Winter Family Camp - A Time Away to Engage and Reconnect

Dr. Larry Guthrie, our speaker for Winter Family Camp, has been in full-time ministry for 35 years. Some Forest Springs’ campers may remember him from his time on staff here. He now serves in ministry at Harvest Home Farm with his daughter, son-in-law and grand kids. 

We sat down with Larry to talk about his ministry and thoughts on what people can expect from Winter Family Camp – coming up February 8-11.

Tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.  
We are currently working with three generations of our family on a family farm. We raise fiber animals such as sheep, llamas, and alpacas. We host around 2,000 guests a year at the farm using God's creation to teach about His invisible attribute, divine nature and eternal power. We also host a radio program called "Food for Thought" from Harvest Home Farm. So far we have produced a book titled "All We Like Sheep" and 270 one-minute devotionals based on biblical principles illustrated with lessons from the farm.
You’ve been married for years and have grown children. What are some godly principles you have learned as a father and husband that you could share with our readers? 
Perhaps the greatest gift we can give our children and grandchildren is the example of our own walk with the Lord. We all stumble and fall. That is part of our sinful nature, but how we handle our own faults will speak more loudly that any words we speak. History reveals that our children will grow up to be just like us, so I would encourage parents to walk worthy of their imitation. They are watching.
So you are in ministry with your family. What do you like best about working with your family? Why is it so important as Christians to maintain a strong family bond?  
One of my favorite aspects of the ministry is working on a daily basis with our grandchildren. On one occasion I was working with one of the boys and he said to me, "Papa, I like working with you." That really warmed my heart. Later he added, "I'm going to do this with my grandchildren too."  It couldn't get much better than that, but then he added, "But you'll be dead by then." He was right of course. It reminded me of the need to redeem the time and make the most of every moment.
Describe Winter Family Camp at Forest Springs to someone who has never been? 
Winter Family Camp is like walking into a winter wonder land where moms don't have to cook and dads can put away their cell phones. Families can enjoy one another's company in a vast playground of "care free" adventure. 

It was a summer family camp back in 1972 that changed the outlook of our own family. I can remember spending time together in a tiny pop up camper. I remember mosquito patrol before we could go to bed. I remember praying together as we fell asleep. I also remember the shared adventure of catching 42 bluegill in 20 minutes. Winter Family Camp offers unique adventures but the same family connections.
What will you be touching on during your time speaking at Winter Family Camp? Why is it important for families today? 
I'll be sharing from the 23rd Psalm. Since we raise sheep on the farm, we have learned a considerable amount about the relationship between sheep and shepherds. Such knowledge would have been common to those of David's day. But today we find ourselves disconnected from the reality of what it takes to raise sheep. My goal is to help reconnect families with one another and to reconnect them with the intended meaning of this precious Psalm.
There are so many things going on, and family life is so busy. Why should people come?  
They should come simply because life is so busy. We all need to separate ourselves occasionally from that busyness. We need to step back from the daily grind, take a deep breath, and reflect. Our family needs to do the same thing, so we will be bringing all three generations of our own family with us to Forest Springs’ Winter Family Camp. We need to step back too.

What are you most looking forward to? 
I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us. I know that when we get away, meet new people, walk through God's creation, and immerse ourselves in the Word of God - good things will happen. I plan to leave that part of the Winter Family Camp up to HIM.

How can people be praying for you as you prepare for your time at Forest Springs?  
Winter Family Camp marks thirty five years of full time ministry. Lois and I are officially retiring from Harvest Home Farm, but not from ministry and not from family life. While the next season of our lives is somewhat uncertain, we are confident that Lord still has work for us to do. Please pray for the wisdom to know which open doors to pursue.

We’d love to have your family come to Winter Family Camp this year. Learn more about Winter Family Camp here or call 715-427-5241.

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