In South Africa we do not have long summer holidays, so most camping happens on weekends. We have found that many church leaders want time with their members to achieve their vision objectives.
So, we aim to provide the perfect location for churches and other ministries to realize their vision. We offer an environment where all distractions are removed, and they are able to concentrate on their prime objective.
These weekend “goals” include evangelism, team training, Bible study, vision planning, prayer and thanksgiving, fasting, Alpha weekends, marriage weekends, leaders retreat, etc. We provide an attractive environment and clean, functional facilities equipped with everything necessary for comfort. We offer great food and a variety of venues equipped to suit every program, supported by a team dedicated to the comfort and spiritual growth of every guest.
Our vision is based on the following key principles:
This is the most crucial aspect of any ministry. We strive to seek His face on every issue and acknowledge Him in all we do. Our project is His project first, and we look to Him to bless both our guests and ourselves. Every aspect of this ministry is covered by prayer.
- The venue must attract customers.
It is so important that the venue is appealing and able to provide all attendees with an environment that does not detract from the ministry they are receiving during their stay. It needs to be a beautiful part of God’s creation that is conveniently located and lovingly maintained, providing “fit for use” facilities that are appropriate to the guests needs. It does not need to be luxurious, but everything must work and be clean. Small things make a big difference to guests – strategically placed benches, private areas for contemplation, and extras like beverages available all day. Food is very important, both quality and quantity, and this is the most noticeable way to satisfy guests.
The overall impression must be that the atmosphere points guests to our God and Creator. This is difficult to define in business management terms, but in the spiritual realm, the Holy Spirit uses what we make available to work in the hearts and lives of those we serve. We often hear people say, “I could feel the presence of God the moment I set foot on this property.” That is our desire.
- The staff have servant hearts resulting in guests feeling valued.
Everybody needs to be committed to the Lord personally and in their work situation. The board needs to be committed to the vision and provide support and encouragement down the line. Management needs to have servant hearts and a love for people that shines through everything they do. All staff members need to be involved in what I like to call our “generosity mentality,” where we “under promise and over deliver.” We should aim to surprise guests by our acts of kindness and thoughtfulness and by offering the best service possible—beyond their expectations.
Grant Caw, 60, is a board member and founder of HeronBridge Retreat and HeronBridge College in Johannesburg, South Africa. Grant is also a teacher, builder, property valuer, school developer, entrepreneur, past CCSA chair and totally committed to the value of camping ministry.