Wow! Happy New Year, friends! We’ve returned from our Columbus Christmas trip, regrouped in Waco, and then headed down the road to our January SOWER project – Highland Lakes Camp in Spicewood, TX (between Austin and Marble Falls). The camp is located right on Lake Travis, so although we are in a pretty remote area,it’s also pretty touristy so we are still enjoying some good ‘first world’ perks. Like several TV (OTA) stations, good cell phone service and reasonable internet. Not to mention a nice full hook-up and great neighbors (other SOWERS or staff here at the camp). I’m looking forward to a great month!
Meanwhile, I’m still sorting through photos from our wonderful family time in Ohio and I’m pretty sure I owe you a recap from the end of our trek through Arizona and Utah to get here. But all in good time. Or sooner or later.
I’ll sure I’ll get caught-up eventually.
Wow – We had such a good month at Camp Bighorn. In our 12 years as SOWERS, we’ve worked at dozens of Christian Camps across this country. We’ve worked at big camps and small camps, mountain camps and desert camps, lakeside camps and oceanside camps. And all those camps, regardless of their size, or activities or facilities, have one purpose in mind. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ and disciple young (and old) people. This camp has the same goal, but they go about it in a way different from any of the other camps that we’ve experienced. One of their taglines is “Adventure with Purpose”. And the purpose is to “steward environments where questions arise and hope is shared.”
At Camp Bighorn you won’t see the typical morning and evening worship/chapel schedule. (Although each day starts with a personal devotion time and ends with a group gathering.) Instead, they use the great outdoors as their chapel, and one-on-one interaction with counselors and staff during and after “adventures” as venues for discipleship. We were here for three very different camping sessions: Achieve Camp – a program for kids and adults with disabilities (inspirational to say the least), Youth Adventure Camp (many kids coming from the foster care programs in the area), and finally Family Camp. As always, it was great to see this camp in action –
(Truth in journalism – I got this picture off of Facebook. The action we enjoyed was mostly during meals and watching kids leave for rafting or paddle boarding or kayaking or high ropes, etc. After all – we were working, right? But even though we didn’t see THIS type of action – we knew it was going on! And you could tell the kids LOVED it!)
So while the camp’s action plan is a bit different that others that we’ve worked at, our SOWER work was right in line! Like all camps, big or small, they all need help! The ladies, with a fair bit of help from the men, continued on where the last group left off – cleaning and recovering 225 +/- chairs. What started out looking like this –
ended up looking like this –
(Pay no attention to the summer staff (and Gary) standing on our beautiful chairs. It’s a camp, right? They were just welcoming the campers to lunch.)
Here are a couple of “Hard at Work” pictures of the Chair Rehab Station –
(Look – they let me play with the staple gun! Happy to report no fingers were stapled in the production of these chair covers.)
While there were three couples working this month, one couple had worked through the break, so they were only there for the first week. I don’t think we could have finished up those chairs, though, if it hadn’t been for their faithful contribution (and the fact that by the time we got there they had figured out a good system.) While Gary came and helped occasionally, he was mostly working from his own list. Like A/C checking and ice machine adjusting, and electrical-type stuff. He’s handy to have around for those things. Plus he was busy building a concrete base for a generator that was being installed after we left.
Here is our group, posing in our “Album” cover look.
This was a very memorable month, from our rafting start
to our fancy dinner-out finish –
and all of the crazy camp moments in between!
We continue to be thankful for the opportunities we have to see Christ in action, working in the lives of staff, and campers, and yes – even us old SOWERS! To HIM be all the Glory and Honor!
We’re here in Beautiful Vero Beach, Florida, where we’ve enjoyed several days of perfect Florida weather, great fellowship with many new Sower friends, and a time of spiritual and physical refreshment. We’re at the Florida Sowers Reunion being held at The Youth for Life Camp – a beautiful camp/retreat center. Since we’re so new to the Sower Ministry we’ve especially appreciated hanging out with friends from our January Project, Dave and Edie Williams. They’ve been showing us the ropes and introducing us to folks. Everyone one has been wonderfully friendly! It been a great chance to see how this ministry has impacted people for so many years. We are definitely one of the younger couples here – and it really is inspiring to see so many mature Christians really living out their faith in this ministry.
The reunion ended today, and most of the gang has headed off to their next destination. We’re hanging around at the camp until it’s time to go to our next project at the Teen Challenge Ranch in the Florida panhandle. We have some chores to do, but hopefully we’ll get to the beach while we’re here. Can’t beat this fine Florida weather!
Here are our friends Dave and Edie –
We have just completed our third Sower Project, and what a special time it was! When 14 couples (most of whom have never met before) live together for three weeks it can go many different ways. It could be a time of working together on the tasks at hand and then going more or less our own way. It could be a time of personalities vying for attention and control, with little sense of community at all. Or it could be a time of sweet fellowship, whether you’re working in the thrift shop, doing dishes in the kitchen, clearing debris from the hurricanes, painting 20,000 gallon water tanks for fire prevention, or trying to remember just what exactly a Greatest Common Multiplier is (and why anyone would care!). We truly had a special, special time with our co-labors at Green Isle. It was a very diversified group – four couples had done 2 or less projects, some 15 or twenty, and some had been doing projects for many, many years. The diversities became blessings as we all recognized again and again the precious bond we have in our precious Lord and Savoir. I was pushing for us all to remain and form a commune, but reality set in and slowly the RV’s began heading on to their next adventure. Some are going right to another project, others are heading for medical treatment, some are off to see family and friends. It is sad to think that we may never get to work and live with these dear friends again, but the sadness is tempered by the joy that we have in knowing them. God is Good – All the Time!
Here we all are – What a Crew!
We’re heading south. We’ll spend a couple of days at a beautiful county park outside of St. Petersburg (Fort DeSoto Park), and then head to Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers to see Gary’s sister and other dear friends. We really regret missing the blizzard in PA this weekend. NOT.