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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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The Ark At Camp

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The Ark At Camp

You know about the Ark at Answers In Genesis.  A full size replica of the biblical Noah's Ark.  Do you know about "The Ark Experience" we have right here at camp?

If you were in the valley this summer perhaps you did notice it.  Two long white ropes, hanging from a guide wire, stretched across the valley.  Uninformed guests asked if they were some kind of huge football goal posts.  We would respond, "Well not exactly."  These two ropes served as an outline of the Ark for campers to see its immense size during the Waters of the World nature program.  The ropes display the height and the width of the actual size of the Ark.  Look closely at the photo and you can see them for yourself.

Waters of the World was one of the campers favorite programs this summer.  They learned about the power of water during an earthquake and resulting title-wave.  They discovered the potential energy of super heated water.  They even got to interact with a 8 foot long model of the Ark.  After reading the biblical account of the flood, they wondered about the catastrophic impact of a global flood!

One of the goals of the program was to help campers connect the flood account from the Bible to what they see in the world around them today.  Making campers see that God's word is true yesterday, today and tomorrow is important to the ministry at Living Waters.  If you participated in the program we trust it was an eye opening adventure in God's creation that lead you to worship Him in a deep more faithful way.  If you missed it you have a second chance to see it during our Creation Adventure Retreat on September 30 - October 1st.

Please pray for us as we share this nature program and many others with school and retreat guests who visit camp this fall.

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Christ The Common Bond

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Christ The Common Bond

Summer camps are complete and summer campers, volunteers and staff have gone home.  The first day without campers in the valley is always an eerie feeling.  Too quiet but it doesn't last long.  Soon after summer, social media lights up with photos from the summer.  Pictures and comments about "the most amazing summer ever" and "I will miss you guys!" flood the internet.  We all have those most cherished moments from camp but what makes it really special is the unity we experience through Jesus Christ.  My favorite social media post was from summer staffer Aubrey Hart, who said, "Friendship is a beautiful thing. But how much more radiant it becomes when Christ is the common bond! Until next time friends!"

What is it about camp that creates these intense, powerful and lasting relationships?  It is two things.  First it is, as Aubrey mentioned, the common bond of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Secondly, it is the spiritual growth and training that occurs through disciplining.

Living Waters Bible Camp uses God's Word and Adventures in His creation to help build servant hearted, sold-out followers of Christ.  Jesus Christ, and His wondrous love for us, is why we are here and is the message we share with every camper that comes in the valley.  It is the very person of Jesus Christ which permeates our relationships and unites us as one.  At camp, nearly everyone you meet is a bother or sister in Christ.  It is fertile ground for Godly relationships.

Discipleship is the other ingredient to building memorable relationships at camp.  Jesus often took His disciples away for the purpose of teaching and training.  It is this process of getting away from our daily busyness, spending time in God's creation with like minded people and serving one another that refuels us spiritually and challenges us to grow.

At Living Waters discipleship occurs when one generation proclaims God's glory to the next.   It happens in the dorms, in the classroom, at the pool and in the chapel.  We have always been intentional about the training and equipping which occurs at camp.  Living Waters has created an environment where people can slow down and spend time in God's Word, spend time in His Creation and spend time with His people.

If you would like to help make sure this ministry is here for future campers please consider offering a contribution.  We are nearing the end of our financial year and your gift makes a significant difference in the success of this ministry. 

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Senior High Camp - A Week To Remember

Senior High camp may be a few weeks past already, but the impression it left will hopefully last a lifetime.  

Creatively directed by Keith and Sandra Hadley from the Chicago area, the week was a time of connecting with God and each other through organized fun and learning.  Each day had its own hashtag and corresponding activities.  For example, #ThrowbackThursday included stories from a few camp alumni, a 50’s ice cream social, and a counselor hunt.  Besides relating to each other during activities, the nature programs and chapel time encouraged reconnecting with God.  

The theme of the week was ‘our story,’ of which God is the author.  The Bible already tells us the beginning and the end.  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).  And it was all very good.  But when Adam and Eve were tempted to be like God and run their own story, their sin affected every generation after them.  Man was cursed to live in the world as we had made it.  You can’t have both your story and God’s.  But according to God’s overflowing grace, He has promised to take that curse away if only we believe and repent. “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins” (Psalm 103:2-3).  And at the end of the story, Revelation says, “Come Lord Jesus, come,” because He will return again.  Now the question is, what will the middle scene look like?

 

A few campers and dorm leaders summarized the the main points they learned about how to live according to “His story”:

“Most of the guys had been going there for years, and they knew each other really well.  It was the first time for one of the guys, and I had expected to have a bit of a challenge ensuring that he felt as a part of the group. The campers made sure to include him right away, and he became part of the group., Having these high school guys serve their fellow camper in this way was a clear example of how Christ worked in their lives to love each other.” (Dorm leader)

“I saw God working in a camper who when someone was alone, (they) would go up to them and invite them to an activity or to just hang out.” (Dorm leader)

“God needs to be my ‘main vein’.” (Camper)

“Trees need the sun to live just like we need God to live.” (Camper)

“Worldly items won’t last--your impression will.” (Camper)

“What do you want to be remembered by?” (Camper)

 

Don't forget to mark you calendar for a summer camp reunion at Winter Recharge!

