top of page

The Story Behind Journey To Christ Ministry

In the summer of 2020, in the early morning, I (Robert) was sitting outside of our camper at Knob Noster State Park. While reading my Bible, there was a Booming voice! I heard, “You will own a campground and use it to spread the Gospel”.

*Prior to this, nothing supernatural had ever happened to me. My wife had often shared some of her experiences throughout her life, and had told me about them. However, it always seemed rather unbelievable to me and I would brush it off.

Becoming a believer, I had to acknowledge the supernatural was real.  It is clearly written in God’s word that we struggle not with flesh and blood, ...but with principalities and spiritual hosts (Ephesians 6:12). It was hard to grasp for me.*

But in that moment, I somehow just knew it had to be God speaking to me. I walked into the camper with a look on my face. My wife, Cherie, described it as, "if I had seen a ghost". I asked her if she had heard the voice too, fully expecting her to say yes. When she said no and asked what was wrong, I replied with, "I...think God... spoke to me?"  She inquisitively asked, "Well, what did He say?"  Which I replied, “You will own a campground and use it to spread the Gospel”. My wife took a short pause as she stared at me and her eyebrows up and replied, "Okay."

 

The more we talked about it, my whole family and I became excited, and have been on our Journey to God’s plan for us ever since.

To make a long story short, we tried to be obedient immediately (From attempting to buy campgrounds, buying land to build a campground from the ground up, to taking over an already established one...etc.)

We made many, many, many mistakes - experienced closed doors, heartaches, confusion, disappointment, sadness, embarrassment and sometimes feeling pressure to hurry things along. But we never wavered from our faith in God and His promises.  Through all these trials, there were lessons learned; learning His will over our own wants, hearing His voice and not just our hearts or minds. There were humbling moments; patience and not rushing things, the stripping of pride, His will over our own, and that if there was no peace, it was not of Him. Yet, through all the trials and even during them, we experienced many, many, many, many - Blessings!

 

(The detailed chapters of our Journey's story will be partitioned up in our Blog over time and grow as God continues this story)

We learned that these were necessary steps for this story to occur according to God's will; and the name Journey to Christ came to us from these experiences.

One major thing that happened many times on this journey, was that through our church sermons, it was as if God spoke to us directly.  It was always exactly about what we were going through that week (and every week) - helping us, guiding us, and encouraging us.  This one sermon in particular was about really stepping out in faith.  So, as another confirmation for us, after discussion and prayer, we took the biggest step of faith that we could think of next.  Giving it all to God, and putting it into His hands. We decided to sell our house and move into our camper full-time so that we could be ready to move when God called us to.

During that time, we had begun looking at campgrounds to live at in the area that were within the range that would allow me to continue to working for my department. We researched several places. 

In March, my wife found a place online on accident.  It had no website and it wasn't even clear if it was a working campground, just a few interesting pictures. Still, we decided to take a trip out to this place called, Lake Paradise Resort. When we got there it was so empty and nothing was open. My wife soon decided she wasn't sold on this place.  There were a lot of RVs that she didn't feel comfortable around and hills (she had issues with hills for some reason) and it was so far away from all we knew.  It wasn't the nicest time of year which didn't help her.  We overall were just confused on what was going on there.  There was no one at the office, nor any information to be found. We drove around the huge property anyway.

On our way out, we passed 2 men working.  Even though she was over the place, Cherie pleaded with me to stop and ask the men if they knew any info on the place.  Well, just so happens it was the owner himself, Shelby, and his son.  They explained how they had recently bought the place and are working to restore it.  We didn't want to interfere with their new journey and thought that was confirmation that this wasn't the place to be for us.  We did exchange phone numbers before we left though.

In May we did more research and found a campground in Peculiar and liked it.  It was simple, clean with paved roads, sites were far apart and just, comfortable.  It was obvious the place wasn't for sale any time soon but we figured it was comfortable enough for us to stay at once we sold our house, and stay at until God takes us elsewhere.

Within a few months, God provided the perfect buyers who were the adult children of friends of ours.  This not only made the transition much smoother and less stressful, but also cut costs for us all. We sold the house and moved out within a few months. Praise God for His provisions and perfect timing! 

In October, we moved to Peculiar, and within a month, God revealed again, we had chosen wrongly. The place, although nice and comfortable, soon started to not make sense for us.  Over  the long months, we had made friends with a couple and our children got along with theirs.  But sadly once we moved there, the fellowship we grew there never progressed. After it seemed like we had become new great friends, never got to see them. That was sadly discouraging but we took it as another closed door and just pray for them til this day.

Another issue was, we were told that although our camping skirt was up to their standards, it wasn't allowed to be put up because of the scripture that was written on it.  From a business point of view we were understanding.  But as Christians it did not go along with our faith, but we respected their rules.  They gave us the option to put it on backwards but in our hearts that was a form of denying God so we just decided not to put it up at all.  With that, we started to question how would we even be able to minister to anyone on the campground and do what God was asking us to do.

