Most people reading this probably know that Camp Deer Run is a pretty big deal to me and my family......and my husband who has grown to love it too. Camp is trying to rebuild one new cabin per year and Kory and I knew we wanted to do something special with the money people sent to Camp Deer Run when Jayde passed away. So, a few months ago, we sent this letter out to our families and a few friends.
Kory and I are writing you to let you know about a project that is very close to our hearts. As you know, 5 1/2 years ago, we delivered our twins Jayde Spencer and Kanyon Luke almost 4 months premature. Losing Jayde is still a loss and an ache that we feel in our lives every day. After her death, we had many family and friends reach out to us and offer their support in any way they could. One of the ways people honored Jayde was by making a donation to Camp Deer Run. If you are receiving this letter, you are a part of our support system that encouraged us and prayed for us during that time. Chances are, you have a connection to Deer Run, or you know what a powerful role it has played in my life. We feel strongly about using those donations made 5 years ago to bless other children.
When you lose a child, you also lose all the experiences you would’ve had with her. Losing the experience of Camp Deer Run has been especially hard for me to face. I know that Jayde will never get to pack her trunk and head to Camp. I know that she will never run around on Cheuk ball field, drink from Hoche grove, or romp in Killi Creek. She will never stand under the stars beside her cousins while the group leader sings “At Night as I Lay on My Pillow”. While those experiences are lost, we pray that her memory will live there. Our goal is to build a new Women’s cabin in her memory. It is our prayer that this cabin will give other girls the chance to run, play, swim, sing and encounter God at Camp Deer Run in a way that can only happen at CDR. It would be an honor to see her name on a cabin and know that she, in a way, is there. Those empty holes in my heart are filled in a little more when I think of my nieces sleeping in a bunk in her cabin, or the daughters of all my friends making new and forever friends within the walls of her cabin. How special it will be for our new baby girl, Jaylie, to one day walking through the door of her sister’s cabin.
The cost of the cabin will be approximately $30,000 and we have $2,000 from the donations received in her memory. We would love to raise the remainder of that amount to get the cabin built by this spring so that it is ready to go for Summer 2013. We are asking you to prayerfully consider donating to this cause to not only honor our daughter, but to help support a mission field that impacts and transforms lives. We are asking you to help us honor Jayde, and honor God’s work at CDR. We see this as an opportunity to not only remember Jayde, but to remember how God was, and continues to be faithful to our family through the highs and lows. This cabin will stand as a reminder to all of us that God is always with us and that he does make all things beautiful. Our family has experienced God’s faithfulness in powerful ways and we were never alone. Not only were we surrounded by God, but also surrounded by incredible friends. God has given us an opportunity to use what we were given and bless others. We are honored to answer the call. You were touched by our tiny babies and we know you walked through those valleys with us. We are now asking you to join us on a mountain top.
Long story short, we were reminded yet again of what incredibly generous, loving, and supportive friends we have. The goal was met and exceeded in a matter of weeks. It was a humbling and powerful experience for us and we are just floored. Really, words fall short of expressing how much this all meant to us and how much it means to have people we love, love our daughter and us.
They started building pretty quickly. Here it is in late January/early February. The cool thing is that they guy that built it just so happened to be one of Kory's contractors that he works with at work, so it was neat for us to know the guy building it and he assured us that they were doing an "extra good job" on this one!
The day before camp started, there was a big "CDR Homecoming" and also the official dedication of the cabin. It was a neat little time for us and the people that were there who helped make it happen.
These pictures are from that day.....
My cousin Jay reading Psalm 36
Both of the boys could totally sense the emotions of everyone there and they both got upset. In fact, just last night, a whole week after the dedication, Kanyon prayed "and thank you for mommy but she got sad at Camp Deer Run". We tried to explain that we were happy about the cabin, but they could just tell that emotions were running high.
Me saying thank you...
Ty saying nice things and giving us a beautiful frame to put a picture in...
Cousins playing on the bunks...
Daddies wrangling babies on the bunks....
All the cousins......This group here is one of the main reasons we wanted to do this.
The whole Spencer Fam
gotta have a CDR silly picture!
We are honored to have this completed and so grateful for all of the support. Camp is in full swing and just last week I got to see it full of girls having a blast. I feel very strongly that CDR is a mission field, growing the Kingdom every day and I love that our daughter's name is on something that is literally bringing people to Jesus. There will be a plaque in the cabin with a picture and the words on the plaque will be read something like this:
Jayde Spencer Phillips was born in to a family of Deer Runners. Dating back to her Great Grandpa building the rec hall, her grandparents camping and working on staff, her mom, aunts, uncles and cousins spending their years at Deer Run, and now a whole new generation of campers in her siblings and cousins. This cabin was built to honor her memory in a place that means so much to her family. The pain of her loss is deep, but God is always faithful in providing peace, comfort, and hope to the people that love her. This cabin was built not only to honor Jayde, but to honor God. The provider of all peace, comfort, and hope. When you see this cabin, may it remind you not only of a very special baby girl but also of God’s faithfulness in taking care of his people and and His power to make all things beautiful. This cabin will serve as a place where GOD's work is done and campers encounter God and grow in their relationship with Him in a way that can only happen at Camp Deer Run.
Thanks you again to those of you who helped make it happen. This is a big deal to me. I am so proud to have it there and see her name on it. We really do pray that it is used to glorify God for many generations to come and that people will see it and be reminded that we serve a FAITHFUL God.