Tuesday, July 22, 2014


a mom sent me these photos- her daughter has saved every postcard that I have ever sent her and taped them to her wall:

God is love.

hume lake 2014

Last week was year number 14 at hume lake! To be honest, I couldn’t have scripted it any better. There were no major discipline issues, no major injuries (no trips to the hospital!), no major vehicle problems- but instead, there was a crowd of students with great attitudes. We had a team of great counselors- and hume always has a great team of workers. The theme was delightful and silly, and still made its point. We had many students make significant decisions for Christ. It seems that all of them had a great experience. Every leader has their own stories from camp, and so this list certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the wonderful things that happened, but this is my personal list of fun memories:
// on the first day, the cabins all got together and had some “get to know you time.” This one counselor asked her group, “what is the thing you love to do?” one girl answered, “I really love singing. Actually, would you mind if I sang you a number?” the counselor said, “sure!” so the girl started to sing, “let it go” from frozen. Except, this wasn’t just a few bars, she sang the entire song- she PERFORMED the entire song, right there on the grass to her cabin. She gave it everything she had. The counselor was surprised by this and wondered if the girls would tease her. To her surprise, the girls were all enjoying the song, and then ALL joined in at the chorus. And they weren’t “singing” or being wacky, they ALL PERFORMED that song with all they had. The counselor thought it was ridiculous; but when she told me the story, I thought it was adorable.
// during the singing time, I looked around, and saw all of the students- even the boys- just going for it. They were really into it- eyes closed, hands raised- part of me was a little jealous, because they don’t do that at my meetings! But mostly I was encouraged.

// I was sitting on the shore of the pond one day with some leaders, when some students started freaking out. A girl had a really bad bloody nose. I went up to her and asked if she was all right. She said, “yeah- it happens all the time. My nose just bleeds. Its like a period.”
I stopped.
She answered- “you know- like a period.”
I looked over at the other leaders and they all darted away so as not to embarrass her with their giggling.
I said, “oh- like a period. Ok.”

// we had this new counselor, ilse. She wanted to be baptized. We don’t usually di baptisms at hume, because we want grandma and grandpa to be able to watch it too. But she insisted and said that if she were baptized at hume, there might be some negative response. So we spent our church time talking about baptism and listening to her testimony. And then I said, “well everyone, LET’S GO OUT TO THE POOL!” and they all let out a cheer and we baptized ilse at the pool at hume lake. All 100 students gave her a hug and cheered for her. So cool!

// I was also reminded that it was at this spot, 13 years ago, that God broke my heart for middle schoolers and called me to serve them:

// I didn’t have a cabin of my own, so I didn’t really have a place to sit at meals. But 2 boys let me sit with them. Every meal this one would tell me the most epic stories. The only problem was that the cafeteria was so loud, and he spoke so quietly that I couldn’t hear a word he said. All I could see was his epic facial expressions.

This boy discovered that I love star wars and the clone wars. We discussed many, many episodes at length over many meals.

// on the last night, we were at victory circle, and a boy got a really big splinter on the back of his thigh. I thought about removing it, but this was out of my league. So we went to the infirmary. He laid on his stomach with his pant leg rolled up while a nurse poked and pulled at his skin with needles and tweezers. Each time he would wince and twitch. I kept saying, “hold still! Its just a splinter! Man up!”
He kept saying, “I’m trying rob! Is she using a giant knife on me?!”
After the splinter was out we walked back to his cabin, late at night, and he says to me, “Rob- can you introduce me to Jesus?”
I said, “are you sure? Its pretty late.”
He said, “I’m sure.”
So I had a tract and we read through it. I invited him to pray the prayer at the end- or something like it. He closed the tract and folded his hands and squinted his eyes shut and said, “jesus: I’m so sorry I sinned…” we talked a bit more and then went back to his cabin. All of the boys were still up. I said, “everyone! I have an announcement! We have a new member of God’s family!” and they all cheered and encouraged him.
What a great way to end the week!

God is love.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Snow dream

This morning I had a dream that we were having this big work day at church with all if these volunteers and church leaders, when a bunch of big rigs and tractors rolled into the parking lot. Then I remembered "oh yeah! i ordered a snow ball fight and tubing day!" The tractors came all the way from the mountains, so I couldn't send them home. The main guy said "sorry we're late! We should have this set up in time!" They started putting plywood over the lawn and spraying snow on it. Judie the youth secretary came up to me and said, "what is this? Is this a good day to be doing this?" I started to wonder if this was a bad day to do this and if it would distract from the big work day. I wondered if I was going to get in trouble. All of the kids from the work day left their jobs and came over to see what was going on. The main snow guy said, we have ice cream and snow cones for everyone!" "This is going to be awesome!" I thought. The students that were volunteering were thrilled. I started posting pictures on Instagram saying "snowball fight and tubing tonight at 678!" Then I thought, "wow- I really need to get ready for tonight!" Then I woke up and thought, "how am I going to pay for this?! This is going to cost a fortune!" After 13 years of middle school ministry, these are the things that I dream about at night!