Our time in Conway was very busy with lots of family to see and time to reconnect with friends from church and elsewhere. The kids enjoyed playing with all their relatives. They even spent an afternoon riding rides at the beach with grandparents and cousins, and a day at the beach playing in the sand and waves. Kathryn and I were able to spend two much-needed days at the beach by ourselves. We don't have that opportunity much, now that we live so far from all our baby sitters, but it was very refreshing having that time together. After church services Sunday afternoon the 17th, we headed home, finally rolling in a little after midnight. We thank the Lord for a chance to get away, but it was good to be back at our own home again.
After a day of unpacking and getting settled, it was time to get busy again. Our senior high school camp, "Progress," was just starting down the road at Three Springs. This is the week that my Dad and Mom helped direct back when the camp was just getting started in the mid-eighties. This was the connection for me, having tagged along with them to camp for a week out of the summer for many years growing up. This year I was able to interact with the campers a good bit, as I joined them in different activities such as playing Capture the Flag, life guarding at the pool, going to a swimming hole in a creek, doing community service work for local neighbors, and sitting in some of their teaching sessions. God seemed to reveal to these teens some real truths from His Word and also from some first hand experience serving others throughout the week.
We did host a family reunion at the Inn last weekend, which went very well. This family has come for the past three years. They had a very International flavor to their family as many of the families had adopted special needs children from several different countries. It was good for our kids to interact with them and to see past the disabilities and enjoy them as God had created them. We all had a great time with them.
Our neighbors invited us to come and pick blueberries one afternoon, which was a good time to interact and invest in the relationships we have with our neighbors. We also stopped in to visit a widow lady who lives very close by who had just turned 90. She enjoyed seeing our kids and appreciated our visit. We continue to have a burden to invest in and be a part of the community we live in.
This week we have a church camp at Three Springs that we are hosting and also a girls horse camp going on. Kathryn's cousin Emily Duncan came up from Conway to be a part of the horse week, as well as to stay with us for a few days afterwards. I had the opportunity to help set up and take down two of their camp sites from the last two days, as they are riding and camping off site from Three Springs. We set up a temporary corral for the horses to pasture and also leave an enclosed trailer or "chuck wagon" with their food, water, and other supplies they may need. They are riding in some really remote but beautiful areas in these Pennsylvania mountains as they experience and reflect on the Lord through His creation.
Another first for me this week was being a part of the chicken harvest. That's a nice way to say we had 133 meat chickens that we had raised at Three Springs, get out of the coup and into the freezer. We met at 4:15 a.m. one morning while it was still dark and the chickens were still docile, to crate them and send them off to be killed and cleaned. We then took the birds and cut them up to be packed and frozen, so they can be used for consumption at camps and retreats. Quite a process that I had never seen before. I was surprised that Kathryn was disappointed she couldn't see how they were killed and cleaned. Go figure!
Continue praying as the Lord may be providing someone to help with the cooking position here, at least temporarily through the busy fall season. Pray for the remaining weeks of camp through August, as the Lord works in kids hearts and lives. A busy fall retreat schedule awaits us at the Inn. Pray that we can serve those who come here to get away and draw closer to the Lord. Pray for Kathryn and the kids as they will be starting homeschooling for Audrey and Duncan soon. Our ministry here is very diverse, but we really enjoy all the ways God is allowing us to be a part of serving others. Thanks for all your prayers and support.