We are fast approaching yet another beautiful Autumn time of year – and we have yet many things that need to be done! Our insurance company has determined that we need to get some much needed roofing and/or wood rot repairs accomplished on some of our buildings by June of next year – or, they will not even continue to insure those structures. For that reason we are needing to set aside some special work days during the good weather of this Fall in order to tackle these tasks. We need help. If you (as an individual or group) can be available to assist us in doing these things – could you please give us a call and let us know?
Our phone numbers are: (816) 690-8465 or 277-7071.
Now, dear friends and family in Christ, our young people and children – our staff and campers – have been incorporated once again into the modern world of our schools. This is where they will be compassed about in the corrupt culture and influence of this fallen world. This is where they will definitely need the direct guidance and preservation of our Lord, Himself. Please remember to constantly be lifting them up in your prayers! Please pray that these young and spiritually vulnerable “vessels of mercy” be “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed…” (which is what we all need). As it has been from its beginning – Del-Haven is a ministry of God’s Word of His grace – that was founded on prayer – supported through prayer –and sustained by prayer! This means that you – and your prayers for us – are a vital part of what has been – and is being – accomplished through the ministry of Del-Haven – unto the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord.
We love you – and we thank the Lord for you!
“Through the tender mercy of our God – whereby the dayspring from on high visited us – (79) to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death – to guide our feet into the Way of peace.” [Lk.1:78-79]
In the previous newsletter we noted the context of Lk.1:78-79. How that Zacharias, an old priest of the temple, had received a visitation by Gabriel, the Angel. He brought to him the news that the son whom he and his barren wife, Elisabeth, had long prayed for — would finally be given to them. Furthermore, that son would be John the Baptist, the forerunner and prophet/messenger of the promised Seed – the incarnate Christ of God. And these two verses deliver to us a short list of the eternally saving blessings that by God’s grace have been bestowed upon all the redeemed “people prepared for the Lord” [see vs.17] with the coming of Him who is the Christ! However, Zacharias could not believe the news divinely delivered unto him through Gabriel. Therefore, God made the priest unable to speak even a word until all “…these things shall be performed”.
Consequently, Elisabeth — Zacharias’s barren wife — conceived and gave birth to their son – who was — in fallen human history — the messenger/forerunner of Christ Jesus, our Lord. And, after over 9 months of God-caused silence the Lord opened Zacharias’s mouth and the first thing he spoke by the Holy Spirit was Lk.1:68: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel – for He hath visited and redeemed His people…”.
The capstone, however, of his whole Holy Spirit induced and inspired statement points directly to the glory of the greatest and most incomprehensible miracle that God ever performed: the incarnation of His eternal, holy and beloved and only begotten Son into the fallen human “likeness of sinful flesh” [see Ro.8:3]. He became the literal, historical Jesus of Nazereth. This utterance becomes Zacharias’s announcement of the gospel of the glory only of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ – the only sovereign Savior/substitute and Redeemer that there ever was, is, or ever will be! Praise His Holy Name! [see 2Co.5:21 and Col.2:9-10]
God’s Word tells us from Lk.1:78-79 of four blessings given unto His redeemed people. The first one is His “tender mercy”; and he tells us that it is “through” His “tender mercy” that the other three blessings are bestowed upon us. This way of expressing His “everlasting mercy” (see Ps.136) emphasizes the Lord’s great compassion that He has for all those that are His “prepared people”. From Ex.33:19 God descriptively declares that He – “will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom He will show mercy.”
God’s “chosen” sinner “peculiar people” [see 1Pe.2:9-10] – which are the same as the “people prepared for the Lord” [of Lk.1:17] – need His “tender mercy”! Mercy is where we sinners do not receive that which we truly do deserve for our sins through the person and redemptive work of Christ Jesus. Grace is where we sinners do receive that which we truly do not deserve in our eternal salvation, once again, through the person and redemptive work of Christ Jesus.
Every one of God’s eternally saved ones are quickened by the Holy Spirit to see clearly that they are hopeless and undeserving sinners just like the publican described by the Lord Jesus in Lk.18:13. We all cry out for holy God to (lit.) “be mercifully propitious to me a sinner”. The only one who can and does fulfill this for us – and in us — is He who is: “the dayspring from on high”!
For Christ’s Glory Only!
Well, dear ones, we have officially completed our 67th season of Del-Haven camps. Praise our Lord and Savior! The Lord definitely blessed us this year…as He always does! It is wonderful to witness His faithful provision – preservation – and especially His presence and power. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.”
After every one of our summer camp seasons, we encourage you to – please remember to pray for the campers that the Lord sent to us – and the staff help that participated in this evangelistic ministerial endeavor. Your prayers for us are much needed! We love to hear that you are praying for us. I am certain that prayer is the appointed means that God has — ordained from eternity – to maintain His constant presence and power – and to provide and preserve this – His work. This is the evidence of His matchless grace in keeping us going all these 6+ decades!
We want to make a special request for your prayers for a 12 year old boy that was a part of our last camp session of this season. His name is, Harley. Harley lives with his Aunt. His father is in prison for dealing drugs. Harley’s mom – he really doesn’t know where she is. All he knows is she was pulled over by the police and in resisting them from searching her car (because she had drugs in it) she struck a police officer. Most likely she, too, is in jail. This young man needs our earnest prayers. He learned all the memory verses — and he heard the gospel every day at camp – and he indicated very strongly that he wants to come back next year. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will use the planted Word as only He can do in quickening and regenerating him – for the glory, only, of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise His Name!
