies, a crew of two full time staff and at least four Summer staff built the bridge in just over a week. (If only road construction could go that quickly, right?)

 

The task came with some challenges. The crew was working in a stream, after all, which got them all muddy and wet. Pouring the cement footer amongst flowing water was only the beginning of the difficulties of working in water. It took some foresight to get the cinderblock supports level and even, and we are very grateful to have three men who had experience laying block. 

 

New Bridge

New Bridge

And the bridge looks very nice. Its strongest suit is the utilitarian aspect. It doesn’t have rails, so large loads, such as a hay wagon, can cross without worrying about being too wide. And the weight capacity is impressive. After completion, we drove ten tons of weight over the bridge without a hiccup. So who knows how much weight the bridge can handle! But believe it or not, that is not the most impressive thing about the bridge project. What is to be most appreciated about the bridge, to be sure, is the colossal teamwork and planning that went on between the three experienced builders heading up the project. It is not every day that you can see three different people come together to make a project happen so quickly and with no arguments. It brings to mind this verse, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.” Romans 12:18

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