In accord with the new Presidential and CDC recommendation of "30 days to Stop the Spread," New Life Ranch will continue to remain closed to serving retreat and Adventure Education groups, as well as all NLR programmed events until April 31st. It is still our hope to host retreat groups in May and we are continuing to plan and work toward (and pray) that summer camp will still happen this summer.
In our update last week, I shared that NLR would be postponing serving any retreat groups, NLR hosted camps, or ministry guests through March 31st (15 days to stop the spread.) On March 24th, the governor of Oklahoma issued an order that all non-essential businesses in the counties where both NLR Frontier Cove and NLR Flint Valley are located, are to close on March 26th and remained closed for 21 days. Meaning, NLR will remain closed until April 15th, unable to serve guests onsite.
We are disappointed with this order, but not crushed. We might be perplexed by all that is happening, but not driven to despair. We are not losing heart during this momentary trouble, because we know we serve a God and have a saviour who has overcome the world. We will make it through this!
A word about summer camp. We are still working toward and planning for summer camp to start on May 31st and program all of the weeks of camp that are currently scheduled. We look forward to kids coming to camp this summer and having the greatest week of their life by building relationships with others, singing silly songs and playing fun games, and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being equipped for ministry. We don’t anticipate having to make a decision about anything changing related to summer camp until the first week of May. And of course we’re praying that there are no changes at all.
Currently, our normal cancellation policy is in place of no refunds for deposits for summer camp. If the government, CDC, or other authority requires us to cancel any weeks of summer camp, there will be several options in regard to camp fees that you've already paid. As New Life Ranch is facing some real financial hardship this spring with already losing most of our retreat groups and programmed events, and will face even harder times if this situation impacts summer camp, you will have the option to donate the funds that you’ve already paid (and receive a tax deductible receipt,) you can defer the funds for a future event, or receive a full refund.
Thank you so much for your understanding and for your prayers during these uncertain and trying times. Remember that God’s word tells us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. As challenging as things might get, God is always there and offers a peace that passes all understanding when we lean into and trust in Him.
In these unprecedented times, things are changing rapidly. Just last Thursday, March 12th, New Life Ranch released a statement related to the coronavirus. As we stated then, we plan to act in accordance with recommendations from our local healthcare professionals and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) With that in mind, starting today, March 17, 2020, NLR is going to postpone serving any retreat groups, NLR hosted camps, or ministry guests through March 31st (15 days to stop the spread.) We will also be postponing our A Night for New Life Ranch dinners until the fall. When possible, we are also allowing our staff to work from home during this time. Even though we currently haven’t had any reported cases in our area, we are implementing these decisions to help cut down on face to face interaction, with the hope to do our part with helping to flatten the curve and slow the spread.
If you have questions, please still call or email, our staff will be responding to voicemail and email usually within 24 hours.
Also, know that our heart remains hopeful that we will be able to resume serving retreat groups this spring season. We are also continuing to plan and work toward the hope of having a great summer of ministry with thousands of kids coming to camp this summer. Please join us in praying for this.
We will continue to pray and seek wisdom and discernment, as well as focus on “Trusting in the Lord God with all our heart and leaning not on our own understanding; but in all our ways acknowledging Him, believing he will make our paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
As concerns about the coronavirus pandemic grow daily, our desire as a ministry is to respond with wisdom and discernment using trusted, available resources. New Life Ranch places a high priority on guest, camper, and staff safety, and we are continuing to monitor the news and reports about COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the World Health Organization, are monitoring COVID-19 cases closely and providing updated guidance to federal, state, and local health officials. We plan to act in accordance with recommendations from our local healthcare professionals and from the CDC for our region.
Based on information from the CDC, we recommend group leaders use these guidelines in preparation for their time at NLR.
We recognize that NLR staff have a role in providing a safe and comfortable place for ministry to happen. We are taking necessary precautions to help minimize the spread of any virus. Our housekeeping staff routinely clean every cabin prior to a group's arrival using approved disinfectant chemicals to wipe down mattresses, all bathroom fixtures, flat surfaces and door knobs. They follow this same process for cleaning public areas like bathrooms, meeting rooms, and indoor recreation areas. In addition we schedule housekeeping staff while guests are on-site to clean public restrooms in between meal service times. We also have alcohol based hand sanitizer available in the dining hall at all meals.
As a ministry we believe that God is in control of this situation and we need to not let panic rule our day. Dr. Dan Pummill has served as our summer camp doctor on call for over 30 years and he had this to share,
“God is in control of the Covid-19 threat, but He has given us medical science to best guide our response. Panic and doubting His care for us will not serve any purpose. Our nation frequently turns to prayer at times like this when desperation is a motive. In faith, as His children, we should pray for His will and protection. The CDC has published guidelines that are being routinely updated. Going to a reliable source is the best education. Prayer is a great response, and everyone should be doing what they can to be healthy. Practice proper contagion precautions.”
Fortunately, at the time of this communication, our region where our camp facilities are located have had minimal or no impact from the coronavirus. Knowing this situation is rapidly changing, New Life Ranch will continue to monitor the developments and act in accordance with recommendations from our local healthcare professionals and from the CDC for our region. We will keep our guests and camper parents updated as more information becomes available.
An encouraging perspective for Christians.
Helpful links about coronavirus, children and camp.