Saturday, May 16, 2009

Prayer and Green Eyes

SUMMER CAMP IS STARTING! I have packed my stuff and am on my way to camp for the summer! Moving is officially NOT glamorous. For the next 13 weeks, I will live at camp to help run our summer program. I am feeling equal parts of excited and overwhelmed. Please join me in prayer for the summer:

* My landlord has generously allowed me to store my stuff in his attic for no charge. This is a multiple blessing because it means I will be able to save some money and I only have to find a truck and strong friends one time when I move in the fall. Thank you, Nathan!
* I don't know anything about cars, but apparently it's not okay for the steering wheel to shake. I am thankful that God provided an honest and respectful mechanic and the funds to replace parts on my car.
* I was able to see friends from Bible school (DeMarces and Painters) and friends from Idaho this weekend (Jerry and Ouanda Walton - here for Tyler's graduation).

* We have capacity for 1,000 campers this summer. Pray specifically that God will give favor in overcoming the many challenges of getting kids to camp and that the summer staff would have unity and focus.
* Pray for my transition into this summer. There are a lot of details and dynamics to sort through ... and a few decisions to be made. Pray for my priorities and that I will have insight and perspective.
* Pray from my fall housing needs. I want to move in somewhere and then stay there indefinitely. Pray for clarity, opportunity, and timing to intersect.

Something you should know about me ..... my eyes are turning green! When I was little I had blonde curly hair and chocolate brown eyes. Now I have dark brown hair and green eyes. For some reason I am happy to have green eyes. My mom's eyes have turned blue but she is in denial. While I was looking for a brown-eyed me, I found these other great childhood memories:

We used to collect caterpillars. When they hatch into butterflies they need a minute to dry their wings before they can fly.

We used to build giant tents in the front room. All we needed was every blanket in the house, every chair in the house, and a pile of rubber bands. We would have multiple room tents, slumber parties, a lot of help from dad, and a lot of patience from mom.

Grandpa's always been a good sport.

Um.... why is no one holding onto me?!?!?! Ya'll know I do not like animals.

Look at that tan.... and cute little brother!

This is a truck full of beans. We used to get to climb up in them during harvest - it's like a giant sand box. Filthy.
Sarah in dad's gear to move wheel lines. Who would have thought that I'd go from this fairy tale childhood in a small town in Idaho to living in inner-city Chicago? It helps that I go out to camp throughout the year. Michigan doesn't exactly have "wide open spaces" but at least I get to be in the country for a minute.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Overwhelmed by God's goodness!

I am moving to Michigan next week for summer camp! To help you feel the excitement I made a summer camp slide show!!!

So many things have happened over the past few weeks that I am officially behind in telling you about it. I will try to be concise .....

2 weekends ago we had Purity Retreat at camp. Campers must have an adult chaperone to come to the weekend. Kids between the ages of 10 and 19, parents, grandparents, uncles and mentors came - this year we hosted 90 participants and had 3 levels of curriculum.

The purpose of the weekend is to teach kids the biblical perspective on relationships and sex. We unashamedly teach abstinence as God's desire for the life of anyone unmarried.

The adults who come as mentors attend sessions with the kids. It is our prayer that the weekend extends in the lives of kids (and adults) as they make decisions - and that it gives parents a platform to speak with their child about sex.

One adult who attended said, "I wish someone had told me this years ago. I need to make changes. I plan to keep my purity ring on and return to my church to repent."

The weekend includes a couple of great activities .... but Glow-In-The-Dark-Volleyball was my favorite. All the kids got glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces. And then we put glow bracelets on the nets and inside clear beach balls..... Mom - you could do this!

The weekend had 2 big events: a banquet and commitment ceremony. Everyone dressed up and we decorated the chapel formally. (I am using the word "we" very liberaly. I did what I was told, but don't actually have skill in this area! Wow.) We think purity is important enough to make a big deal about it!
This is me and Ms. Parker - a long time Beechpoint advocate and volunteer. The longer I work here the more every event becomes a chance to spend time with my friends!

"Because of Purity Retreat I feel more mature and will be able to make wise decisions." girl, age 11

"Purity Retreat helped me because people at my school treat girls wrong and if I tell them what I learned they might listen. This really helped me a lot." boy, age 12

"My eyes were opened and I realized how wonderful it is to save my virginity for my wife. A lot of people my age need to hear this. I thought this would be lame and awkward, but I really enjoyed it." boy, age 14
Last weekend we had Beechpoint's 5th Annual Steak Fry and Auction. About 300 people atteneded and $42,000 was raised! Praise God for his provision for the ministry! Because of matching grants we will receive another $30,000. The most poignant moment of the evening was when we "sold" camper scholarships. A few people sponsored an entire cabin - $3,000! In less than 10 minutes, $22,000 was given toward camper scholarships! To give you an idea of Beechpoint's financial needs .... each summer we give approximately $120,000 in camper scholarships, and need around $300,000 to finish our new dining hall. Many contributors invest in eternity through Beechpoint.