Big Lake Staff Member Dies in Fall

July 07, 2016 | Northwest | Dick Duerksen

The following statement has been posted on the Oregon Conference website regarding the death of Brian Robak, contract staff member at the conference's Big Lake Youth Camp near Sisters, Ore.

Big Lake staff member, Brian Robak, age 28, fell to his death while returning from the summit of Mt. Washington Thursday afternoon, June 30, 2016. Brian’s relationship with Big Lake Youth Camp began when he was a camper, then a staff member in training, and finally with eight summers and two winters as a full-time staff member.

Brian’s skills with drama, video, photography, and worship production have brought joyful laughter and dedicated hope to many campers and staff members at Big Lake and at the 2014 Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis.

This summer Brian had chosen to move on to other responsibilities, but agreed to come to camp and spend two weeks to train the worship team in script-writing, drama, and worship planning.

“We miss Brian” has been foremost in many Big Lake hearts this weekend.

Our Oregon Conference members in ministry miss Brian too. His spirit of kind dedication and graceful service has provided a clear picture of Christ’s character. Though we miss his daily modeling of Christianity, we are also proud of the team he helped train as inspirational leaders.

Last Wednesday evening, Brian gave his personal spiritual testimony at campfire. “Big Lake is the place I belong,” Brian said, “My testimony tonight is that I have found peace here. Peace, and hope, and love, and Jesus right in the middle of it all.”

Thursday afternoon Brian told Les Zolbrecht, Big Lake Camp director, that he was going out to take some photos and would be back in a little while. Feeling the draw of Mt. Washington, Brian’s photo journey took him up the mountain’s hogback ridge. Along the way, he took several photos and emailed them to friends. When he reached Mt. Washington’s summit he took one more photo, a panorama that shows the best of the Cascade Range, including Big Lake. After emailing this photo, he began the trek down.

Yes, though Brian is gone, the intensity of his love for God lives on in the hearts of thousands who met Jesus through him.

Please join us in praying often for Brian’s family and friends. And please, take advantage of this moment to turn your face toward Jesus. Ask Him to fill your life with the love and hope that made Brian so special.


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