At least two couples have met at Maranatha! Ray and Barbara Evans met here when both served as counselors for the summer of 1976! Also, Doug and Sherry MacDonald had their first dinner date in the camp kitchen in January of 1980! In 1981 our first couples’ date night was a huge success. Married couples came to thoroughly enjoy a night out with a buffet dinner and marriage enrichment programs.
In 1981, we formed an advisory board which is comprised of pastors and churches which are very active in the ministry here. Their input allows us to really understand and implement the kinds of programs their churches need. It is the goal of this ministry to give genuine support to Bible-believing churches which are not part of the NCC/WCC since our goals would not be compatible with theirs.
In 1980 the giant step of taking teens to Quebec for white-water canoeing began. We searched for a white water that’s nearby with the qualities of the Jacques Cartier River in Quebec, but were unable to find one that served us better. So we found the 12 hour bus trip worthwhile. We see tremendous spiritual and emotional growth on these trips as well as during the regular weeks at camp. The activities and options during camp have been designed to involve the campers and give them the feeling that the camp can’t operate without them. (It can’t!)
For years people have asked us “Where is the ball field?” 1983 was ball field year. It went from trees and rocks to grass!
On August 15, 1983, the camp board voted to take action on purchasing what we now know as Grace Cottage. This was indeed a real step of faith since the financial balance showed only $300 left to use on such a project! However, through a marvelous series of events, God provided all the needs and the property was purchased on June 15, 1984. This story is written up in detail and is available upon request of “The History of Grace Cottage.”
For years one area of real need had been the gravel road winding up to the cabins and campsite area. Paving would be a definite advantage. So, after much planning, praying and God’s provision, July 10, 1985 was asphalting day. The entire area is now beautifully paved.
1985 also brought our first Maranatha-sponsored women’s retreat. What a joy to see lives permanently improved! One mother who attended later wrote and shared that the retreat had enabled her to establish new stability in her home by revealing to her the most rewarding priorities of her life - being a wife and mother for God’s glory!
In September 1988 we were pleased to host our first group of retired volunteers. They arrived in their trailers & motor homes. Since this project, both Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service, and Mobile Missionary Assistance Program have helped with projects such as painting, wallpapering, building decks, etc.
We had prayed specifically for approximately $2,500 which would be needed to do excavation for His Storehouse as well as for clearing a road through the woods and for clearing for a future building. Confirmation to go ahead with this project came when we were approached with the promise of a gift for exactly - $2,500!
We trust that faith is encouraged by all that God has done at Maranatha (Phil. 1:6.) Hundreds of friends have been involved in this tremendous project. Some have given time in labor, by praying and serving on the camp staff. Others have donated financially or donated materials. We feel a real partnership with those working with us on this ongoing project.