Friday, May 30, 2008

Worlds Apart

As I write this I am at Chula Vista Resort Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, WI. My hearing is under constant assault from music, bells, sirens, screaming students (I'm on a year end field trip) and rushing water. I can't help but compare this barrage with the quiet beauty of last weekend. Dale and I had the joy of going to Yellowstone Alliance Adventures outside of Bozeman, Montana. We joined Lauren and Josh and a group of 7 others from the Chelten Baptist Church near Philly for a 4 day work weekend. Seth & Cathy Coates, who are from that church and good friends with Josh & Lauren, serve full time at the camp. It was our prayer to be an encouragement to them and others - to do whatever needed to be done - whatever.

God reminded me of that about 1 week before we left when I told Dale that I hoped I wouldn't have to be in the kitchen the whole time.
It didn't take long for God to remind me of "whatever".
Forgive me, Father, for my selfishness.

We went eager to see Josh and Lauren, Seth and Cathy, meet new friends and work hard. All of that was accomplished.

With Dale's and Josh's construction abilities they were put to work on different projects. Dale worked on putting board and batten cedar skirting around the base of the new office building. Thankfully he had 2 able bodied young men who worked under the porch and on their backs some of the time.

When they couldn't do anymore because of the mud, he cut the pieces of cedar shingles for the gable ends of one of the new buildings.

Josh worked in an old cabin that needed a new bathroom. He had to cut out rotten floor joists, fix the plumbing, put in new supports, and sub-flooring, frame up the shower and put up cement board for under the tile. It was a small area for 2 guys to be working in.

I was on the "miscellaneous" crew led by Joe Gough, the Jr. High director at the Chelten Church. At the start of each day Seth gave him a list of things to be done and at the end of each day they were completed. Yeah!! Somethings took 30 minutes - some took hours.

Here is some of what we did:

- 4 full loads of branches piled onto truck and moved to the burn pile

- put together futon bed with bunk

- 2 loads of firewood moved from a shed - onto truck - and then piled by the Coates house

- emptied a small shed so that it could be moved and then restocked the shed

- emptied another shed in maintenance

- removed things from the ropes course building

- moved the freezer to the ropes course building

- etc...

Kudos to Crystal for her truck driving abilities on & off the muddy roads, and to Joe for getting the truck with the freezer up the steep drive which was soupy with deep mud. We cheered when he made it up without getting stuck. It was fun but wet sitting on the back of the truck piled with branches. It had been a long time since I'd been that dirty, wet and tired from working outside. We worked until 7 p.m. Friday night then had supper.

Saturday we ended work earlier to go into Bozeman for pizza. Sunday we worshipped together at the Alliance Church in Bozeman feeling at home with believers.

In the afternoon we had another new experience -

Paintball! What FUN!

Josh, Lauren, Dale and me

We split into 2 teams and played up on the hillside in the woods that was muddy and slippery from all of the rain on Saturday. Played several different games for almost 3 hours. It can leave some pretty significant bruises or welts. Believe me, I know. But ask me if I'd play again!

We worked some Monday morning yet before heading back to the airport trying to get as much done as possible. Once in the car the first thing that Dale said was, "I'm so glad that we did this." I agreed. We had joked earlier that we were practicing for retirement. We would love to be able to do this sort of thing on a regular basis. It was such a blessing to serve, and especially with Josh and Lauren and their friends. We enjoyed getting to know Jim and Andrea Hawthorne who is the Director of the camp and have him share words of encouragement at our break times. He reminded us not to think that we just have gotten the jobs done, but because the jobs are done it helps them to continue with the ministry of reaching kids and families for Christ.

So even though we ended up sleeping in the Denver airport Thursday night, worked in the rain all day Saturday, was physically tired, ended up with an allergic reaction which gave me a wicked rash and sent me to the doctor once we were home.....

Would I do it again?

In a heartbeat!

For more pictures click on the link below.

camps website:

1 comment:

Linda said...

This looks like so much fun. Bless you and Dale for choosing to go out there and be servants.