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May 2024 Newsletter

May 2024 Newsletter
A perfect way to end a great day at camp!

Before the fire!

(( Before you read below: Fort did NOT have a fire, but our summer theme relates to fire…))

Camp has prepared for dangers. What a blessing that multiple staff are highly-trained in fires, medical, lost campers, dealing with financial challenges, and other emergencies. However, I am not talking about real fires, but about something else. Instead, it ties in with the hundreds of campers who begin to arrive in less than two weeks, and their purpose. Why are they coming? Why did Grandma save money to send 9-year old Julianna? Why is Dad driving five hours one way two weekends in a row for drop-off and pick-up? 

Most campers sign up for their week away with a spiritual hunger and thirst. In what seems to be a darkening world, people want hope, and there is an anticipation of God speaking to them through His Word, the sessions, music, staff, other campers, nature, and more. So how does one prepare one’s heart and mind for what God has prepared for them? At the bottom, there will be some simple prayers you can use. As staff live out the summer theme (After the Fire from I Kings 19), the hard work is sure to pay off.

More to share below.

Praying together is a moment long remembered.

The Lord’s presence and provision – it’s all about our gracious God!

Some have asked how Fort’s finances work. One former CPA who is now our Executive Director Todd Leyden enjoys the question. Todd would say that they don’t make sense except for a loving God moving people to reflect his generosity! With that, here’s a recap of recent big events that affect Fort’s finances:

  • Our one of a kind Silent Auction and Under the Stars Banquet wrapped up with great success. Thank you so much to everyone who gave items and also to those who bid.
    • With your help, we raised $49,174 in the Silent Auction!
    • Additionally, we hosted our largest yet Golf Classic on May 20th near Lake Geneva. Except for two rain delays – true Fort adventures – it was quite a success.
  • Overall proceeds from these events exceeded our expectations – raising over $500,000 for the Fort Future. As a whole the total has reached $8.35M, which is 87% of the goal. Thank you, Lord!
  • While this has been in process, many of you continue to support our missionary staff, Trailblazer sustaining fund and all of camp. Thank you!
The Banquet was a night of relationships and fun – Fort came to Saukville, WI!
Fort Staff got to be kids – acting out a scene from a typical summer camp

When things calmed down…

Summer Theme Follow-up: to choose it, a dozen missionary and contract staff met to share what the Holy Spirit had been teaching. They prayed for clarity on the summer theme that would tie together spiritual teaching at all three sites – both for campers and staff. In I Kings 19, Elijah – who had just conquered a great # of evil prophets – becomes depressed and wants to die. God shows himself, but not through a powerful wind, nor through a massive earthquake, nor a fire, but instead through a quiet whisper. WOW – what power, and what irony! 

Here are some simple prayer requests to prepare your hearts, those you are sending to camp, or just plain because you want to see God work at Fort this summer:

  • Adore
    • God, you are truly awesome. You are holy, powerful, you know everything and are rich in mercy. You alone are God! I worship you!
  • Confess
    • God, there are many times I don’t put you first. Forgive me for sinning knowingly, and even unknowingly. I need you!
  • Thanks
    • God, thanks for providing everything I need. Thanks for living with me, and in me. Thanks for the food, shelter, family and friends you have given me. Thanks for allowing (((   ))) to go to camp at Fort and for always working. Whatever good happens is because of you. I thank you!
  • Supplicate (Pray)
    • God, please work in (((   ))) this summer. Please remind them of your love and your presence, and to have fun and make great memories. Please work through the counselors, staff and leaders. Give them great wisdom and grace as they work with so many different kids and adults – including those from tough places. May you show them your power and presence so that they might overflow into the camper’s lives. Unite them around you, Lord. I am confident you will answer this according to your will!
Lots of smiles coming soon at summer camp!

The moment campers arrive on June 8th, something happens. Within each of us burns a passion to see God work. Perhaps Hebrews 12:28-29 is a great passage to tie this update together:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”


PS: Counting down the hours – the fire is burning. And our hearts are tuned into the Lord’s quiet whisper!

PS: Counting down the weeks and days!

Craig Holmquist
Ministry Partnerships