First of all, we want to apologize for not keeping you all up to date on what’s been going on around here. Our family has just come through a very busy summer, often with different things happening one right after another. We simply haven’t had time for blogging. But now that we do, keep an eye on the blog because we’ve got lots to share with you about the many opportunities the Lord has given us to serve Him this summer.
In June, we were invited to sing at a Native family camp in Cooperstown, North Dakota. We were once again working alongside of Blue Baptist Church from Oklahoma, as well as a Native church from North Carolina. There were a couple of families that were there, but the majority of campers were kids from various reservations in ND and SD.
Friends from Oklahoma
In the morning after breakfast, everyone was divided into classes according to age. The three of us girls had the opportunity to help with the nursery where we had two very energetic four-year-olds for the week. It worked out to have three of us watching two of them so that we could switch off taking a break to catch our breath! 🙂 Right before lunch, our family also led a time of singing to the Lord for the youth.
A toddler version of carpet ball
The afternoons were full of different activities… zip lines, climbing wall, archery, shooting, swimming, basketball, and various other games. It was a great time for building relationships as we played with the kids all afternoon.
Deborah at the top of the climbing wall
Jonathan taking a turn
Ready and waiting for the zip line
Dad climbing up the zip line platform
It was way up there!
Deborah enjoying the ride
One afternoon, the swimming crew had an adventure. Since the camp didn’t have a lake, we would drive into town to use the swimming pool. That particular afternoon was very hot so almost all the kids in camp went along. We had been in the water for about an hour when the lifeguards told everyone to get out of the pool because there was a storm coming.
Time for a cool down
Sure enough a storm was heading our direction very quickly with some very strange and active clouds leading the way. The clouds began to swirl above us and we jumped in the vans as a wall of dirt came blowing down the street. We all thought there was going to be a tornado. The lifeguards were making phone calls to see if the school next door would be open for a shelter, and the Oklahoma people (who are used to tornado threats) were just as worried as the rest of us.
Everyone was taking pictures of the clouds before we realized we needed to get out of there
As the rain poured down in sheets and hail pounded the roof of the van, we began singing songs to the Lord. We pulled off the road at a gas station until the rain slowed down and we were able to drive back to camp safely. It was a scary experience and several of the young children were terrified and crying, but it also was an opportunity to talk about the Lord and reinforce the fact that He was in control of the situation.
Evening snack and fellowship
The rest of the week ran smoothly. Each evening there was a time of singing and God’s Word was shared, and our family had the opportunity to share a few songs each night. On the last night, a number of young people indicated that they wanted to make a decision for Christ. How exciting! Please pray for them as they face the pressure to follow the world, that they would be discipled by Christians on their home reservations, and that they would go on for the Lord.
Singing as a family
The youth singing a song in evening chapel
Singing “Homesick” with Larry and Joanne Hawkins… the people who taught it to us!
Friday morning we packed up and headed home. As we said our good-byes, many of our new friends crowded around the van joking about going home with us. We were so blessed to be able to participate in the ministry of this camp. It was a wonderful week of building relationships and seeing the Lord work in the lives of these precious young people.
New (and old) friends!