Throughout the past year of uncertainty, Ridge Haven Camp and Conference Center experienced help and encouragement from unexpected sources. Both the RV Ministry of Mission to North America (MNA) and a faithful ministry team from Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina, made serving Ridge Haven a priority in 2020. They invested their time, labor, and finances to equip Ridge Haven to serve campers for years to come.
Eight years ago, MNA’s RV Ministry brought its first service group to Ridge Haven. Ever since, MNA’s ministry has been coming regularly to serve Ridge Haven, including during this extraordinary year. It is largely responsible for several major improvements to the Brevard campus in 2020.
This year the ministry expanded and upgraded Ridge Haven’s RV site to benefit future campers. Where there was once uneven terrain and narrow camping spots, there is now graded ground with fresh gravel and generous space for RVs to park for long periods of time. Additionally, the team upgraded electric, water, and septic terminals so they all have adequate capacity. This project provides Ridge Haven with professional and hospitable areas to host campers and RVs.
This is the first step in a multiphase process that will include a large pavilion and laundry room that will support the MNA RV volunteers and their ministry as well as hundreds of other guests who visit Ridge Haven.
MNA also came multiple times throughout 2020 to repurpose an old kitchen into a new, vibrant soda shop. It also developed a new social space for campers called “Shep Town” by constructing a new fence, building a fire pit, painting the area, and laying the foundation for a deck area that will be completed by a work group from Woodruff Road Presbyterian. All of this while continuing to assist in the ongoing painting projects and ever-present housekeeping needs at Ridge Haven.
Gregg and Dee Noll, MNA Second Career specialists who oversee the RV Ministry and its service to Ridge Haven, continually remark that their aim is to be a blessing because they have been blessed, citing 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 and Romans 12:13. Serving the needs of others, looking out for those who have less, and encouraging others — these values have driven the Nolls and the ministry they direct.
“In the midst of the hardship, uncertainty, and disappointment of 2020, MNA has been a source of joy and encouragement,” said Wallace Anderson, Ridge Haven executive director. “We are richly blessed by their partnership and are eager to continue striving side by side for the sake of the gospel.”
Another blessing to Ridge Haven this past year came through a partnership with Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church near Greenville, South Carolina. A team of 10-16 members has cometwice a year since 2013, completing a number of construction projects throughout the campus. Woodruff Road brings contractors, electricians, engineers, professional home inspectors, and many “jacks of all trades.” They have built two two-bedroom cabins, decking and walkways, retaining walls, and docks, and have remodeled and redesigned the old dining hall, replaced roofs and siding, and built bridges connecting many miles of hiking trails. They also built and designed the Spartan Race course around the South Rec area. Pastor Dan Dodds faithfully leads these trips each year.
“They are such a source of encouragement and willing to help in any way that they can,” said Anderson. “What a joy it has been to experience the blessings of the Lord so vividly through the actions of this ministry.”
This year the Woodruff Road team is continuing work on “Shep Town,” an activity area outside the old Sheperd’s Dining Hall. This area will have a pavilion, fire pit, and several patios outside the new ice cream shop. They are also planning to build a three-bedroom staff house later this summer and a large pavilion to complete the RV site.
MNA and Woodruff Road reflect the words of the Prophet Isaiah, who when God asked for a willing servant, responded by saying, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). This service allows Ridge Haven to be a blessing and ministry to other churches out of the blessing it receives.