Celebrating 75 Years of God’s Faithfulness

It was the year 1944 and two ladies by the names of Jean Clark and Hazel Simonton left the east coast and followed the Lord’s call to Big Sky country.  They journeyed first to Billings, then to Bozeman and finally to Missoula seeking to start up Bible clubs – after school clubs where they could teach God’s word to students of all ages.  In 1947, the Lord led them to start a “Bible Club Camp,” an opportunity to allow their Bible Club students to experience the joys of summer camp.  Their first camp was held in Swan River country and 50 campers came to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Thus were the humble beginnings of what is now Big Sky Bible Camp.  I am not a very sentimental individual (in fact, I depend on others to help in this area), but I believe there is biblical warrant for looking back, celebrating the faithfulness of God and allowing this to propel us forward, especially during challenging times.

The next 75 years…

The world has changed a lot since 1947.  And I’m sure there will be even more dramatic changes by the year 2097.  Over the next months, I would like to use this opportunity of being encouraged by looking back to lay out some principles that are imperative as we move forward.  The first principle is faithfulness to the true gospel.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but Christian camps are often places where the gospel is watered down, compromised, unspoken or ignored.  At BSBC, the gospel drives everything we do – from the songs we sing to the intentional relationships between permanent and summer staff to the conversations happening on porches and playhouses.  We never desire to be belligerent with the gospel, but rather strive to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  These are unprecedented times, where every fiber of the culture is pressing against what God’s Word teaches.  It is in this dark context that the opportunity of camp continues to shine through.  I have been in camping ministry for over 20 years now and, as Miss Clark and Miss Simonton could verify were they still with us, I have seen the Lord use the camp setting to bring countless dead hearts to life, to challenge believers in their doctrine and devotion and to teach summer staff the value of serving others as Christ did.  Rest assured, we at BSBC will hold to the true gospel whatever the consequences for us as a ministry or as individuals.  Our desire as a ministry, above all else, is to be faithful to God’s Word and the work He has called us to.  Please join us in praying for the ministry here and that the Lord would continue to use it to accomplish His purposes over the next 75 years and more!