FIVE HUMAN HOPES
FIVE GOD GUIDED ACTIONS
Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries (SMRM) has worked in the last year with five chosen hopes as set by our Director, Bill Black, and by our Board of Directors:
- Stabilize our budget income and spending
- Establish financial security with a savings of at least one year’s spending
- Find someone to parallel Bill in ministry and assist him with a future goal of preparing for his retirement
- Replace the summer staff building (the dorm) with a year-round facility
- Do our on-going quality ministry programs
These five human hopes have been matched by five God guided actions. Our heart and our work is to remain in the plan of God for this ministry. We do not always have all of the answers, yet we are sure that we are within God’s plan.
Stabilize our budget income and spending
We are on budget! Our income and spending for 2018 are within reasonable conditions and we hope to finish with strong giving even as our natural seasonal expenses decrease in the late year. Our giving categories are individual direct support, ministry program offerings, church support, associational support, ministry site support, gifts in kind, and special fundraising projects. While we are always aware of budget spending management, we also seek to follow God’s lead into ministry expenses without holding back. Each year of SMRM, Inc.’s existence, we have moved into healthier financial existence. We feel guided and blessed by God.
Establish financial security with a savings of at least one year’s spending
This has not happened. Our efforts at preparing for future financial security have not been successful. In fact, we have taken losses in this area –even when we sought to have it addressed specifically and professionally. At the moment, we do feel it is a correct goal. We do feel that God is guiding. We do know the need to remain continually dependent on God for daily provision. We stake our hope on God.
Find someone to parallel Bill in ministry and assist him with a future goal of preparing for his retirement
Jodie and Andy Lamon have joined SMRM in 2018 with an excitement and energy level that is God blessed. They are both from Knoxville area and Jodie Bowers Lamon was on SMRM staff in 1991. Andy is a Methodist minister who has pastored in two resort settings. He responded to a family need to return to the area and they came into SMRM in June, 2018. Jodie is serving as Assistant Director with SMRM. Their statement is “We feel called to serve this community and be part of God’s healing here. It is a great blessing to us.” Our hope is a few years of parallel ministry as God guides us together. We know that this is God blessed.
Replace the summer staff building (the dorm) with a year round facility
The dorm at Camp Smoky has enabled SMRM to excel with great freedom for SMRM’s entire 42 year existence. It is rich in story and rich in the blessings of God. SMRM’s future needs, however, are for a facility that can be used by individuals, small groups, and up to 15 summer staff at all times of the year. Now is the time to address that need. We have named the hope. Now we are just beginning to follow God’s actions in conversation and study. We pray for God’s blessing in this next journey.
Do our on-going quality ministry programs
This is the holy and fun one! Our hope is to maintain all our great programs and relationships even as we address other giant goals. God has guided us. God has blessed us. This year’s ministry highlights include:
Ski ministry: Deep and powerful relationships celebrated at Ober Gatlinburg Ski and Amusement Park with strong worship services and individual responses to God.
Campground ministry: We designed new day camps for children into cooking classes, shelter building, nature study, and water fun –all with wonderful Bible lessons. Also, we began two separate Bible studies for adults gathered around Greenbrier Campground.
Theme Park ministry: NASCAR Speedpark provided a wonderful setting and freedom for children’s craft booths all summer where we got to share Jesus’ love and the Gospel to families.
Special Events ministry: New owners of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair turned to us to enhance the experiences of their guests and the crafters during the July and October fairs. We were central in making Christ known through creative actions and personal conversations. The relationship with the new owners was a God blessed joy.
International Employees Ministry: As always, businesses bring in workers and God brings us to them. We’ve enjoyed a Bible study with Turkish boys, countless meals and transportation events, fun experiences (a recent hike led to deep conversations about faith and trusting Jesus as your guide), and the development of one young Christian from Russia into volunteering with our staff and leading in worship. God has blessed.
Volunteer development: We had varied and strong volunteers all year. Two different students joined us for winter ski ministry. Adults have come and led in events ministries. Teams came at the right time and met the right needs (we were short a few in June but July was amazing). We feel we are getting a new system for volunteers in place and are more comfortable about the future in this area.
We are confident that our ministry programs and relationships remain accurate and active. We see possibilities for new ministry expressions as the resorts change and grow. Our hope has been met with God’s action and blessing.
We are grateful for your involvement in this ministry as volunteers, people of prayer, and donors. Your gifts to Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries are needed and are part of God’s blessing. Thank you.
Thanks be to God.