Maranatha Family Ministries Four Season Conference Center

History

2015

In addition to the many programs we sponsor, each year we host guest groups including church and Christian groups from colleges.  This year we were privileged to host retreats from four new additional churches. Several who came for the retreats have been coming back to volunteer. So encouraging!

We love watching the dads interact with their family members during family weeks, father/son, and father/daughter retreats and are encouraged by the spiritual and relational growth these programs have afforded.

“Lord, may the hearts of the fathers be turned toward their children.” - Malachi 4:6

Each year we want to add benches and walkways to the campus, providing spaces for relaxation. This year we added a concrete walkway with steps through the campsites.  Also new is the inviting walkway circling Mid-Point Pond along with three bridges.  This project was accomplished by the teen boys during their week at camp!  They left feeling a great sense of accomplishment.  New also this year is an inviting 8’ x 16’ screened porch overlooking Mid-Point Pond, a perfect complement to the lovely walkway around it! 

Our major building effort this year was a 30’ X 40’ addition to the dining room.  This new space allows our guests more efficient service and a calmer atmosphere during mealtimes.  Building without a loan, awaiting God’s timing signaled by His provision certainly was not always convenient nor without tensions.  Yet, time and again, He provided the labor and the funds for materials.  We still have some finish work inside and siding to install outside, but already, our new space is enjoying ample use!  This was accomplished because a number of contractors gave generously of their time and talents!

“Plans are established by counsel.” – Proverbs 20:18a

This year we began praying to God to provide new givers…. for Him to prompt individuals and churches to give for the very first time.  It’s been exciting to see Him touch many new givers!  We lovingly call this our Fun Raiser vs having a fund raiser!!!

This volunteer run ministry has welcomed many new friends this year.  We value each hour given!  Some trades represented this year include plumbing, electric, carpentry, welding, sewing, mechanics, trucking, and excavating.  Maranatha continues to operate without a payroll!!!

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” - II Thessalonians 2:16-17

One of our goals is to upgrade one piece of kitchen equipment yearly. This was a catch up year with a donor giving a brand new commercial freezer and also a refrigerator! We also sold our 50+  (yes! that’s 5 0 !)  year old 6 rack convection oven for a much newer one boasting 12 racks.

“To whom much is given, much will be required.” – Luke 12:48

This was the year for draining and removing organic matter and debris (de-mucking) from our swimming pond.  We pumped out tens of thousands of gallons of water and then used equipment to clean up the bottom.  We replaced the wooden posts under the docks with concrete pillars.  Extensive grading was done around the pond and a new 8’ x 16’ concrete diving platform was installed as well as a ‘dry’ fire hydrant for fire suppression to protect the ministry and the neighborhood.  Rock walls with steps were also added.

“Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4

2016

Our two fold purpose here at Maranatha Ministries is to provide programs that will strengthen and encourage the families and leadership of local churches, and secondly, to exhibit a living testimony of our prayer answering God!  To that end, we served more families than usual during our family weeks this summer, providing a first-in-five years vacation haven for one family, and serious decisions for Christ and commitments to His ways!

“Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.” – Colossians 1:27b

We refurbished our playground this year. Updates include new siding and painting of the playhouse towers, new paint on the swing set, a new stone wall, and installation of proper drainage.

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through Him.” – Colossians 3:17

One of our most popular activities is archery.  All ages enjoy trying out their skills!  This year we added a back stop area and purchased more equipment.  We are very thankful for the skilled leadership volunteers for this sport!

A special improvement for the dining room was the gift of 130 very comfortable, elegant banquet chairs.  So many details have been added to “Joy” cabin, the room under the dining hall extension:  V-match ceiling, trim around windows, beautiful new hand sewn curtains, and a fully functional ¾ bathroom with tile floor.  We are now temporarily using this room for housing up to 16 guests!

This was a banner year for giving Maranatha presentations in churches.  We visited many churches and showed our 3-minute video of our programs and facilities. 

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful!” – Colossians 3:15

We are especially grateful for our many volunteers who keep us from having to hire contractors. Owning equipment makes this possible, too:  backhoe, loader, skid steer with forks, dump truck, compactor and lots of tools, all provided by our prayer-answering God!

