Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the lovely hills of Wellsboro, PA! Although I have so much to share with you, I want to begin by sharing the verse found in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Never in my life has this verse been made more real to me than in the past year. The Lord has not only confirmed this verse in my heart as it applies to my own personal needs, but in my position as Office Manager, I am in the thick of the finances at His Thousand Hills and I have seen over and over the Lord’s faithfulness in providing for the ministry God has called me and Rebekah to be a part of also. God is so faithful!

As most of you know, I was widowed nearly 8 years ago when the Lord took my husband of 18 years by a massive heart attack, leaving me with our 4 children ages 11-17. He left me a hefty life insurance and Social Security payments with which I paid all of our debt and lived comfortably – oh yes, praise the Lord, but here is where my faith was really tested. A year ago, when my youngest son turned 18, my Social Security was totally dropped and a potential money-making opportunity I had invested in, hoping to replace that income, went sour. I found myself struggling to make ends meet. This is when I truly began to learn what the Lord meant in Philippians 4:19 for me, personally. I took a position through a local organization that made a God-ordained connection with me and His Thousand Hills. The program provided me with a small salary up until January, at which time I took a step of faith and came on full time as the Office Manager, raising my own support. It was then that I began to see God provide so miraculously. This past year, I was faced a couple of times with almost losing my home, and miraculously the Lord provided the means for me to keep it. I needed tires for my car, and the Lord provided them at a fraction of the cost they would have been. I needed heat during the winter, and I was given propane for heat as well as wood for my fireplace. My car was leaking brake fluid, and the total bill was only $10.60! These are just a few of the examples of how the Lord has met my needs, and each time, my faith was stretched and strengthened. Each time I was pleasantly surprised and blessed by something coming through to meet each need. Each provision was a confirmation that we were in the right place, doing the right thing. What the enemy meant for destruction, the Lord turned around for His glory. The Lord did this over and over again. Many of you know what I am talking about – especially all you missionary friends of mine - I truly understand now when you testify of having a need, and the Lord miraculously filling it.

Summer Camp

Although our facility is used by many different organizations and churches for camps and retreats, His Thousand Hills runs our own camp three weeks in June. Over 500 campers and counselors traveled to His Thousand Hills this summer. Each one the Lord brought, He knew their needs and He met them as they opened their hearts to Him. Rebekah and I had the opportunity to meet many of these neat children and their parents face to face as we welcomed them at registration. How exciting to see the campers arrive at a Christian camp, eager to dive into all that the Lord had planned for them. This year, our theme was Heaven, the Final Frontier which featured the verse on how we are "fearfully and wonderfully made", and topics relating to how in such a vast universe, God knows each of us by name. Rebekah and I also "camped", staying the nights of those weeks in one of our bunk rooms so we could be close to the action. I love stargazing, and a highlight for me was looking through a telescope and actually viewing Saturn with its rings and the moon with its craters up close. But the real blessing at the close of each camp week was the wonderful testimonies of at least 17 campers who got saved or rededicated their lives to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Personal Notes from Jane – Office Manager

This past spring we transformed one of our bunk rooms in the Renewal Center to a newly renovated room for the camp office. I’ve come full circle from my Xerox secretary days 40 years ago, and I feel like I’m in an executive suite! The location is right in the middle of most of the activity, so I am available to take care of paperwork for people who come in to do camp business with me, as well as have the privacy I need to process paying the camp’s bills and doing camp correspondence. I’ve somewhat mastered some of the computer office programs which are also a far cry from older-days office work; and I absolutely love using my organizational skills in support of a work that I believe in.

Personal Notes from Rebekah – Chef

In spring, renovations were started on His Thousand Hills kitchen and dining hall. With the new upgrades, it has made preparing and serving meals so much more fun and enjoyable. The one thing I like the most is our new serving bar which allows us kitchen staff to either enjoy a few moments with our hungry campers, or to just set out a delicious buffet style meal where our campers can help themselves.

The biggest blessing for me this summer was during our first week of camp. I was sitting out on the deck of our Lodge eating lunch when one of the camp counselors started telling me about a young lady that knew she needed to accept the Lord as her personal Saviour. She had not made that commitment as yet, but they had been praying for her for quite awhile. The previous night during the service she had started crying and then proceeded to come forward and accepted the Lord into her heart. I almost began to cry as I heard this! It was such a blessing to see and know that all of the efforts in preparing for camp, the faithful prayers, and all of the daily activities that were being done by the HTH staff and volunteers were paying off with the fruit of salvation!


I had mentioned in my last letter that my son, Michael, had joined the Air Force and had begun basic training in January 2010. He successfully graduated in March from basic, and in June from technical school. We enjoyed his presence with our family for the whole month of July in which he occasionally visited the camp and even helped out a little there. He is now finishing additional training in Florida after which he will be deployed on September 4 to Korea for a year. What a blessing to have a son who is serving our country and has a vision for souls in the military! I know that his dad would be so proud of him!

The ministry is not over with the end of summer near. We now look forward to several upcoming fall and winter retreats already on our calendar which give us more opportunities to minister all year round. As we continue to give of our time and talents to serve the Lord, He continues to meet our needs. As I mentioned above, He did this countless times during the past year, and we want to especially thank all of you who have provided both prayer and financial support. Rebekah and I are faith-based missionaries serving at His Thousand Hills, and I was never so sure as when I was serving this summer that we are exactly where the Lord wants us to be. It has been nearly a year now that I have served as the camp's office manager and Rebekah as chef, and what a blessing it has been! Although our roles put us behind the scenes at times, our positions the Lord has called us to are instrumental in making the camp run smoothly as a whole, and we are blessed to be a part of the many life-changing testimonies we hear. As we continue to be a part of the fruitful ministry here at His Thousand Hills, we want to remind you that you too, by your prayer and financial support of Rebekah and I, are sowing into the lives of each one that comes here as well. In addition to the support that the Lord has blessed us with, I realistically need to raise another $500 per month to meet all of our monthly budget. As the Lord provides, there are some items that need attention on our home as well, such as a fallen gutter pipe, a new wood stove or repairs to our fireplace, and some plumbing and electrical work. I look forward to sharing the testimony of God's provision in this way in my next letter. God bless you all!

Sincerely in Christ,

Jane E. Gresens