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December 29, 2014

We just celebrated Christmas - the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   We felt this would be a great time to share with you the marvelous work He is doing with Divide Camp. There are many ways we get to watch God's handiwork in our organization - but one of the obvious is the way He picks and chooses our team of people working behind the scenes to make our mission effective. I am continually amazed by this - but I love what my dear friend Donna said last year when I was expressing my hope that I never lose my sense of awe - she said "well Julie, you know God knows a lot of people!" I still laugh every time I remember her simple truth!

The 2014 season at camp was filled with volunteerism - beyond anyone's imagination! Our friends and supporters brought us to a much anticipated transition from renovation and rehabilitation to hosting and helping heal our veterans! For three years we have been focused on creating a comfortable, safe, peaceful environment in which our veteran guests can find peace and camaraderie as they make new memories. Although we are far from "finished" with the work (and some say that will never happen!) the accomplishments of 2014 have ushered us into becoming that place of renewal we've been striving fo  r.

 

One of the most exciting advancements of this year has been the addition of team members. Whether you're running a large corporation, an athletic organization or a non-profit like Divide Camp - the key to success lies in teamwork!

 

There are endless quotes about the value of a team - some of the most famous:

 

"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." ~Vince Lombardi

 

One of my personal favorites is a quote from Henry Ford who said,

 

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.

Working together is success." 

 

We started with a small team in Southern Oregon who basically helped set the course for achieving the vision. They are visionaries who saw the value in the goal. From the spring of 2012 - to the winter of 2014 this team has continued to grow. At one point during this summer, overwhelmed with what still needed to be done and exhausted from months of nonstop volunteer coordination - I threw my hands in the air and asked God to send me some help! And He did. I contacted eight women who had expressed an interest, or were already helping. Our first meeting was a potluck lunch and tour at camp. This was the beginning of the DC Pacesetters. They are a group of women from Wallowa County who believe in the vision and are committed to helping achieve our goals. Originally a group of eight, their common threads include having hearts to honor our veterans, understanding the healing qualities of nature, believing God needs to drive our bus, and wanting to give our veterans hope! This team, along with the team members from Southern Oregon, has a wide variety of skills and abilities - and together they will play an important role in the success of Divide Camp.

 

"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success." ~Author Unknown

 

Our veteran team has grown, too, and we're so thankful. Our vets are teaching us as we go and helping to shape our program. We learned how valuable it can be to have father and son visits - we discovered the healing aspects of having our vets be physically invested in camp by working on projects. We are learning from them how best Divide Camp can serve them. We look forward to the future of having the operations of Divide Camp being totally run by veterans...and we know God is busy identifying them now.

 

Christmas season is a time of remembering the birth of "the Prince of Peace," Jesus of Nazareth. Divide Camp, under His leadership, offers a chance for post 9/11 wounded veterans to experience the woods and the rivers and the peace nature provides. To all who have participated, through donations, labor, materials, prayer or simple words of encouragement, I offer my humble thanks. May we all be blessed with a sense of peace this coming year as we move forward in our endeavor in "Honoring Service; Building Hope."

 

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill to all men." Luke 2:14