Ministry and art go hand in hand
It is a labor of love.
The two came to the camp as volunteers to continue the work that had been started, but they also wanted to do something for their church.
J.P. and Audrey Huver arrived at the Four Corners Christian Service Camp about a year ago to be the directors and, hopefully, to get more people interested in coming to the camp.
“Until we came here, the camp was run by different volunteers each year,” said Audrey. “They would come in May and stay through the summer. That was all.”
The Huvers live there year-round, though, and have made the camp their life’s work.
It is owned by five different churches in the area — the Durango Christian Church, the Cortez Christian Church, the Gallup Christian Church, the Sunrise Christian Church (Farmington) and the Bayfield Christian Church.
The camp is on the same property that housed the Mesa Verde Silver Fox Farm in the 1930s and early 1940s, owned by Byron and Martha Brown. It was well-known throughout the U.S. to have had one of the best silver fox herds in the country.
It now consists of 33 acres, has two sleeping cabins for the girls and two for the boys, along with seven recreational vehicle spots, a dining hall and lots of areas for outdoor activities.
“There’s room to sleep 67 people in all,” said J.P.
But the camp itself is big enough to easily handle 100 people. It’s not just for camping either, said Audrey. The outdoor environment and the seclusion is conducive to businesses that need a place for a team-building meeting or a retreat, to family reunions, or any kind of gathering.
“By the end of this summer we will have had nine groups come here,” said Audrey.
There is plenty of room for activities as well.
The Huvers ran a ranch for a church in Wyoming prior to coming to the area.
As part of their ministry, the Huvers also do a lot of woodworking. Much of the wood they use, J.P. said, is wood that is rejected by other people, making the things they create unique and funky. Some of it has come from corrals and barns that J.P. has torn down. Audrey will use a variety of media to carve or burn a scene into the wood, along with some scripture verses, and then paint them. These personal touches make their woodworking one-of-a-kind and unusual.
“Our focus is on providing a ministry and service for kids,” said Audrey. “But the woodworking is an extension of what we do.”
J.P. has made sofa tables (a table that is higher than a regular table), candelabras, hangers for coats, footstools — just about anything that they can think of. It is usually made of the pine that is found around here and some of the wood came from Wyoming as well. The sanding and staining occupies much of J.P.’s time, and the end results are beautiful.
The views from the camp, located near Summit Lake on Road 37, are spectacular and, at the same time, very relaxing. Audrey does most of the cooking for the camp, as director, and J.P. does all the maintenance and labor. They both pitch in where necessary all over the camp.
“It’s an awesome place for anyone to come and have a meeting, or bring their youth group for camp,” said Audrey.
The Huvers’ artistic woodworking efforts can be seen at the Artisan’s Co-op in Mancos. This Friday, Aug. 31, is an opening reception for them and their art.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Four Corners Christian Service Camp can call 970-882-2523.