Maranatha Family Ministries Four Season Conference Center

History

2012

Among this year’s highlights were full family weeks where parents made changes in many areas, including priorities, child raising, and finances.The Spirit really moved, and extra teaching sessions were even requested! To observe those Dads enjoying and investing in their children during special weekend retreats was very fulfilling.

It was a pleasure to serve so many at our father/daughter retreat, too. Malachi 4:5-6!

Seven new guest groups used our campus in 2012 in addition to our returning groups. These church groups & Christian organizations occupy our facilities when we aren’t sponsoring our own programs.

In January after years of prayer, God provided a newer, beautiful red 4X4 pickup truck with a plow. Yay! Then in June, right before summer camp started, a beautiful inboard boat was donated. It arrived just in time to take guests for boat rides, tubing & water skiing on sparkling Merrymeeting Lake. One Dad skied for the first time in 15 years & gained “hero status” in the eyes of his four daughters who had no idea their Dad could ski! We’d been waiting on the Lord for a new or newer riding lawnmower when a family that has been encouraged through Maranatha felt prompted to donate a brand new full size riding mower! We have a God Who delights in answering prayer. John 14:14

A unique gift this year was standing timber of pine & oak that we cut with donated equipment. These logs were then sawed into lumber for use in Summit’s phase II as well as the new sports shed. A concrete pad for this shed down in our ball field was poured and the frame completed. This will house our equipment for X-country skiing, archery and field sports.

Gift income for 2012 was up only slightly after adjusting for a one time large gift of $10,000 received in 2011. Since we are debt-free, we await God’s provision before expanding. Even though registrations were up, actual fees received were down about $1,000. Bear in mind that everyone is welcome to attend regardless of their ability to pay. We continue to see God provide in so many ways so we can continue this financial policy that was instituted 40 years ago!

Although we like new construction, we discipline ourselves to invest time and resources in keeping up our existing fourteen buildings. This year we stained the four cabins and repaired trim on the main lodge. Extensive painting was done on Summit’s phase I, and landscaping freshened up in several spots. Work on Summit Shelter continued, although not at the pace planned. Most of the sheetrock in the worship center was finished and a large exhaust fan installed. The concrete footings and frost walls for phase III were poured, and a final septic tank installed. Over 500 cubic yards of sand was spread to level the area for phase III. Seven additional parking spaces were asphalted at the summit. We were blessed with good help and great weather for the annual tree/brush removal day. Large oaks hanging over the back of the dining room were removed safely, and an access road was cleared behind phase III as required by our fire department. Brush was chipped to be used later for mulch and a lot of firewood was split. We ended up without enough dry wood for the wood furnace this season. But we have enough wood for the next season and have started on the supply for the season after that.

2012 brought more volunteers than ever. They assisted in all facets of ministry: maintenance, office assistance, kitchen & dining room, counseling & many others. We have no paid staff and continue to seek Christ-like, servant-minded men, women & teens to join us in serving our guests.

Thank you for your encouragement in this ministry. Your participation makes a difference! Your giving directly impacts the lives of our guests & volunteers.

The Maranatha board and director remain solidly committed to their belief in the inerrancy of the scriptures, the importance of clearly presenting salvation by faith in Christ alone (Luke 24:47), financial freedom including remaining debt-free, and trusting God to provide for our guests who aren’t able to help with the suggested fees.

2013

Summer program attendance was slightly up and most importantly, there was a special sense of God’s presence over all throughout the year.  Teen boys demonstrated vibrant spiritual growth during their unique program.  It was very encouraging to see Dads interacting with their children in an uninterrupted setting.  

“ and He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” – Malachi 4:5b

We are so thankful for the company of volunteers who keep our web site updated, relevant and user friendly. We plan on adding online registration in 2014. This year we added a Facebook page which is closely monitored. We plan to increase its use during youth programs so parents can follow the activities of their children at camp.

“Ask and it will be given you” - Matthew 7:7a

As a direct answer to prayer, three additional groups began using the facilities in 2013. It was especially exciting to witness 10 Asian college students give their lives to Christ during their Columbus Day weekend retreat. Since a number of the attendees had been in the US only a short time, the entire program was in Chinese. The ministry has lost a longtime friend and supporter this year. Ron Dunnells often surprised us with tri-axel loads of firewood and always lead our ice fishing activities. Ron Francis loved “the quiet retreats” and participated often, so much so that his family spread his ashes at our outdoor chapel. The great surprise and delight of 2013 was the completion of the 40’ x 80’ Worship Center. Carpenters invested 3 days in April, putting up a beautiful v-match ceiling. From there things moved rapidly, including lights, carpet and paneling.

We hosted two August weddings. We asked one of the brides why she so much wanted to be married at Maranatha.  Her quick reply was “This is where I gave my life to Christ!”  We host only a few weddings due to time constraints.  Those who are married here must sign our statement of faith, agree with our statement of what constitutes marriage and sign our liability release. 

  1. WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and His bride the church.
  2. WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship.  We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God. 

Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:25, Psalm 100:3, Matthew 19:4-6

Installation of carpet was being finished in the new worship center as the first rehearsal was in progress!

Two new buildings were added this year to help facilitate our goal of orderliness.  At the garden, an 8’x12’ shed was added to house garden equipment. At the ball field a 12’x30’ Sports Shed was added with one room for all cross country ski equipment.

“For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”-Matthew 7:8

Donated fill stimulated us to focus on our access road started many years ago.  We added 700+ feet to the wooded road that will eventually connect to the prayer point path.  Long term, we would like to dedicate this as a special prayer walk.

An excavator worked 40 hours with his 19 ton machine enlarging Mid-Point Pond, sloping banks, adding an “island” and installing a dry fire hydrant.

“It’s what we trust in, but don’t yet see that keeps us going.” - II Corinthians 5:3 (The Message)

MMAP- Mobile Missionary Assistance Program is a nationwide group of retired folk who volunteer at churches and other ministries.  They arrive in their RV’s ready to serve.  This year we had our longest project ever – 3 months.  The 5 couples worked 4 days a week, 7 hours per day.  A few of the projects worked on included: painting railings, doors, and windows,  sheet rocking at the Summit and Sports Shed, installing radiant heating and a hung ceiling at the Summit,  building 2 sign roofs, building a stage and sound room in the Worship Center, pressure washed decks, and added 4 doors to the “Rec area” at the Summit.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

It continues to amaze us how God provides!  We have chosen to avoid capitol campaigns, fund raisers, etc.  Since our focus is on prayer, it’s important you join us in this act of faith and worship.  Praise God with us as we end another year in the black.  The most touching gift of the year was from a fatherless boy, who sent us 37 cents in cash.  This was all he had!

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” II Corinthians 9:7

This ministry is unique in that we have no paid staff.  Volunteers make this ministry happen!  We are so thankful for those who gave their time in 2013.  Volunteers assist with counselling, maintenance, building, kitchen and office assistance, etc.  These Christ-like servant-minded men, women, and teens are an encouragement to both unbelievers and believers alike!

“…and He took upon Himself the form of a servant.” – Philippians 2:7

2014

Each year we hone our camp directing skills when we attend the CCCA New England Fireside Conference, our annual get-together of Christian camp and conference staff.  Each aspect is so valuable:  the speakers are always encouraging, breakout sessions are practical (i.e. maintenance, legal issues, food service, and program ideas). The sharing times around the meal tables alone make it worth the investment.  A different ministry hosts it each year.  This time it was just 8 miles away in Alton, NH. 

It surprises many when they hear that February is one of our busiest months!  Over 20 years ago a Chinese church in the Boston area started coming for their winter retreats.  This church has grown to where they come for 2 weekends with about 120 students and staff each weekend.  We marvel at this long term relationship and especially enjoy their former campers returning as staff!!

Our main focus this year was maintenance on our 20 existing buildings.  We renovated Daniel’s Den Cabin and the Camp Shop.  The ladies’ bathroom in the Lodge got a makeover with a stunning black granite counter top, new sinks, fixtures, an electric hand dryer and a fresh coat of paint.

We added a large outdoor chess/checker set play area at the campsites.  We have a goal of adding winsome, low maintenance activities.

We have an elegant new salt/sand storage shed for our winter driveway maintenance.  This is such a step up from our former pile out in the elements which had to be dug out from under ice and snow each usage.  February is one of our busiest months with lots of guests and lots of wintery mixed weather, so this will be a huge help!

Building continues on Phase II with cabinets and sink added to the snack bar area.  Sound equipment was installed for the Worship center and fire sprinkler heads were fitted in the basement for fire suppression.  We cut trees and had the lumber sawn for Phase III construction.

“As cold water to a weary soul,  so is good news from a far country.”  Proverbs 25:25 

We were able to give our 7-minute presentation at several churches in NH, ME, and MA this year.  Two new churches have joined our faithful core of supporting churches!

“Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29

We continue to operate without any paid staff.  This means complete reliance on the Lord to provide volunteers and what sparkling treasures He sends up our driveway!  The fellowship and friendships formed while working together is the best part.  Family members can work together alongside volunteers who model a cheerful, hard work ethic.  Students satisfy their community service requirements.  One retired couple extended their stay after summer camp to work on repairing our skid steer, a major mechanical undertaking.  Two churches new to us sent volunteers this year.  One man commented that he finished his work here knowing he had wisely invested his day and that the fellowship with his work companions had given him soul restoration.  Thank you, wonderful volunteers!!! Together you’ve given thousands of hours in 2014!

“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” – II Cor. 13:14 (The Message)

What a blessing of relief to be part of a ministry with no indebtedness.  Yes, it’s tedious to wait sometimes, but SO thrilling to see God provide in His way and His timing.  This year many gifts received were non-cash.  These were gifts of labor or materials.  Almost every week we received practical gifts, i.e. food, a freezer, outdoor equipment, office printer, etc.

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God love a cheerful giver.”  I Cor. 9:7


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