I greatly appreciate all of the inquires folks have been making into how we are doing here at Big Sky. I am extremely thankful for the community of supporters that the Lord has gathered around this ministry who care about what is going on here and are concerned about hardships that Big Sky may face as a result of the virus. I have refrained from commenting on this up until now, but we, as a staff, thought it would be good to update everyone on the state of things at Big Sky.
The current state
Obviously, we have cancelled all guest groups for April and many groups that were planning on coming in May have also cancelled. At this point, we are still hoping and praying that we are able to hold summer camp in some way, shape or form even if that means getting creative with how we do camp. We have yet to cancel any of our programs, including Camp Promise. If we are able to run Camp Promise, that too, will most likely look very different than in the past. As we have said before, if we are able to run camp and abide by regulations that are in place, we will do so.
Fortunately, the staff have been able to continue working during this time. Although we have not been meeting together, it has provided an opportunity to catch up on firewood and various other projects that get put on the backburner amidst the busyness of guest groups and other projects.
The financial state
Numerous friends of Big Sky have also inquired as to how we are doing financially. This is going to be a trying time for camps across the country and I foresee countless camps being unable to recover from the economic effects of this pandemic. Most people do not think about the fact that, during an economic downturn, non-profit organizations such as Big Sky are the first to be affected as extra giving and activities such as camp are usually the first thing to be cut out of budgets.
Although Big Sky is not immune to the effects of this pandemic, we are far less vulnerable than some ministries and we are thankful for that. For one thing, we do not have any debt. This is a policy of ours and of BCM’s and I am thankful for this practice during times such as this. Secondly, Big Sky’s income is very diversified, with approximately 43% of that income being donations. Most of the staff at Big Sky are required to raise their own financial support to serve here. Much of that support comes from other parts of the country, which is helpful.
However, if we are not able to have summer camp, than I will probably be reporting a very different financial situation in another blog! At that point, we will definitely be looking at extreme measures to keep Big Sky afloat. Again, we are so thankful for those that continue to pray for us and to give to the ministry here even amidst the current economy. If you would like to give to Big Sky, the missionaries here, or learn more about how to give, please go to www.bigskybiblecamp.org/donate or contact me at j[email protected].
The new facility
One area that the economic downturn will significantly affect is the new facility. While we do plan to complete all architectural and engineering plans, we have decided not to apply for permits at this point or to begin construction this summer/fall, as we do not believe it is wise amidst the current state of things. To speak frankly, COVID-19 will delay this project significantly. We will offer more thorough updates on the new facility through the website as we work to update those pages.
Big Sky has been spreading the gospel of Christ since 1947. The Lord has seen the ministry through the Korean War, Vietnam War, economic depressions, political upheavals, etc. Our trust and hope is fully in Him. Big Sky is His ministry to use as He pleases for as long as He pleases and we are thankful to be a part of it!