Then, one day, the owner voiced to us "it was an adult campground and children were only allowed to be there." Taken aback, and not wanting to move on emotions, we went inside to talk and pray.  We asked God if we had made a mistake and if we were not where He wanted us to be.  Because, all the things that were building up, just didn't feel right.  We prayed for His will be done, and that He reveal to us where He wanted us to be if it wasn't there.

Surprisingly, Cherie suggested that maybe we should look back into the other place that she had originally rejected 7 months prior.  She said maybe God wants her out of what's comfortable for her, and needs her to just be obedient.  She knew if its not meant to be, it wouldn't happen and maybe the phone number we had from the man wont even work.  After praying on it more, I made the call.  After just a few rings, the owner answered.  He had remembered us and invited us to come see him the next day.  When I got off the phone we sat there shocked how easy it was.  I sat there saying that we needed to keep praying on it and let God guide us. 

After a few minutes, my wife decided to look up their campground online again to see if they had a website.  They did!  When she opened the website not only did it say, "Come enjoy a family friendly resort with all the charm of old fashioned camping. We hope our visitors feel like they are a guest in our own backyard!" which of course spoke to us as a great place for our kids. Even more so, at the top of the page was written,  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 With tears in my wife's eyes, she looked at me and we knew that had to be confirmation from the Lord.

(Later it was revealed that the Shannon had just had that website put up only a week or so prior!  How great is our God and His perfect timing?!)

We drove to Lake Paradise the next day and spoke with them.  We explained a little about what God was asking us to do and how we were growing a ministry and asked if they would be willing to let us start it at their campground. They were not only willing to let us start our ministry there but were more than gracious to allow us to use their campground and facilities for the ministry.  My wife also asked if we would be allowed to put our skirting up that had scripture on it and his answer was not only yes, but that his wife, Shannon, wants scripture Everywhere here! We knew now, even though not to our understanding, we were finally where we were supposed to be.  In pure awe, we left there feeling completely at peace and excited.

On top of that, the very next morning, I received a phone call that I was being promoted to Sergeant on the police department.  A phone call that I had been waiting for almost 4 years. One that either fell through or was postponed for whatever reason.  It was almost as if my obedience was being rewarded.  Whatever it was, all things went according to His plans, not mine, and we experienced Joy.

When we went back to Peculiar we told the owners that we found another campground that would allow us to do our ministry work, and they were happy for us.  We left there on good terms and no hard feelings and we also will continue to pray for them and their business.  Praise God for Peace!

 

The moment we moved to Lake Paradise we were just surrounded with God's presence and have been working diligently to get the ministry started up.

(despite the crazy RV Winter Adventures, there will also be God Praises about all the experiences, God willing, coming to the blog soon!)

Meanwhile, after the winter months passed and we got more settled in, I continued to pray on what was God’s plan for us.  This is where I believe God revealed to me, through various steps, that He wanted to set up the ministry as a Nonprofit because it is His ministry, not mine.  He knows that I struggle with pride and being self-centered at times and had to strip that away from me.  If I saw this ministry as mine and not His, my pride might get in the way of His plan for it.  I learn (and am still learning) that I am to be a good steward of His ministry, and that I am a servant in His Kingdom, not my own.

So much has happened since we moved here just last Fall.  It truly has been a great journey for us already.  My wife now thinks its one of her favorite places to be and now even rides down those hills with no worries!  There were so many beautiful renovations and additions that the Gray's have done here through their own obedience to God.  With the conversation with people, we are constantly reminded that God is in this.  It has been a blessing just a be a part of this journey and to see God work in such amazing ways.

We have had several discussions with the owners about what God is doing in all our lives.  Since the first time we met, and they spoke about their plans for this campground, we were blown away by how similar they were to what God has put in our hearts as well.  Nearly everything was the same between their plans for Lake Paradise and the plans that we dreamt up on paper.  It made us realized it wasn't our plans all along, but God's plans that He put in our hearts.

We have been at Lake Paradise about a year now and have been working diligently to get this ministry up and running. We have done events, fundraiser Luau and dinners, started a Small Group and a Men's Bible Study group.  We're working on planning events and retreats.  Which we again experienced correction when we step out of His will and rushed things.  But every step, and every day, it is a Blessing from God just to be a part of it all. Although this has been the busiest season of our lives, it has also been the most blessed and at peace we have ever been. 

God is working in this place.  He is working in our lives and those around us and here in this place.  We are excited to be able to serve them through His ministry, including all who God calls here.

Our calling and purpose is to reach those who have not yet heard the gospel, and to help strengthen the faith of those who already have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We are not sure what the future holds, but we know that for now, we are being called to serve here.   

With every new day, Let the Journey begin...

Let’s Work Together

Get in touch so we can start working together.

  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • X

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page