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Cattle Creek Campground

A week after the Cattle Creek Campground fire in 2017, community members gathered around a cross at the Campground. The Rev. Jerry Thompson, far left, leads a prayer as the community joins hands around the cross.


Cattle Creek Campground 3/10/17.

Cattle Creek Campground 3/10/18.

It sounds like a cliché, "oh the difference a year makes," and yet it is a wonderful reality for our beloved Cattle Creek Campground.

One year ago brought devastation, destruction, depression, tears of sadness from fire. Now after rebuilding and seeing how God has blessed the campground, the rejoicing of restoration to its functional purpose brings much joy and anticipation with expectation to see the spiritual foundation of faith in God continue to be restored and rebuilt in all our lives.

Having grown up attending Cattle Creek since childhood has offered me and all in attendance the opportunity to experience the kind of love for one another and God that builds and keeps communities moving forward. In those formative years, if someone had told me that God would use me to encourage others from that tabernacle pulpit, not only me but those who knew me then would have said you must be crazy.

The reality is what God is doing and how he desires to accomplish his will are always astounding. I am just as surprised as those who would have said otherwise too. But here we are years later and one year from the devastating yet challenging fire that sparked and rekindled spiritual fires that no one can put out or deny.

I was the preacher last summer for the first session after the fire. God placed on my heart to remind each one that our personal "tents/lives" should be built and restored to our foundational faith in him who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. "Building tent 37" was the topic of the message as we now have 36 physical tents -- but tent 37, our personal lives, needs the master builder to help us grow on his strong foundation spiritually and to function for him.

Those in attendance will hopefully recall that you cannot have help ... HopE, HEaling or Heaven ... without "HE." I suggest we all take some time this week and say thanks to the Lord for all HE has and will continue to do in our lives as we honor him. Drive into the campground or reflect right where you are, rejoicing that he took a terrible night of tears and turned it into a time of rejoicing.

What HE did for the campground, HE can and still will do for you and me. Rereading an online article from WIS, there was a quote, "the church was unharmed." That said enough for me, but I've seen evidence a year later that shows his church is truly on fire spiritually with restored zeal and faithfulness.

Easter is approaching and how ironic that if falls on April Fools' Day. As Psalm 14:1 reminds us, "The fool says in his heart there is no God." Not true, I've seen Calvary and the empty tomb through eyes of faith and I've seen the rebuilt Cattle Creek too.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow ... and just as he did before in the Old Testament, HE turns our mourning into dancing. (Psalm 30). Oh the difference a year and the blessings of our God truly make ... blessed!

Jerry C. Thompson is from Branchville.


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