December 2016

Merry Christmas!


Hello everyone! With the year winding, down, I find myself having more time to write some letters, so I decided that before Christmas arrived I would get out just one more. It was great to see so many of you this past Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing you again at Christmas!

Winter is an interesting time here at camp because we really don’t have that many groups from December to January. We would like to, I’m sure, but the weather down in North Carolina just isn’t very helpful. We tend to just have cold rain or overcast skies for the most part, so there just doesn’t seem to be that much to work with. It’s not cold out enough to have snow, and it’s not warm enough out that you want to be outside either. So, we take this time to start planning for the next year or working on projects that we didn’t have time to work on before.

We’re currently hashing out our theme for next year, but we do know our theme verse. Mathew 4:16, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawn.” By using this verse for our theme next summer, we’ll focusing on how Christ is the light of the world and how we should be reflections of that light, which is Christ. I feel like I can think of a lot of different verses that will go great for this theme, so I’m really excited about it. I’m also excited about it from an activity standpoint. I feel like there’s a lot of cool things you can do with the concept of light and darkness and reflection, whether that means playing different games outside at night, using blindfolds, or even using mirrors to redirect light to hit a target. I don’t have any concrete games lined up yet, but I have a lot of ideas.

Beyond that though, it’s much more relaxed around here right now, which, after the fall and summer, is wonderful. I’m able to catch up on projects that I had planned for earlier, but just didn’t have time for or that got pushed back because more important things came up. It also gives me time to reflect on the rest of the year and how things have gone. Overall, I’m very happy with how things have gone. I think in the future I’d like to try to integrate the theme more into the activities throughout the week, instead of one big event midway through, but I’m still happy with how it worked out. I’ve done a lot of organizing and documenting throughout the year, in pretty much all our activity areas. So, that means after I train people how to run their area or activities, they have a reference that they can look back on later. I also feel like I’ve grown a lot this year, in a lot of areas. I’ve been stretched by having to coordinate so many people throughout the summer. I’ve had to deal with situations and problems that we didn’t expect, and some of the consequences of those. And through all of that I’ve had rely on God’s provision, because there are times when you can’t predict how things will go, but instead trust in Him to provide the answer. Whether good or bad, I believe that God can and will work through the circumstances to conform us to the image of His Son.

With all that’s happened, I’m very excited for next year. I’m sure it will have its own challenges too, but God will be there with us as we face them. Personally, next year, I’m sure there’s going to be some changes in my own life. For almost 2 years that I’ve worked here at camp, I’ve been living in someone else’s home. And I appreciate that so much, it’s been a huge blessing for me. But, in the spring, I’m going to be looking for my own place up here. I’m leaning towards buying instead of renting, because I think it makes more sense financially. I’ve been trying to live frugally and I’ve been saving what money I can, but any help that can be offered in addition to that would be great. I’ve saved up about 10,000 to help put a down payment, but that limits my options as far as what kind of place I could afford. I would like to be able to put down more on a house, like around 20,000 so that the payment each month would be more affordable, and would be able to accommodate any changes in my life for a long time, so I’m going to continue to pray about this and what to do in the future.

If you want to help me reach my goal of 20,000 for a place to live, I would be so grateful. I don’t enjoy asking for money, but the reality of what I do kind of necessitates it, so please consider helping me with this. If you are going to send any donations to me, just send them to Hickory Cove with a note on a check that denotes that it’s for me. Or if you would like to, you can send it online through our website and clicking on ‘Give.’ Thank you so much for keeping me in your prayers with all of this, and I hope you have a great Christmas!
Joe Hansen