50 Years at Lake Agape: Squabble Creek

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Today is day 35 of our 50 Years at Lake Agape and countdown to the start of Camp Meeting. Click here to read other articles. Email blog@delanco.org to contribute.

Milt & Peg Collins, ”Aunt Mert” Loveland, Liston Hayes, “Mom & Pop” Bodine, Carl & Shirley Farrell, John Morley, Darryl & James Duer, John DiGiamberardino, Nancy Huff, Kim Core.

While the list may seem long, it’s really only a small example of the names that flood my mind when I think of Delanco Camp. All of them have sweet and blessed memories attached, and with many, the memories are continuing to be made. I thank God for all of them. However, the name that stands out most in my mind when I think of Delanco, is Roy Lauter.

My earliest recollections of Rev. Lauter go back to high school. I’m not sure of the year, but I believe he was the evangelist at Camp Meeting when I was about 17 or 18 years old. His words, through the Holy Spirit, spoke to my heart. Although I had been saved at a young age (actually it was in the lounge at Delanco when I was a junior camper), this is when I made a more serious commitment to knowing Christ.

I went to Asbury College for a year and was able to get to know Roy and his family better. As a young parent, I would bring my children to hear Roy preach when he came back to Delanco or anywhere else in the South Jersey area. Time and again, his words would refresh my soul and my relationship with Christ.

Of course there are the Ezra and Arze stories, but more importantly, and to this day, his sermon messages still resound in my heart. I love that he would encourage us to “write it down” when we made an important decision in our lives. Finding those notes, years later, which my family members or I had tucked in a Bible would bring peace. Danny and I had the opportunity to hear Roy preach just last summer at Malaga Camp Meeting. I was afraid he wouldn’t remember me. It had been so many years since we last saw him, but he came right up to us both with warm hugs and a big smile. I felt like I was at Delanco so many years ago. I felt like I was home.

Thank you, God, for Rev. Roy Lauter. Thank you for Delanco Camp. And thank you for bringing them both into my life.

50 Years at Lake Agape: Slice of Heaven

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Today is day 36 of our 50 Years at Lake Agape and countdown to the start of Camp Meeting. Click here to read other articles. Email blog@delanco.org to contribute.

When I think of Delanco, I think of a little slice of heaven right here in New Jersey.

Of course I’m assuming heaven will have a little less dirt and critters. Years ago, I was getting ready in my room at the Brown Cottage.  I walked out of the bathroom, and there, curled up in my shoes, was a giant black snake. Since I was a counselor, I had to be brave. So, I ran out of the room screaming and begging for help.. Some of the other staff came into the room with a broom and shooed the snake right back into the hole in the wall where it came from. After the chaos subsided, I stood in the center of my room and saw the snake’s shedded skin draped over my shoes and I realized I would have to live in this room for a week – with a snake living in my walls.

That was almost 20 years ago and am grateful for the repairs done to the walls since. But what I am most grateful for is the repairs done to my heart. Every camp I have been to throughout the years, God has brought to my knees and powerfully changed my heart. God’s presence has always incredibly evident at this shady little beautiful place, I couldn’t help but be moved. And I owe a lot of who I am in Christ, to what God was able to do when I stepped away from the “world” and was surrounded with God’s holy presence, God’s loving people and God’s unrestrained nature at Delanco Camp.

Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

50 Years at Lake Agape: Cumulative Overpowering of Love

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Today is day 37 of our 50 Years at Lake Agape and countdown to the start of Camp Meeting. Click here to read other articles. Email blog@delanco.org to contribute.

When people talk about beginning a relationship with Christ they typically identify a sermon message, conversation or particular event that drew them to the Lord. For me there was no event, sermon or crisis; it was simply the cumulative overpowering of love I received from folks at Delanco.

The outpouring began with Mary Boughton being willing to pay my way to attend Camp Meeting. I had no idea what I was in store for, but was willing to go. Once reaching camp I was amazed by the unashamed expressions of genuine love that I received by so many of the people there. I remember Darlene Huntley and Pat Gunning working in the hot kitchen, but always with much joy and smiles on their faces; Connie String being genuinely interested in getting to know me; leaders like Rev. Farrell, Rev. Rich Nichols and Jack Howard who had enough faith and trust in me to extend an invitation to come back and serve on staff the following weeks.

Frank Brown’s unconditional love and commitment to sharing Jesus with the guys in the dorm was a powerful testament of what a life surrendered to Jesus could reflect. Roy and Sue Lauter brought a zeal and powerful testimony of Christ’s love that has impacted my life to this day.

So it really wasn’t any event, moment or sermon that drew me to Jesus. It was the love of the community of faith as a whole that allowed my heart to be softened and Christ to enter in. They reflected what it meant to have Jesus in your heart through selfless service; exuberant joy and sharing unconditional and certainly unmerited love with so many. God wrapped his love around me through these and many other saint’s physical arms, warm smiles and compassionate words of wisdom.

These were certainly an amazing cloud of witnesses to me. I hope that I have been able to emulate and say thank you to these saints through teaching and sharing what it means to live in authentic community with the many servant leaders God has given me the privilege to shepherd at Asbury University and through New Hope. Though in genuine humility they would all say it’s not necessary, they were just following God and not doing anything special.

Community begins with one heart being surrendered to and following after Jesus. From that place who knows how many others would be impacted for the Kingdom. I am thankful that I was caught up in that outpouring.

Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.