Growing Together, Building the Future 2017-09-20T09:44:59-06:00

Just west of Buena Vista, Colorado.

The familiar clanging of the old bell resonates throughout the property—echoing off sheer rock cliffs, across small ponds stocked with trout, and through stands of aspen and pine.

It’s mealtime at OCF’s Spring Canyon Conference Center, where 165 hungry guests and staff crowd into the dining hall and onto the outdoor deck of Hartley Holmes Lodge. They have come to this spiritual depot to be refreshed—weary from the exhausting operational tempo of life in today’s military society.

 

They cluster in groups of seven, eight, and sometimes nine around the dining tables, always willing to make room for a familiar face or a new friend. There’s nothing quite like big, family-style meals filled with good food and conversation. When you gather for a meal, you receive more than physical nourishment—the dining table is a place where people come together to share life. It’s a place where the family of Christ comes together in His name.

 

On this day, the retreat center is at maximum capacity. Tables that normally seat six or eight must add an extra chair, maybe two, because the 40-year-old dining room, which adequately seats only 124, is no longer able to meet the needs of those who need it most. Once the chairs in the dining hall are filled, guests or staff will need to find room on the outdoor deck.

The overcrowded room also severely limits handicap accessibility, a vital necessity for our wounded warriors and senior guests. Mentoring and bonding between staff and guests are stifled when the two groups don’t have room to mingle. Experiencing genuine fellowship around the dining table loses some sense of the familial bonds of fellowship enjoyed by the body of Christ.

 

In the snowy months, the retreat center must limit the number of guests and groups to less than 145 because there isn’t enough room to feed everyone indoors. This means Spring Canyon will turn away groups, resulting in lost relationships, lost ministry, and lost revenue.

 

Thankfully, the weather on this day is warm and accommodating for those forced to find a seat outdoors.

Growing and Building campaign

Days like this are why we decided a decade ago to pray and seek God’s wisdom and guidance in growing and building the OCF Conference Center Ministry.

Growing and Building. That phrase became the name of the capital campaign ten years ago, when the membership of Officers’ Christian Fellowship came together in 40 days of prayer and fasting before God to seek His will and direction for the ministry. God placed Psalm 71:18 in the hearts and minds of the first campaign committee—“Declaring His power to the next generation”—to serve as a reminder that He will guide us, that He is faithful…that His name will be proclaimed and glorified to all generations.

 

Since 2005, God has graciously prompted more than 2,300 OCF members and friends to provide over $10 million for the much-needed expansions and upgrades to our two conference centers. These new facilities have doubled our guest capacities at both Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs along with improving our utility infrastructure and minimizing our environmental impact.

“Wonderful, great home-cooked food, beautiful and housewarming facilities. Can’t wait to come back and thanks for the refreshment.”

—USAFA Cadet Retreat participant

It’s an opportunity to expect even more of God.

Funding the expansion of the Hartley Holmes Lodge and the dining room to seat and feed 200 guests at Spring Canyon is our next big initiative. It’s a call to look at God’s gracious provision these past ten years and to expect more—for each of us to depend on Him, to see Him work, to build our faith, and to complete the work He calls us to.

Look What God Has Done Through You Since 2005

2005: OCF Council approves the Growing and Building capital campaign

2006: Growing and Building Campaign launched

2007: Membership-wide 40-day prayer & fasting vigil

2008: Hemingway Operations Complex groundbreaking, Spring Canyon

2009: Hemingway Operations Complex completed at Spring Canyon; Heritage House groundbreaking at White Sulphur Springs

2010: Growing and Building focus shifts to Spring Canyon Phase

2011: Heritage House dedication and opening; Hemingway Operations Complex dedication

2012: New wastewater treatment plant completed, Spring Canyon

2012: Veterans Memorial Lodge groundbreaking, Spring Canyon

2013: Handicap chairlift installed in Hartley Holmes Lodge, Spring Canyon

2013: New Fort Shine groundbreaking, Veterans Memorial Lodge dedication and opening

2014: Fort Shine Lodge opens; original Fort Shine re-commissioned as Cornerstone Lodge (Spring Canyon saw 8,818 guest days, marking the highest number in its 53-year history)

2015: Spring Canyon is now able to lodge up to 200 guests, but needs 75 extra seats in the dining room to accommodate all of them

Physically, the final push of the campaign at Spring Canyon means building a larger dining room. It means growing our capacity by nearly double, allowing us the ability to multiply the number of different groups we can serve and eliminating the logistical challenges of trying to feed so many in a room where every inch is filled to its limit. It means more tables and chairs, more lighting and carpet, and more wood and cement.

 

But spiritually, the campaign carries an even greater significance as we build truth into people’s lives, helping them integrate faith and profession and equipping them to grow into the Christian military leaders God intended.

 

Suddenly, the dining table carries a deeper meaning. It’s a place where families grow stronger. Where bonds are nurtured. It’s a place where friendships begin. Where good friends come together after being apart. It’s a place where fellowship occurs. Where discovery and learning take place.

 

And that means your partnership is about more than just the outward, tangible expansion of a building. It’s an investment in the hearts and lives of people. It means more fellowship to be had, more friendship to be kindled, more life-changing connections with God and with each other. It’s exciting to see what God is doing through Officers’ Christian Fellowship.

 

Please join us in seeing the Growing and Building campaign to completion at Spring Canyon. Join us in praying. Join us in giving. Join us in building for the generations to come.

Yes! I can help OCF complete the Growing and Building campaign at Spring Canyon.

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