A week ago, the Living Water Ministries Board of Directors made the careful decision to cancel our 2020 summer season. Many have reached out with words of encouragement and support in the wake of this decision, and on behalf of all of us at Living Water Ministries, I thank you. This decision was made as a result of concerns for the care and safety of individuals engaging community through our programs, and for all the lives those individuals touch when they return home. When we interview our summer staff, we ask them to tell us about a time when they put the needs of others ahead of their own. The LWM Board’s decision to cancel our 2020 summer season is a phenomenal example of the kind of living that models sacrifice for the sake of others. It’s this very notion of sacrifice that is at the core of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ.
As with every decision we make in life, there are consequences. The decision to cancel our 2020 summer season certainly has repercussions. Our campers and families looking forward to a summer at camp, especially in these times of isolation and distancing, now wrestle with the disappointment that comes with the loss of this opportunity. Our young adult summer staff that had committed to serving this summer now add this loss of employment to the list of upheavals they have experienced as a result of this pandemic. Our organization as a whole, previously postured for continued growth and stability, now must manage the financial ramifications and a significant loss of momentum.
We are thankful that despite the cancellation of the 2020 summer season, Living Water Ministries will be able to maintain employment for our year-round staff without interruption. While we won’t be spending our time this summer managing day-to-day camp operations, we will be using this time to pursue initiatives, innovations and program opportunities that help us restore the momentum that’s been lost. However, the truth is we likely won’t be able to restore all the forms of momentum we will be losing. We will be losing financial momentum by exhausting approximately $220,000.00 in cash reserves. We will be losing camper retention momentum as approximately 50% of our campers each year are returning campers from the prior season. Likewise, we will be losing summer staff retention momentum as approximately 50% of our summer staff are returning staff from the prior season.
To restore as much of the lost momentum as we can, we’re going to need the help of every individual that has a heart for the work God is doing through Living Water Ministries. We’re going to need the faithfulness of your prayers. We’re going to need the energy of your volunteerism. We’re going to need the excitement you bring to future camper and staff recruitment. We’re going to need the generosity of your donations. We’re going to need to pull together to continue forming faith, practicing service, developing leaders and bringing all of God’s children together in community. We’re going to need to pull together to continue to be a part of God’s work transforming lives and the world through Living Water Ministries.
Until next week, peace be with you,
Living Water Ministries