Are you good at math? Can you solve this equation?
A long-time staffer moving out of state + lunch with a new FC friend + several timely requests + a nearby house and land for sale + creative staff efforts x lots of prayer…
The answer? Fort Knox, Frontier Camp’s new mini retreat center which is being transformed to host small groups of up to 24.
When fifteen y ear full-time staff veteran Lee Bertram left at the end of the 2017 to take the job to direct Camp Como (a Christian camp in Colorado for which he was an intern many years ago), coupled with the fact that he is my brother-in-law and was taking my sister-in-law and three nephews and a niece with him, it seemed like a tough thing for the camp and me, but a great opportunity for them. As they stepped out in faith, two really special things happened here that I did not foresee.
The first was that we hired Dustin Olson as our next Retreat Director. Dustin was a long-time FC camper and summer staffer who had served at another Texas Christian camp for the past three years since his graduation from Baylor. He was able to hit the ground running and will continue to serve retreat guests with excellence with his gifts of service and hospitality.
The second was when Lee and Rebekah offered the camp a good price on their home and 11 acres just across the road from Fossil Creek and our 2016 addition, the “Promised Land.” An FC friend who shares the FC mission of making disciples of Jesus by sharing God’s Word in His creation heard about the opportunity and partnered with us to enable the purchase of the house and property.
After some modifications, the 3,200 square foot, 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home will be able to sleep and meet up to 24 individuals or seven individual families or couples. Large bedrooms coupled with an open floorplan featuring a spacious kitchen, dining room and living room around a wood burning stove will allow us to host church small groups, leadership staff, family reunions, and other small retreats.
The eleven acre property is quite secluded and it helped prompt the name, Fort Knox with a vision statement of a safe and secure place where our guests will be challenged to consider that they were made to put God first, Others second, to Lead for Christ and Dream about what God can do through them. In fact, we envision that the property will be ideal for hosting groups serving those who are from hard places, recovering from addiction, or simply in need of spiritual renewal.
Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” That verse seems to capture my thoughts on Fort Knox. There was generosity on the part of the Bertrams and the donor, and I believe the Lord will prosper them for this effort. I do not expect this prosperity to come in the form of financial gain, but instead, they will be laying up treasure in heaven, the real Fort Knox. And, the goal of this retreat center will be to refresh others. I can’t wait to see it happen on this property.
Would you like to be refreshed? We need some more partners on Fort Knox, and the proverb tells us that those who refresh will themselves be refreshed. We’ll need group leaders to bring groups out for refreshment. Additional funding is necessary to modify and furnish the house. Contact [email protected] if you’d like to outfit a room with your finances or special touch, or volunteer on some light construction. Contact [email protected] if you’d like to inquire about retreating to Fort Knox.
You’ll note in the original formula for its genesis I stated there was a multiplication of prayer. I have to tell you one quick story on how Fort Knox came to be. I was sitting at Fossil Creek eating breakfast with a table full of guests for a ladies retreat. One remarked that she’d really like us to add a small retreat center with non-bunkstyle accommodations. Just a few days earlier Lee had made us the offer and a donor was considering giving a gift allowing us to acquire the house and land. I told the ladies at the table about this and, next thing you know, we were over at the house for a quick tour.
After the tour, one of the ladies suggested we pray right there in the living room. Many prayers were offered up in those moments and did God ever hear and pour out His blessings. If you want to move a mountain or acquire a retreat center, pray. God listens.