“He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” – Luke 16:10

We want to encourage you in your prayer life with some specific prayer answers from the Lord this year.  One particular Monday we prayed for God to supply our needs through a regular giver as well as someone new to us. Before week’s end a regular donor sent us a gift. Then a “new to us” Dad at the father/daughter retreat wrote out two checks and had each of his daughters hand one to us so they could feel involved in the giving.  Again, after praying for a donation from any past guest wanting to “pay it forward” to extend their enjoyment of Maranatha to others, we received a very sizable gift from a young woman and her husband, the woman having attended as a camper many years ago!

“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:5

2017

Priorities

We always seek to keep people first in this ministry!  This year we are excited to report that many lives were touched.   In August we hosted a family retreat for a Boston area Chinese church.  During their stay, 5 of the adults gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ!   

Our annual men’s retreat served to help many of the 70 + men to live in Christ’s strength.  They returned home with practical how to’s. James 1:22  We are praying for these friends to be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving themselves. 

Utility Cart

For years we have prayed weekly each Thursday for a utility vehicle to use on our expanding campus.  Were we ever happy the day a late model was donated! Phil. 4:19  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. It’s so useful that the only problem is several volunteers wanting to use it at the same time! 

School Project

A Christian school about an hour away chose us to be one of their service sites for their annual week of community service.   Each day 10 or so students arrived in our 15 passenger van. They took on painting the New View screen house, splitting fire wood, digging a drainage ditch and helping with spring cleanup.  Since our major former source of help, MMAP’s has disbanded, we are especially thankful for those who can share the tasks.

Luke 12:48b  To whom much is given, much will be required. 

Pray for many new volunteers here this coming year.  We encourage folks to fit us into their schedule, even for a few hours.  Pray specifically for help with general maintenance, kitchen, summer counselors as well as all building trades.

Pond View mobile home

This mobile home served us well since 1975, but is now history.  On our annual tree removal/brush chipping day, surrounding trees were removed and shortly after the 14x70’ mobile home was demolished and hauled away.  We are thankful for the local contractor who made it happen using his 20-Ton excavator.   It took about 4 hours to pack the compacted remains in the roll off dumpster. 

We plan to replace this unit with a year round cottage for housing guests & volunteers.   It will also have a walk out basement with bathroom for use by those enjoying nearby Miracle Pond.  Please pray for God’s timing & supernatural provision for this project.

Electric upgrades

Both our main barn and shower house needed electric service upgrades.  After 6 days of digging trenches for over 900’ of electrical conduit, electricians installed a new meter station in the campsite area and ran wires to both barn and shower house.  This new 400 amp entrance will allow us to bring the campsites electric up to today’s requirement.  It was exciting to see as many as 3 electricians working at once on this major project.  All electric utilities on the property are underground for aesthetics and safety.  Pray for a qualified electrician to assist us with upcoming projects.

Access road completed! 

Over 6 years ago we started an access road thru the Summit woods to connect to our Prayer Point walk.  In October, a friend of the ministry arrived with an excavator, moving hundreds of rocks and stumps.  With the final 450’ finished, the loop is drivable!  We plan to install benches to make this area a place for solitude and reflecting on the Lord’s goodness.

Phil. 4:5b-6a “Do not be anxious about anything. The Lord is near.”

Other Projects

We work continuously to maintain and improve existing buildings.  A wrought iron railing was added to the porch of the lodge.  Duct work was added to the generator shed to aim air directly outdoors from the generator.  Four freezers which were frustratingly located all over the property are now conveniently together in the main barn near the kitchen.  

Financial

We are deeply grateful for the many churches, businesses, and families who gave this year.  God is so Faithful!!  We finish this year out debt free and continue to wait upon the Lord to provide.

Summit Shelter Phase III

This year the west entrance was framed in time for us to be able to insulate it along with the rest of the housing wing.  Hundreds of hours of plumbing and electrical work were completed, allowing us to begin sheet rocking.  We had planned to finish this over the next couple years as God provided.  But a ministry friend who is a sheet rocker got a price from a Christian supply house owner.  Since the owner hadn’t heard of Maranatha, he did some investigating and ended up donating all we needed for the entire building!!  This $17,000.00 order included 1,100 pieces of sheetrock, 40.000 screws and all the supplies needed to finish the job!  We actually had more than needed and passed along 80 sheets to another ministry. 

Ps. 23:5 – “He anoints my head with oil; my cup runneth over!”

Ps 54:4 – “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.”


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