Editor’s Note: From its inception, the women in the PCA have loved on and supported the denomination in practical ways. One way has been through the annual women’s ministry love gift. This year, the women’s ministry of the PCA is praying for and partnering with the different agencies and committees of the denomination regionally. Throughout the year, we will highlight the committees and agencies to learn more about what they do and how we can pray for them.
Below is an interview I did with Wallace Anderson about the work and ministry of Ridge Haven:
Christina: Can you tell us about Ridge Haven and how it serves the PCA?
Wallace: Ridge Haven is owned and operated as the camp, conference and retreat center of the PCA. It was purchased during General Assembly in 1978. Now, 40 years later, we have two campuses, the original in Brevard, NC and the Cono campus in Walker, IA. Ridge Haven provides a traditional summer camp experience for children and youth, third grade through high school graduates. PCA churches utilize Ridge Haven for retreats year-round on our Brevard campus. Additionally, we host conferences such as Keenagers for adults 50 and older that can enjoy a time of teaching and fellowship. The new Cono campus will expand from summer camps to become a year-round operation to serve our churches in the Midwest.
Christina: Do you have any stories to share of RH’s impact?
Wallace: Hearing the testimonies of God’s work through Ridge Haven is undoubtedly the greatest part of serving on staff. It is challenging for me to choose a favorite, so I will share a recent one that encouraged me greatly: A PCA pastor told us that his daughter (who attended Ridge Haven as a junior camper last summer) was going through a hard time at school. As they talked through her trial, she expressed confidence by exclaiming, “We learned from Corrie Ten Boom at camp that sometimes God uses the hardest things for our good. Maybe that is what He’s doing now?!” This is a great anecdote of how we strive to partner with our covenant families.
Christina: What are some behind the scenes things you can share about what is involved in putting on camps each summer?
Wallace: Summer skits are often a camper favorite. While our silly staff does occasionally throw in a unique adlib, our campers may be surprised that the skits are actually scripted and rehearsed! Inside the costume each summer – that is better left a mystery.
Christina: What are some future hopes and goals you have for RH?
Wallace: We hope to see our new location in Iowa, Ridge Haven Cono, utilized year-round like our Brevard campus. We are not sure yet what this may look like – whether traditional retreat facilities like we offer in Brevard, or something unique. Either way, we are excited to see what God has in store for Ridge Haven Cono. For now, we are thrilled to host our second summer of camp at Cono. One week of camp is filled with the Northern Illinois Presbytery. We would love to see additional presbyteries utilize Ridge Haven as a place where children and youth within our denomination can gather to fellowship, learn, and worship together.
Christina: How can people in the PCA get involved in supporting what you are doing?
Wallace: Thanks for asking! There are many MANY ways that the PCA can be involved in supporting what Ridge Haven is up to. Ridge Haven is committed to keeping its summer camp programming accessible. We do not want cost to be a deterrent for anyone hoping to attend or send a camper and are passionate about our commitment to offer needs-based scholarships. Donors can partner with us in this effort by donating towards our camper scholarship fund. There are also many volunteer opportunities at both of our campuses. We are grateful to receive work groups each year that spend time on campus helping by building cabins, clearing trails, painting buildings, landscaping, etc.—and we can always use more—it helps keep our costs down. Additionally, we are grateful for volunteer nurses that support our summer program. We are humbled by the growth of Ridge Haven and for the support of the PCA
Christina: What can we be in prayer for?
- Please pray the Lord would be pleased to continue to draw hearts to Himself through the camp and retreat ministries at Ridge Haven.
- Please pray for the summer staff workers. Pray that they may lovingly, patiently and humbly provide discipleship that encourages campers’ relationship with the Lord.
- Please pray for the growth and direction of Ridge Haven Cono, our new location, in Walker, Iowa. For the funding to install sprinklers in buildings and other necessary repairs.
- Please pray for the resources to build an indoor gym at our Brevard campus.
- Please pray that safety and protection for our campers and staff
To learn more about the ministry of Ridge Haven, visit their website.
About the Author:
Christina received her undergraduate degree from Covenant College and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She writes for a number of Christian ministries and publications including Revive Our Hearts, Desiring God, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and Ligonier Ministries. She is the content editor for enCourage and the author of A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament , Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish and Idols of a Mother’s Heart. Christina serves on the advisory board at Covenant College and is on the national women’s ministry team as Regional Adviser of the Southeast. She prefers her coffee black and from a French press, enjoys antiquing, hiking, traveling, and reading. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two boys. You can find her at www.christinafox.com, @christinarfox and on Facebook.