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Redberry opens new chapter with gathering of supporters

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Redberry Lake, Sask.  

A rainy Saturday put a damper on attendance at the annual workday May 25, but the next day, some 130 people from six supporting churches gathered at Redberry Bible Camp to worship, fellowship, and commission the new director, David Seeley.

Redberry Bible Camp Association is supported by 14 church of the Saskatchewan MB conference. Each year, local congregations Riverbend Fellowship (Borden), Glenbush, Hepburn, Hafford, Blaine Lake, and Dalmeny spend a weekend at the camp to prepare the site for the upcoming season, and to worship and play together. The offering was designated toward the $100,000 capital project to build a new lagoon – “it isn’t one of the most glamorous projects, but it’s critical nonetheless,” says board chair Dave Pauls.

“The [churches’] dedication to the camp’s ministry is a huge blessing,” says Seeley.

The Dalmeny congregation affirmed associate pastor Cody Johnson to work at Redberry Bible Camp during the summer, directing the 4-week Leaders In Training program, and spending several days a week at camp for the rest of the summer. By working at camp, Johnson encourages and supports Dalmeny youth who are campers and staff, and also “gives them a connection point back home. At the end of summer, you can challenge them, because you know you know exactly what they learned, and you can try to find ways to apply it to school, etc. It works well together; I love it,” says Johnson.

“The churches not only financially support the camp, they provide prayer, campers, and support staff,” says Pauls. “Prayer support is amazing from a group like this,” says Seeley. “A covering of prayer is a consistent need for our camp’s ministry, and local church engagement equals a dedicated prayer team.”

In an age of busy lives and increasing technological advancement, the rustic, outdoor of experience still has relevance because “the power of camp is in relationship,” says Seeley. “There are so many voices clamouring for the attention of youth today…. We create an environment that cuts through the noise, and allows God to be the focus for a dedicated uninterrupted time.”

Seeley is one of few directors to come from outside the denomination in the camp’s 70-year history. Redberry was started as Sand Beach Camp, Mistawasis Lake, Sask., by the MB Western Children’s Mission in 1943, and officially opened as Redberry at the new location under provincial conference leadership in 1953.

—Karla Braun

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