Monday, September 26, 2011

Blog Update for 8/24 - 9/26

Fall is here in North Central PA.  The leaves are changing color rapidly,  pumpkins are being harvested,   the temperatures are getting cooler and the sound of geese migrating south fill the air.  Such a beautiful place to observe the changing of the seasons and to marvel at God's greatness through His creation.  We are so blessed to be able to serve God here with Three Springs Ministries.

The past month has really been a month of transition and preparation as we usher in our busy fall-retreat season, both here at Linck Hill Inn and also at Three Springs Farm.  One of the things we do in preparation for fall and winter is to refill all the coal bins, since we will be firing up the coal furnaces once again.  I took our dump truck for a load of coal a few weeks back and helped Nate as we stuffed the bins full.

 Fall cleaning and decorating here at the inn has been in full swing.   I've never washed so many windows or wiped down so much woodwork in my life.  All are necessary chores to keep the inn looking nice for all the guests coming through in the next couple of months.  Kathryn spent a day changing out all the summer decorations for fall ones.  Mums and fall wreaths now greet our guests as they arrive for a stay at Linck Hill Inn.  Fall has always been my favorite time of the year!

One weekend this past month, we were able to participate in our neighboring town of Morris's Old Farm Days celebration.  They do this every year, with lots of food and activities throughout the weekend, one of which is a tractor pull.  We had never seen this before!  It's simple fun, competing to see whose tractor could pull the heaviest weight on a big sled.

 Also on Sunday, they hold a community worship service there at the Fire Hall.  Our church participates in this, with other local churches, as they take turns sharing in preaching and music responsibilities each year.  Our church led the music this year and Kathryn was able to sing special music.  It was a good oppurtunity to meet some new folks and to share and fellowship together with other believers as well as share the gospel with some who were there only for the festival.

Kathryn also prepared and sang special music for our church the following week.  She just started yesterday teaching and leading the sunday school children in handbells which she said could be a challenge.  She is also now preparing to sing a half hour concert for our county's Child Evangelism Fellowship banquet next month, and to play her flute in a Christmas concert with area musicians held in Williamsport.  We are thankful for the oppurtunities to share the gifts and  talents the Lord has given her for His glory.

The last two weekends we have had a full house at the inn with the start of our fall retreat schedule.  Last weekend we had a senior Sunday School class from a Baptist church in Lansdale, PA.  We had 52 guests for meals, which really streched our capacity for dining and in the kitchen.  That was a good weekend to start with because all the other retreats are smaller and won't seem quite as hectic.  We had a group this weekend of about 30 couples who are all part of a hunting camp nearby, who have been hunting together for 50 years or more.  Most members of the group were in their 70's and 80's.  They were mostly believers, and they really enjoyed just being together rocking on the porch,  playing board or card games, and reminiscing about deer hunting in years gone by.  My kind of people!  Pray for us as we continue our busy fall season.  Next week we have a women's retreat for about 30 as well. 
     The Lord has answered our prayers for a new cook for here at the inn.  Amy, a young single girl, is arriving today from Colorado to start this very important full-time position.  Pray for her transition here, being far from home and right in the heart of a busy season.

The kids continue to plug away with their homeschooling, and enjoy the Bible lessons the most, which we are thankful for.  We continue to pray for each of our children's salvation at an early age.  
We have enjoyed these fall afternoons lately and being able to hunt and fish right across the road on our neighbor's property.  The kids enjoy catching a few fish and helping Daddy and Mama keep count of the doves that we shoot.   We even spotted a Bald Eagle perched on top of one our trees beside the inn!   Good fun and good memories!

We are so thankful for each of you and your support and prayers.  We think of all of you often, our family and friends,  as we serve Christ here.  Pray for God's continued stength and grace for us, as well as spiritual growth in our lives. 

Love from The Rickerts!