Christmas Letter 2020
Your faithfulness endures to all generations | Psalm 119:90
The Christmas story begins in Matthew’s gospel with names. Generation after generation is named in the anticipation of the Savior of the World. The name of Jesus follows many other names. Names you know like Abraham, David or Joseph. And names less known like Jehoshaphat. But the story of Jesus is rooted in history. Generations came before. People wandered in the desert. Toiled in the Promised Land. Founded the temple. Experienced exile. And awaited the Messiah.
And the Messiah came.
Jesus is born into a world in need of God. Jesus was born to a people who longed for a Savior. Jesus was born into the darkness of earth… and shed great light to the whole world.
This story was generations in the making. Did David know that Messiah would one day be born of his line? When in bondage, did Joseph know that another Joseph would bear witness to the One who promised to free the captives? We stand on the generations before us.
Tekoa stands on the shoulders of the generations that have come before. Rev. Jack Porter was known for his mischievous twinkling eyes, his ability to quickly redirect a staff member and the way that he offered kindness and dignity to every camper. Rev. James Johnson could be found building a fire at a campout, counseling a staff member or painting faces of campers at our July 4th Celebration. In the 80’s, Myron McGhee snapped pictures around camp while capturing the essence of the Tekoa experience. In the 90’s, Rev. Kate May played a fun-filled, yet appropriately aggressive game of swamp canoes long before she ever served in the local church. Our many staff over the years have invested in our campers through creative games, writing their own songs and storytelling. The stories of Tekoa are still being told to their children and grandchildren today. My uncle still knows all the words to the Camp Tekoa song which he sang in the 1950’s!
Long before any of these things happened, someone had a vision for ministry in our little part of the mountains here at Tekoa. In 1949, Rev. Carl King navigated the purchasing and naming of Camp Tekoa.
The Western NC Conference took on this new adventure of camping ministry under his leadership. He could not have known that we would one day serve over 2000 campers each summer, that we would have over 90 staff each season, or that we would begin an after school program. Nor would he have imagined that we would be a multi-site ministry that includes Tekoa Foothills, that we would assist those in need of home repairs, and be the place where many ministers would receive their call to ministry. What we do today is because of what was done in 1949.
Recently, we had a family retreat weekend at Camp Tekoa. The family of Carl King’s grandson (also Carl) came to camp, and his great-granddaughters enjoyed Tekoa for the very first time! The moments their family shared along with thousands of others began with Rev. Carl King’s work generations before.
Now, more than ever, I realize that what we do today will impact generations beyond us. So many people have partnered with us this season to support our Raise your Candles High Emergency Fund. It is because of this support that Tekoa is still moving forward to impact future generations.
Will you stand with us now and Raise Your Candle High? Will you walk with us in this season to ensure that the future seasons for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be filled with the Light of Christ in this place?
We are only asking for one thing this season.
Would you be willing to donate to our Raise Your Candles High Emergency Fund?
At Tekoa, we trust the God of all generations to provide not only for today, but for all the generations yet to come to this sacred place.
May the Peace of Christ be yours this season,
Rev. John J. Isley Executive Director Tekoa