Located about 15 miles east of Lake Tahoe in God's magnificent Sierra Mountains in Northern California, Sierra Pines Camp is changing lives for Christ. The camp is situated on 35 wooded acres of some of the most beautiful landscape you will find. It is nary a wonder why people find themselves growing closer to God when visiting the camp. It is a place where kids, as well as adults, go to get away from the busyness of everyday life and look to find peace and unity with God.
In 2009, God aligned everything so that the Nor-Cal Association could acquire ownership of the camp. It began with a visit from the camp's Chairman of the Board requesting that someone take over operations of the camp, and was partnered with news that Nor-Cal was going to receive its first-ever bequest from a long time member of their NAB (North American Baptist) family. The association knew the combination of these two events was an obvious leading of the Lord, and so the leaders' consensus was to step forward in faith.
Fred Jantz, liaison between the Nor-Cal Executive Board and the Sierra Pines Camp Board, shares some of the challenges they have faced thus far and resolutions God has provided. "Like many camps, we have gone through a difficult stretch. The sacrificial blessings have been the presence of so many volunteers who serve on the Board, who do the annual filings, the bookkeeping, the site management, a construction coordinator, the cooks and teams of people who have cleaned, painted, fixed and made it a nice place to be and hear the nudging of God's Spirit."
It is going to be a "niche camp" of four seasons that specializes in Winter camps because of the guaranteed snowfall. It's normal for the camp to see over 17 feet (5.18 meters) of snow during the Winter season. Fred explains, "We will also focus on relationships, leadership development, wilderness experiences and awesome backpacking."
If there is ever a wonder if this place really does change lives, just listen to a sample of testimonies from a group of 6th graders that recently attended the camp.
"The weekend was really fun and exciting! Thank you so much for the memories! I felt God's presence with me yesterday and it was the best feeling! Thanks". - Lauren
"I finally died to self."
"I have struggled or a long time, but coming here has shown Christ to me again." - Stephan
"I had an awesome weekend! I realized that I needed to devote more of my life to God. Before it was 1st school, then friends and family and then, lastly God. I want to spend more time praying, reading the Bible and talking with God."
"When we were singing, I met God and now I'm going to pray and see what he wants me to do next."
"God is Number One from now on until forever. I'm so glad I came." - Sarah
"I already knew community was an important part of faith, but it was great to spend time with my church family and reflect on the importance of being surrounded by believers to lift me up and keep me accountable."
"This weekend was fantastic! The food and company was amazing! God's presence was here and it was amazing. I loved the environment and the layout...It was a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much."
CEIF has truly been blessed with the opportunity to partner with Sierra Pines Camp as they continue to renovate the camp and prepare for each new group God sends their way. Thanks to our investors, this camp and it's ministry continues to change lives and deepen faith to the glory of God.