Beloved friends, we wish to give special recognition to the passing away of 95 year old, Wilma Flansburg. She was the mother of Gary and Joyce Flansburg – who are members of Strasburg Union Church – a strong and a longtime supporter of the ministry of Camp Del-Haven. Those that have known Wilma – at Gary and Joyce’s authorization – may give a donation to Del-Haven in her memory. We thank and praise the Lord for what they have done.
As always – Thank you, dear ones, for your continual prayerful support of this ministry. We love you — and we pray for all of you.
“Through the tender mercy of our God – whereby the dayspring from on high visited us – (79) to give light — to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death – to guide our feet into the Way of peace.” [Lk.1:78-79]
These verses mark the end of a remarkable utterance! The whole of which statement constitutes the Holy Spirit inspired and induced words of Zacharias, the earthly father of John the Baptist. Before we look directly at our text, and what it delivers to us, let’s observe first some important things from its greater context.
The birth of the Baptist was announced by the angel, Gabriel, unto Zacharias, a priest of the Temple of the Lord. Gabriel delivered to the aged Zacharias the message that his prayers for a son would finally be answered. He told him that his son (whom he was to name, John) would go before the One who is to be the Christ, “to make ready – a people – prepared for the Lord” (vs.17). However, Zacharias could not believe the good news. So, therefore, gracious and merciful God closed his mouth so that he would not be able to speak — until all that was reported to him concerning the birth of his son came to pass in its appointed time (vs.20). The silenced Zacharias returns home — and, Elisabeth, his known-to-be-barren wife, conceives. Only God who “quickeneth the dead – and calleth those things which be not – as though they were.” [Ro.4:17] could do something like that! Praise His Name! Fear not! Believe in Him! [see and note: Mk.5:36]
Unbelief is indeed a plague of sin to real and vibrant spiritual life and growth. Its weeds and thorns and thistles are always springing up in the grace planted garden of God in and among the hearts of mortal men and women in this fallen-in-sin and law-cursed world. Satan, himself, works tirelessly in the hearts and minds of unbelievers – “lest the Light (lit.) of the gospel of the glory of the Christ – who is the image of God – should shine unto them.” [2Co.4:4] And even an old Priest like, Zacharias, who had served many years in the Temple of the Lord is not immune to the sinful existence of unbelief. But, praise the Lord God – He will not allow unbelief to have its reigning and damning dominion over any of His servants [Ro.5:21]. From Rev.3:19 our Lord says: “As many as I love – I rebuke and chasten! Be zealous therefore, and repent!” He sends His angels as a messenger with the good news of His grace and truth – that will cure His servant of the plague of unbelief – and super-abundantly provide the answer to the prayerful longing of the heart of Zacharias. This will give him joy and gladness! [see: Lk.1:13-14]
Vs.57 says: “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.” When the boy was 8 days old they came to the Temple to get him circumcised according to the command of the Lord – and they named him, John, just as they were told to do. This is when the Lord opened once again the mouth of Zacharias — and as vs.67 says, he, having been filled with the Holy Spirit – heralds forth vs.68-79. This remarkable statement reaches its profound peak in the words of our text (vs.78-79).
These two verses bring forward to us: “…the tender mercy of our God” — which is the source of all the rest of the good things that the most high God declares through His Priest – that will surely come to pass. Which things include: the actual coming of the birth of the God/man – and the purpose of His coming – and the ultimate divine accomplishment where rescuing the people of God is concerned! This makes up the context that encompasses Lk.1:78-79.
For Christ’s Glory Only!
Well, dear friends, we are right now into the midst of the fourth camp session of our 67th Del-Haven camping season. It is our second 6 to 8 year old camp. Already this year we have been blessed to witness evidence and testimony of our Lord’s provision, presence and work in this ongoing ministry.
Right after the second bible class during the older boys camp (9 to 12 yr. olds) – two of the boys – Jason and Ethan – came to me separately and asked if they could have bibles to read of their very own. I was more than happy to comply with their requests. Things like that are so encouraging! “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness – for they shall be filled”. The campfire times have been rich with positive indications of the Holy Spirit’s leading. In our first 6 to 8 year old camp of this year, one little girl, Laleah, spoke up and said, “When I was a little kid …” She revealed how she feared her step-father – especially at night – and since she came to camp (she started coming when she was 6 yrs. old) she just talks to Jesus when she is scared – and that really helps. I asked her how old she was and she said that she was 7. Also, one of our staff help that is a part of our LTS program — testified that she had been coming to Del-Haven since she was 6 (she is 16 now). Both her parents were in prison. She had been bullied throughout her school years – both at school and through the internet. The oppression and stress of it all was horrible – to say the least. Learning about the Lord Jesus (and growing in Him) has kept her from being swallowed up by all that’s happened in her past. She has born witness of her personal assurance that she, indeed, belongs to the Lord…her name is, Madison. Praise the Savior! Please pray for Laleah and Madison.
This is why we keep urging you all to keep praying for both the campers and the staff (as well as us). This is the true spiritual warfare that we are all in! If we’re true believers, we are all in the Lord’s army! Pr.3:5-6 is our “marching mantra” as we pass through this wicked world: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart – Lean not on your own understanding – In all your ways acknowledge Him – And He will direct your path!”
Please continue to pray for the Lord’s ministry here at Camp Del-Haven.
Thank you and we love you.