Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog Update for 7/29 - 8/24

It's amazing how quickly a month goes by sometimes isn't it?  I knew it had been awhile since I had blogged but did'nt realize it had been that long.  I will just try to hit some of the high spots from the past month to keep this from being too long.

The month of August has just about finished, and with it our summer camp scheldule as well.  We had our middle school age camp Breakaway the first week in August which went very well.  I found myself very involved with many of the daily activities such as lifeguarding each day,  interacting in camp games and helping with programming needs for the camp staff.  Probably the high light for me that week was joining the campers and staff one afternoon and evening in local area State Forest lands at a beautiful vista overlooking the Pennslyvania Grand Canyon.  The campers hiked, played games, ate supper that we had grilled out for them, and concluded the evening around the campfire singing and sharing together.  It was really good to hear how the Lord was working in their lives and through that week at camp.  There were 13 professions of faith after the week had ended.  Praise the Lord!  It makes all the behind the scenes work worth it when we see evidence of God's Spirit working.

The following week we hosted a church camp at the Three Springs Farm property as well as hosting one of our own horse camps.  I continued to lifeguard and also do some support work for the horse group such as setting up and taking down camp sites for the group.  We would go ahead of the group to a designated campsite area and leave a support trailer with food and water and also set up pasture fencing for the horses to graze and pasture on overnight.

That weekend we did host a family reunion at the Inn.  We had a full house and everyone that came had a great time.  There were family there from as far as Alaska, Washington St., and Canada.  It's interesting hearing about life in some of these distant places.  One of the men there had brought his ski boat and wanted me to go with him to one of the area lakes to water ski and wakeboard with him.  As a host I felt obligated to do whatever I could to serve my guest so we enjoyed a few hours on the water!

Kathryn and I have really made efforts to be involved in our community and our neighbors lives.  We had about 20 of our closest neighbors over for supper this past week at our house.  We served them a good southern meal of chicken bog,  baked beans, corn casserole, sweet tea, and some homemade pies for dessert.  Everything was wonderful and everyone had a good time together.  All of these neighbors attend the Nauvoo Methodist Church which is right here by our house.  Kathryn had been invited to sing at the church as part of a  neighbors benefit concert for a mission trip she was taking.  They enjoyed Kathryn's singing so much they invited her to come to church this past week to sing in their choir and also to play her flute as part of the service.  One of the neighbors sons is a piano performance major in college and is very talented and Kathryn has enjoyed working with him with different music pieces.  She will probably continue to utilize him and the open invitation for her to sing whenever he may be home from school.  We thank the Lord for Kathryn being able to use her musical gifts and also continued doors of oppurtunity for witness in our community.

We are currently reaping the harvest of all the things planted in the camp garden.  We have been putting up sweet corn and green beans as well as enjoying fresh brocoli, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  The kids enjoy helping pick the corn as well as husking and feeding the cows next to the house the corn husks. 

The campers and staff have been enjoying the Frisbee Golf Baskets that I finished putting together late in July.  It was a long project to complete but was very satisfiying seeing the young people use and enjoy them. 

The weather has been really nice here the last few weeks with the temperatures in the mid 70's and 50's at night.  We can even start to see a tint of color on the trees as we look at the view of the mountains.  The Lord's glory speaks loud and clear through His beautiful creation all around us.  Audrey and Duncan and I even enjoyed a night of camping away from home this past weekend .  We enjoyed hiking, walking in the creek, roasting marshmellows, and sleeping in the tent.  I did see a purkupine in the middle of the night walking very close to our tent, but we survived.

We just had a summer ending staff meeting reflecting over the summer and the Lord's goodness to us.  There were approximately 60 professions of faith made in Jesus Christ this summer and many more who were challenged in their walk with the Lord.  Pray for these young souls in their continued growth and fellowship during the year.  We are just on the brink of starting a very busy retreat scheldule during the fall for us here at the Inn.  We will have groups here every week on into November.  We do have a lady that has volunteered to help do the cooking until we find a permanent replacement which we are thankful for.  Pray for all the preparations and details that go into providing these groups a refreshing  retreat experience, and that the Lord will use their stay here to encourage them in the Lord.

We also are starting as new year with our True North Internship program which we will be kicking off this coming weekend.  We have 9 new interns here for the next nine months that will be studying God's Word, experiencing cross cultural mission oppurtunities, and helping serve the Lord at Three Springs Ministries.  Pray for these high school graduates to have a life changing experience during their stay here.

Kathryn and the kids are doing well.  Kathryn has been home schooling Audrey and Duncan for the last couple of weeks and are getting a great start with that.  The kids love the Bible lesson time the best and we pray the Lord will use this in drawing them to himself.  Clay continues to get himself into everything he should'nt and we are working hard with him right now to train him in discipline and obedience.  For such a cute little guy, he can sure be mischevious.  We are very thankful for all our children!

Well, there's hay to cut and grass to mow, so that is going to be all for now.  Thanks for your continued prayers and support.  Drop us an e-mail at http://www.ickert/