Katy joined our staff in January of 2021. She has previously served as summer staff and volunteer during our summer camp season for multiple years. As resident staff Katy will be serving in the Guest Services department in the area of Hospitality. Her principle focus will be preparing our facilities for guest along with minor facility upkeep, she will also assist in hosting our guest as well as having direct one on one ministry with our students and summer volunteers.
I hope you are having a wonderful spring! Here is a long overdue update covering the year and several months since I started my job at MMRM. 🙂
In January 2021 I moved to Pennsylvania & started working in the MMR guest services department. Part of my job is keeping walkways safe in winter, so I got to spend quite a bit of time outside clearing snow and it was lovely! I really enjoy the outdoors – being outside helps me think clearly and it was such a blessing as I was starting a new job (which can be daunting). I always look forward to the quiet beauty that winter brings!
This past spring we were blessed with the ability to host our normal retreats and events (even amid Covid restrictions), and I had a great time serving the guests. I also got to help renovate one of our bunkhouses and learn how to work with insulation and drywall! A few weeks later my baby brother was born, and God was so gracious in His timing: I was able to visit just a day after he arrived! A friend from Indiana was visiting the ranch at the time, and graciously let me catch a ride with her. I am so thankful for the kindness & willingness to help one another shown by my fellow staff and friends at Miracle Mountain- it is a constant blessing to me and so many others. Visiting home and my church family was a wonderful refreshment before the awesome chaos of summer camp started!
I had been a bit apprehensive of summer since I started; I was going into territory I knew – but I knew it from the counseling side of things, and had never experienced housekeeping in summer camp form before. I learned a lot and was humbled in so many ways. I have always struggled with relying on my own strength and forgetting to acknowledge and be thankful for God’s grace when things get busy (I know, how does one forget? And yet I do!). And although things didn’t always go as planned, God still used it to His glory, and I was given great opportunities to see His grace at work in my life as well as the lives of others. He also blessed us with the ability to resume our regular overnight camps as well as two weeks of day camp! It was so wonderful to be relieved of almost all Covid restrictions this summer and we were able to host over 1,000 kids for summer camp! It was a great joy to serve the summer staff, volunteers and ranchers, and I am already excited to see what opportunities this summer holds.
A few weeks after summer camp ended, we had to say goodbye to our graduating SOD (School of Discipleship) students. It has been an honor to get to serve and work alongside the students these past two years! I also had the privilege of accompanying a friend to the Dominican Republic on a ten-day trip in late August after graduation. It was an adventure I will not soon forget! I also got to take my first plane ride, and discovered that flying is one of my favorite ways to travel.
Fall brought the return of retreats and cool weather. Several families from my church (including my own family) attended Family Camp in early September, and I had the pleasure of spending some time catching up with them. We welcomed the SOD class of ’22 a week later, and I have deeply enjoyed getting to know the students and see the work God is doing in their lives. I have the opportunity to work alongside the students during work projects and daily chores, and have been impressed by the genuine desire to learn and serve expressed by the students.
October flew by, and after wrapping up a few more retreats, I went down to Gulf Shores to visit my family on vacation. We explored various beaches and took a ferry to Dauphin Island, where we visited an aquarium and later hiked the Dauphin Island Audubon trail in search of birds and alligators (we found both!).
November brought cold(er) weather and I had a wonderful time preparing for Christmas festivities with the students, hanging lights around the Ranch, and decorating the big Christmas tree in the dining hall. We had several lovely Christmas events and parties. I also got to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with my family, even getting to surprise my extended family (whom I had not seen in over a year!). I was also very thankful for friends and family that gave me rides to and from the train station at odd hours so that I could travel.
In mid February several MMR staff, SOD students, and I attended the Faith Biblical Counseling Conference in Lafayette, Indiana. Though the subject matter was serious, it was presented in such a way that it was deeply encouraging, and full of the hope found in the Gospel. I truly enjoyed my time spent there, in both the sessions and in fellowship, and look forward to applying what I learned!
Spring ‘22 has started up quite nicely – I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding, and my family came up to visit for several days! I also moved to a different housing unit, and have had fun rearranging things to suit my new space. I am so excited to see what God has in store for the upcoming months! Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
If you are so inclined, you can help support me financially by clicking the button below or by sending a check/gift made out to Katy Harlan at 101 Rodeo Drive, Spring Creek PA 16436.