Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Over The Hill ... but not through the woods yet!

On Oct 10th, Beechpoint celebrated it's 50th Anniversary with an afternoon alumni event and an evening banquet. Over 300 guests joined us to remember what God has done ... and to look expectantly toward the future.

Praise God for:
* 15,000 children who've come to camp in the past 50 years
* 3,000 children who, to our knowledge, have received Christ in the past 50 years
* more than 100,000 retreat guests served over the past 50 years!
* the recent matching grant of $50,000 dollars was met to provide funds for our new dining hall, commercial kitchen, and retreat facilities

I got to be on the committee to plan for the event - and one task was selecting a "50th tag line". In one late night brainstorming session with a few co-workers, these sarcastic ideas were proposed (and rejected):

**Over the Hill ... but not through the woods yet!
**50% and Content
**The Glass is 1/2 Full
**50 is the new 30
**(Beech)Pointing the way to Jesus!
**50 Cent
**Golden Years
**Gold 'n Silver have we none
**Aged like a fine wine
**There's no end in sight.

Here's guessing my name's going to stay in the hat the next time we need a slogan writer! ;-)

This picture feels like camp more than any other!! These are my camp friends: Nurse Karla and Mrs. D. We currently have a kitchen that's smaller than the kitchen that I grew up with in my parent's home. From that kitchen we cook for 180 people each meal during the summer and hundreds of retreat guests throughout the year. Because the lodge seats less than 100, we host our banquet in the gym. The kitchen staff is incredible - they can cook for 300 out of a kitchen with 2 ovens ... and transport the food across camp to the gym, all without a glitch!! Please continue to pray for the completion of our new dining facility - we are getting close!
For dessert we had a "chocolate trifle". In this picture I am being my triflin' self. There's a wide variety of readership who endure this blog ... so if that makes sense to you you should laugh twice to make up for the ones who don't get it. :-)

Dr. Melvin Banks, founder of Urban Outreach Foundation and keynote speaker. Dr. Banks challenged listeners to engage with children's ministry as an investment in the future.

More camp friends: Jess F. (some of these are her pictures and she often supplies pictures for camp's promotional use) and Miss Crissie (who lives in Chicago and loves me!)

More camp friends: Mark Davidhizar (camp's Executive Director and my boss) and camper Jakarri who spoke during the banquet about the impact that camp has had in his life. Jakarri is 12 years old and I was so PROUD of him - you'da thought he was my baby for all of my tears and loud clapping. :-) He wrote his own speech and delivered it with poise and articulation. He even incorporated something a speaker before him said into his speech! When Jakarri grows up he wants to be a cardiologist - and we all think he can do it!

More camp friends: Pneurissa (faithful camp volunteer and Jakarri's aunt), Aunt Jan (camp's Director of Discipleship and the co-worker I work most closely with), and Jakarri's mother and grandmother. On Sunday Jakarri's family went with me to my Michigan church and then we all went to Aunt Jan's for lunch.

Aunt Jan and Kiyasia, Jakarri's little sister, who thinks she can play that piano!

The following video was played during the banquet - it's a radio interview of Mr. D and all the slides are from this past summer. I placed it at the bottom of my blog on purpose because you will need to click pause on the music by scrolling down to the purple box at the bottom of the page. If the video keeps cutting in and out you can help it "buffer" by clicking pause and waiting until the grey line reaches then end of the timeline, then clicking play again. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The great thing about being single ....

The great thing about being single is that I don't have to get anyone to agree with me. I can just do whatever I want or decorate however I want or cook whatever I want ....

The terrible thing about being single is that there is no one to agree with me! And increasingly I am just not all that confident about what I want. Hence the following story:

This is my new dining room table, which I bought from craigslist .... twice. What had happened was I went by myself to go look at it. And I have never seen a tile table (although my friend assures me they are real common). But if I didn't find a table before the BIG MOVE then it would be ever more complicated and expensive because I wouldn't have my friends to help move it. And this table is really stable and comes with 4 chairs and the coolest bench. Only thing is .... it has TILE on the top.

But I needed a table. So the man agreed that I could give him $100 that day and then the rest when I came back with a friend and a truck to pick it up. Which I felt okay about right until I drove away and had a fresh realization that the table has TILE.

So I sat in a parking lot about 5 minutes away from the guy's house and then called him and asked (sheepishly) could I have my $100 dollars back and then see how I feel about the table later? Would you believe he said sure?!

And would you believe that the next day - after showing several people this picture and getting some agreement that it would work fine - I called the man back and bought his table. I would have felt vindicated, if he didn't have to spend half an hour helping us load it into the truck.

This is my friend Jessica driving her boss's truck to help me move.
I've always had my dad to help me move, a blessing I apparently took for granted. I've definitely seen less hopeful rigging jobs than the one done here, but
a) we didn't actually do this - the people I bought a couch from insisted that it would be in our best interest to borrow their bungee chords and got us set up
b) I've never actually tried hauling things using bungee chords. Apparently they are stronger than they looked.
Even though we got it done uneventfully, as we were driving down the road the conversation went something like this "Hmm. What do you do if the stuff falls out of the back of the truck? I mean, you can't just leave it all in the middle of the highway.... Huh." It would have been easier if it wasn't 11 pm by this point.

These friends helped me move into my new apartment. Mr. D (my boss), Kathy (a Chicagoland CEF missionary), Aaron (camp's program developer) and Daniel (summer waterfront director). We had to move my stuff down 3 flights of stairs from my previous landlord's attic where it was graciously allowed to stay for the summer and then up 3 more flights into my new apartment. They were troopers for sure - THANKS for helping me in such a big way!

My new apartment a one bedroom with a living room and a dining room - a special blessing since I will again be working from home and this will provide an area for office space.
I have no roommates, except for whatever this is. It greeted my the first time I tried to take a shower. Mercifully I have not seen any of it's friends in the past week.

You'll have to wait until next time to see pictures of my apartment because it is just too pitiful to be seen at the moment. I have a couch that is comfortable but an undefinable shade of green. Apparently my decorating ability does not reach beyond appreciating other people's success to creating my own. However, I did decorate my entry way (I have an entry way!!) with my Brazil and Papua New Guinea mission trip stuff.

Random Sidenote: I'm not much for skulls. But I think I would buy this for my daughter just because the skull has a bow. Kinda cute, don'tcha think? :-)