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2023 Year End Letter

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Tommy Garwood, Camp Director

As we come to the end of 2023, we are reaching out to you, our ministry partners, supporters, friends, and family, thankful for the great things God is doing through the ministry here. I want to invite you to join us again. Consider the time, talents, and treasures that you steward on behalf of the Lord and ask how you could partner with us to make sure San Marcos continues to thrive as a beacon of Gospel Hope.


2023 opened with a surprising crash. We literally lost a complete cabin. Torrential rains, wind, and storms wreaked havoc on San Marcos in the opening days of 2023.  Mud slides, debris flow, rockslides, flooding, road collapses and confusing road closures inside and outside of camp all provided unique God ordained circumstances to continue our mission to help people see, know, and experience God. After a short closure, by God’s grace, we reopened and were able to minister to so many this year.


We are truly amazed at all the ways God continues to provide for this ministry. So far this year He has provided for us through YOUR time, talents and treasures. Financial gifts allowed us to rent equipment and manpower to clean up some of the mud, rocks, and debris. The same gifts allowed us to repave the worst sections of our road.


Students doing volunteer work at camp
Students from the Masters University volunteering to repair damage at camp.

Volunteers have come from nearby churches to paint and dig fire clearances around buildings. Even guest groups have asked how they can give of their time to help out before they leave. Students from the Master’s University came to serve.


God is blessing the camp with the skilled labor of a local tradesman, weekly. We are so excited that with his help before the end of the year we will complete the rebuild of the cabin we lost. We ask that you consider partnering with us in this special ministry with an end-of-year gift.


Sincerely,

Tommy Garwood

Camp Director

San Marcos Christian Camp


A Message from TM Camping


Steve Garcia, Executive Director of TM Camping


Nehemiah 2:11-18 tells of the pivotal moment where God’s servant garnered critical support from the Israelites for the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem.  


17-18 Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” I told them how God was supporting me and how the king was backing me up. They said, “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work.

(Taken from The Message translation)


In some ways, 2023 has been a year of doing something very similar here at TM Camping.  It started in the fall of 2022 with heavy rains and unprecedented downpours that caused significant chaos with our recreational operations at Lake Gregory.  At one point, there was over 6 feet of mud that had flooded the tennis courts, playground, adjacent parking lot.  Later, near the end of the year, our Camp Director at Tonto Rim put in notice that he was heading for retirement.  We then spent several months establishing a new leadership team there and welcoming our new Director, Jason Doll, in the spring.  Spring 2023 was one that broke records in terms of precipitation.  We had more storms that brought such a deluge in February, we lost a complete cabin at San Marcos and other water damage caused tens of thousands of dollars of destruction all over the camp. We were closed for over a month while cleaning up and resetting.  Then, in March, the blizzard hit our properties in Crestline.  We lost over 100 beds, 6 cabin buildings, several storage and shade structures, and one of our onsite staff homes.  The damage was assessed to be nearly a million dollar’s worth.


TM Camping has persevered.  We have become, unfortunately, rather adept at rolling with the punches in the last few years.  Although each of our outdoor camping and adventure recreation ministries were hit with significant challenges to overcome this year, we were able to reopen, reestablish, and rebuild enough to functionally operate in time for the busy summer “harvest” season.  This past summer we saw fuller camps, fuller staff levels, and greater resources pouring into the ministries than ever.  As a result, we were able to serve over 40,000 campers this year at TM Camping.  Additionally, we are on our way to rebuilding all that was lost, in addition to starting some new and exciting projects at each camp.  God has been graciously protecting and providing for our every need, each step of the way, as we steadfastly pursue the completion of the mission He has called us to.  


This year, as you read about each ministry, take into consideration a couple of really important things.  1) This year, we have experienced some of the greatest challenges our ministries have ever faced. 2) Even through the difficulties, God has continued to reveal himself as ever faithful with all our needs and even some of our wants.  3) Because of His goodness and the perseverance He has allowed us, these great challenges have produced some of the greatest fruit we have ever seen in this ministry.  We saw thousands of people come to Christ this year, many, hearing the Gospel for the very first time.  God is good!  And His plan, though not always one we would choose for ourselves, is constantly producing good fruit.  He is continuing to make TM Camping a ministry where we are helping people See, Know, and Experience God more and more. 


Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -- Ephesians 3:20-21.


From all of us at Thousand Pines, Tonto Rim, San Marcos, Rock-n-Water, American Outdoor Schools, Genesis Account, and Lake Gregory, THANK YOU!  Thank you for your ongoing support and persevering partnership.  Thank you for all your volunteer service and helping hands.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.  And thank you for being a part of the ministries of TM Camping.


Sincerely,


SG

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