Big Lake Staff Member Dies in Fall

August 31, 2016 | Dick Duerksen

Big Lake staff member Brian Robak, 28, fell to his death while returning from the summit of Mount Washington Thursday afternoon, June 30. Robak’s relationship with Big Lake Youth Camp in central Oregon, began when he was a camper, continued as he became a staff member in training, and turned into eight summers and two winters as a full-time staff member.

Robak’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., where he played Nebuchadnezzar.

This summer, Robak 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 these past few weeks.

Our Oregon Conference members in ministry miss Robak 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.

The day before his passing, Robak 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.”

That Thursday afternoon Robak told Les Zollbrecht, Big Lake Camp director, he was going out to take some photos and would be back in a little while. Feeling the draw of Mount Washington, Robak’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 the summit, he took one more photo, a panorama that shows the best of the Cascade Range, including Big Lake. After emailing the photo, he began the trek down.

Though Robak 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 Robak'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 Robak so special.