Midwinter 2016

We’ve been back for two days after a week of staff recruiting, church promos, and three days of fellowship and learning at the ACCCC’s (Association of Covenant Camps and Conference Centers) meeting during Covenant Midwinter in Chicago. It was a crazy week that was as energizing as it was draining. Sounds a lot like camp, eh?

In trying to process the many hours of meetings, driving, coffee drinking, lessons, worship, coffee drinking, networking, catching up, and coffee drinking, there are four things I take away from the entire experience.

1. God moves in amazing ways through Covenant camps

One of the most beneficial things for me throughout the trip was the time we spent with the leaders of other Covenant camps, such as Covenant Pines, Covenant Point, Covenant Harbor, Pilgrim Pines, Covenant Cedars, and many others. Being a PLCBC “lifer,” I sometimes
forget that there are other camps and organizations around the country and around the world that also impact every life for Christ.ACCCC Selfie

Tate Randall, the Marketing Director of Covenant Pines and brother of former Portage Lake Program Director Sam, told me the story of a trailblazer girl at CPBC who simply stopped along the path while walking to a big game, bowed her head and closed her eyes, and gave her life to Christ in a small, simple, powerful moment. How cool is that? Jesus reaches the hearts of campers every summer at every camp and they reach right back. Last summer 60 campers gave their life to Christ for the first time at PLCBC. We don’t have the final numbers for all the Covenant camps combined, but 12 camps report that 10% of their campers were saved. God is doing awesome things at each and every Covenant camp.

2. Community is PowerfulMidwinter Worship

Everywhere we went, Hope College, Harbert Community Church, North Park, and Midwinter, we saw the Portage Lake and greater Covenant family celebrating with each other in the love and joy of Christ. Pastors, youth pastors, and countless other church and camp leaders saw us and said “Heyy! Portage Lake!” There was no shortage of hugs or handshakes all week long.

Seeing all these influential people like former staff members, speakers, and campers reminded me of something former Program Director Angie Alvarado once explained at a retreat. Portage Lake is a community. The power and love FROM Christ is experienced THROUGH each other, whether we are on sight at camp or not. It is such a blessing to be a part of a community like this that is positive, life-giving, and so much dang fun!

3. Jimmy Carter can play bass

No, not the former president, but Jimmy (who plays bass in the NPU Gospel Choir, at Chic, and at other Covenant events) can straight up play. The dude is unreal. During the song “You Are Good” one evening in worship he had a solo that was simply unbelievable. I’m still recovering! And guess who he taught a couple years ago? Our very own Peter Ek.

4. I love selfie-sticks

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-Luke Johnson, Marketing Intern

Luke Johnson