An Eternal Investment

April 29, 2016 | Andrew McCrary

Paul and Jeanne Oss are close to Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho. From their living room window, they can look across Hayden Lake and see the camp just over 6 miles away. They are near enough that an ambitious and athletic granddaughter even swam across the lake from their home to the camp. But more than close proximity, Camp MiVoden is near and dear to their hearts because of the rich legacy left by Melvin Oss — Paul’s father. 

Shortly after 39-year-old Melvin Oss began serving as Upper Columbia Conference youth director, he joined conference leaders in April 1940 to view some landlocked property owned by the conference. “Where’s the lake?” he asked. “We have to have a camp on the lake!” he insisted, urging the conference to purchase a nearby YWCA camp, pointing out that he could be ready to run a youth camp that very summer. And he did! 

Over the ensuing nearly 75 years, Camp MiVoden and Oss’ vision has blessed countless generations of young people and provided places for church retreats, Pathfinder meetings, pastoral and teacher annual training events, and so much more.

Paul and Jeanne Oss’ lifetime interest in Camp MiVoden is no surprise, given this legacy and the countless weeks they and their family and grandchildren have spent or worked at MiVoden. So it’s always been natural to look for ways to assist MiVoden, something they’re thrilled to do with a charitable gift annuity. Not only does it give them a welcome lifetime income stream, it gives a second time with a generous donation to their beloved Camp MiVoden. They are excited to have one more way to continue Melvin Oss’ legacy, a legacy of discipling future generations through the ministry of MiVoden.

Cut to another lakeshore. It’s been a long day, but the spiritual retreat has been amazing, leaving people hungry for more. Even growling stomachs haven’t pulled people away from the riveting message, but the speaker is sensitive to such things and challenges His assistants to think big and feed the crowd, though they have nothing on hand. 

Then Andrew steps forward and introduces a young boy with a small lunch, wondering how it could ever help in addressing the needs of so many — whereupon everyone watches in amazement as the simple lunch makes an impact beyond anyone’s imagination.

Your Upper Columbia Conference trust department functions much like Andrew, connecting people passionate about making an eternal difference in this conference with ways to do that. It is our privilege to work with some of the greatest and most generous people who, while caring for family, also want to be a part of building disciples in their communities and conference, whether the amount given seems large or small.

We are in the business of planting trees, which means that the rich blessings this conference receives each year reflect faithful planning, often decades ago by passionate dreamers of the past. At the same time, we are partnering with individuals today to plant seedlings that will bless, nurture and disciple future generations. Our thanks to the many generous members of this conference who are part of that planting — and therefore reaping — process.