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Marriage & Family Retreat

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Marriage & Family Retreat

How many of you come to complete halt at every stop sign? If you’re like most people, and there’s no traffic in sight, you might just slow down and roll right on through. What if you have been coasting through your marriage like you drive through stop signs?  Life gets busy, and sometimes it takes all of the ‘gas in your tank’ just to get through the day. Taking the weekend off to go to a couple’s retreat could be the “stop sign” that forces you to come to a complete halt and ask, “are we going in the right direction?” before continuing on.  

 

The Marriage and Family Retreat at Living Waters is a couple’s retreat like you’ve never been to before.  There’s no need to find a babysitter--you can bring the whole family along! We will provide marriage sessions and fellowship for couples, while the kids can enjoy creation programs and outdoor activities. Come from November 11th-13th to learn from someone who has “been there” before and also to fellowship with other couples who are striving for better marriages.  

 

Our speakers, Lee and Kirsten Hildebrand, are long-time friends of Living Waters; they have enjoyed camp both as campers and as speakers. Lee offers marriage and family counseling and Kirsten assists couples as a lawyer. Both have seen the harmful effects of neglect on marriage. Together, they have led marriage seminars while incorporating a Biblical perspective.


For more information, visit our website.

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Family Camp - Cultivating Fellowship

God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18).  So He formed Eve from Adam’s rib.  Thus began the first marriage and eventually the first family.  As history has shown, we were not meant to be alone, but we were created for fellowship, both with God and each other.  From an evening watching the fireworks as families, to an afternoon of horses and wagon rides at the farm, to learning about God’s creation through nature programs, kids and adults of all ages enjoyed a time of intentional fellowship at this year’s family camp.  

According to one family who had never been to camp before, their experience was one they would definitely recommend--a time of refreshing and connecting.  Meet the Kappels.  Recently moved to the area, Ryan Kappel has taken on a Pastor of Equipping role at Grace Church in Viroqua.  Ryan and Amanda have two children, Selah, who is five and Toby, who is three.  (Also pictured is Lydia Jackson, their Kid Caddy).  We asked them to share a little bit more about their first time at Living Waters, and here are their answers:

What were your first impressions of camp?

“Welcoming and friendly. You could tell that the staff, both full time and summer staff, enjoy what they do and are there to serve for the Glory of God. It felt comfortable, like a big family” (Amanda).

“My first impression was of the cleanliness of the camp” (Ryan). 

“The desire to keep God and his creation at the center of all aspects of camp was so evident and refreshing. It was clear that the desire was for us to relax and enjoy time as a family but above all to learn more about who God is as the creator of the universe” (Amanda).

Did you learn something new?

“Yes. The (Waters of the World and Extraordinary Animals) programs were really neat and interesting. It was really fun to "build" with the wooden blocks the way that Noah would have built the ark, and amazing to hear the detailed info about the different types of lizards, turtles, and snakes. It showed us that God is a God who cares about the details that we may not even know are there” (Amanda & Ryan).

In what way did the week leave you feeling refreshed?

“Being in an environment where you can unplug and be in relationship with other like-minded families was refreshing. It was really great for us to have a break from the busy pace of life and spend intentional time with our family. We were created to be in relationships and it was great to be able to do just that for a few days” (Amanda).  “God designed relationships and circumstances (in order to) lead us to himself” (Ryan).

What were some of the highlights for you as parents, as well as the kids?

“(We) love that the kids get to have their own classes where they are learning about God and his creation, not just being "entertained.”  (We also) really appreciated the intentional thought and planning that goes into camp. Parents’ night was a highlight and also the kid caddy! We also enjoyed Dave’s talk...so pretty much all of camp was a highlight!”

Finding enough Kid Caddies for nineteen families was a challenge, but thankfully through many prayers and the willing volunteers, each family that requested one was able to have an extra helper for their kids throughout the week.  

Highlights from the kids:

Selah, age 5: Spending time with Lydia, the Kid Caddy, and also archery and horseback riding.

Toby, age 3: "God made the little pony I rided and he maked snakes and I held the little snake."



Family camp is a time for all ages to enjoy learning new things about God and His creation and take a step back to intentionally wonder at all that the Lord has made.  We were created for worship and fellowship, as well as a deep relationship with God, and Living Waters strives to provide that environment.

Our next family event at camp will be the Marriage & Family Retreat on November 11th-13th.  We will provide sessions for couples on strengthening your marriage.  Parents are encouraged to bring their kids along to camp where we will provide nature programs and activities for all ages.  Come to be refreshed in the Lord!

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Teleios - Complete In Christ

“We proclaim him admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature (Greek: teleios) in Christ. To this end we labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in us.” (Colossians 1:28-29)

Is God still working on you? Is He molding you into a servant of the Lord to be useful in His Kingdom? At Living Waters Bible Camp we believe we can help you in preparing yourself for your future calling. Our mission is to train up Servant Leaders for Christ’s service. If your heart is to serve the Lord then please take a moment to review the details

 

 

Teleios is a nine month in-residence training program intended for young adults who desire to discover their calling to serve the Lord. Through service at camp, classroom training, mentoring relationships, Bible study and Bible memorization, Teleios helps train and equip the next generation for service in God’s Kingdom.

 

Visit the website for more information and to apply for the program.  

http://www.lwbc.org/training/teleios/

 

Still not sure if Teleios is for you? Come for a tour of camp and meet the staff. There you will hear our heart for ministry and ask all your questions in person. The program starts August 7th so you only have a few weeks to make this important decision. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for personal growth and spiritual development! Please contact us if you have any questions.

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