August 26, 2015
For more than 40 years, Delta Lake Bible Conference Center (Rome, New York) has run Haven Camps for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The program began as a small summer retreat led by an Alliance pastor who used to lead Bible studies in a state-run facility. That one retreat has since expanded to seven week-long camps and three weekend retreats. This summer alone, Delta Lake has ministered to nearly 250 Haven campers.
Haven Camps has made a big enough impact on one long-time camper—32 years long—that he wants to keep in touch with Delta Lake throughout the year. Norman calls the office every day to say hi, to tell a joke, and often to make sure all of his paperwork has been completed for camp.
Helen Tracy, Delta Lake office manager, is usually the one who takes Norman’s calls. She says it makes her feel good that he wants to talk every day.
“One of the things he does that means the most to me is that he will out of the blue tell me that he misses me,” Tracy says. “He often will call just to find out what we are doing, what the weather’s like, and how things are going.”
When Delta Lake’s executive director, Steve Clark, travels to promote Delta Lake’s ministry, history and mission, he always ends by talking about the Haven Camp program.
“I describe it as the ‘jewel in our crown’ as a ministry,” he says. “We as a staff and as an organization love those that many in society and in our world will look at as unlovely. However, they are created in Christ’s image just like you and me, and Jesus died for their sins too.
“The golden streets in heaven will be a little more crowded because the Lord has seen fit to allow Delta Lake this unique opportunity to share the story of redemption with these special people.”
Delta Lake is one of 28 Alliance camps in the United States. The Alliance runs more than 50 camps in 17 countries. Read more about Alliance camping ministries at AllianceCamping.org.
Visit Delta Lake Bible Conference Center’s Web site. Please note: Clicking on these links will take you off of the Alliance Web site.