so today the campers leave. i was support staff this last week, so my responsibilities for this morning are whatever the directors tell me to do. so, im in the office answering the phones. its mostly parents calling to say they're going to be late in picking their kids up.
this past week was fantastic. im exhausted, but it was so worth it. we got our assignments on sunday night and mikey, trey, abigail grace and i were chosen to get together the music and drama for the summer. it was really providential that we had this last week to organize that and form it before things get really crazy up here. mikey and i worked with john linville this week. john was the worship leader when i was a kid here several years ago, and its a real privilege to be able to work with such a Godly and fun guy. he is such an enthusiastic and infectiously passionate musician. i sang and played accordion with the praise team. mikey was on keys. JT, johns youngest son, is the greatest 13 year old upright bassist i know. some may know jonlynn linville, who plays violin in the CC orchestra. anyways, that was what a spent much of my time doing in the morning and evenings this last week.
one of my other responsibilities was to help out with the skits. trey and abigail grace were in charge of those. we had five skits, each focusing on one of the fruits of the spirit. obviously, we didnt touch on them all, but we got some of the one especially applicable to a group of wild kids. i was in most of those skits, and man was it fun. i have been doing skits for kids for a really long time with VBS at my old church, but nothing was like this. we had an idea and got up there and it just happened. trey and mikey are really funny guys, so the others in the skits just feed off their hilarity. i played a bear named bear-bear, a slow motion moving pizza delivering ex-pillaging pirate, and crazy woodsman who was controlled by a psychotic rabbit. yes, it was a ridiculous as you think. the skits were about the adventures of this fictitious character named "John F Youth." one of the trails up here at Ridge Haven is the youth trail. some time ago, counselors started telling campers crazy stories about this fictitious character for whom the youth trail was named. it turned into a tradition among the counselors, and this year the skits every day "documented" the blazing of the youth trail. it was really great. the kids called me bear-bear all week. it was alot of fun. also, Ridge Haven, in years past, has had a multi-purpose gorilla suit. it died a few years back, but a generous man here at the camp felt that a new one was a necessity. it came in on tuesday, and i was the obvious candidate for the gorilla. i didnt have a cabin, i am built like a gorilla, and i do a fair sasquatch walk. so, a few times this week "big foot" made appearances at dusk or in the middle of the night. we scared (literally in one case) the pee out of some kids. by the end of the week most of the kids were just itching for a chance to get at me, and i was mobbed last night several times. its difficult to hide shoulder length blond dreadlocks in a gorilla suit, so when the kids started pulling at me, i was revealed. it was alot of fun all the same. allthesame. that should be one word, like nonetheless.
so thats some of the fun i had this week. oh yeah, on thursday night we had counselor hunt, which is exactly what it sounds like. counselors have about 10 minutes to hide within a designated plot of land and the kids have to find them. caught counselors get pushed into the cold pool, fully clothed, execution style. i didnt get caught. i climbed up into the rafters of the outdoor recreation shelter, and laid on a board on my back and folded up for close to an hour. i was about 30 feet above a concrete slab. climbing down was less fun and more fearing for my life. at that height, if i fell, there is no chance that i could keep my bragging rights of having never broken a bone.
there were many difficult things i encountered this week as well. the most difficult is that i was tempted and distracted by the accuser of the brethren. this may be difficult to believe, but spiritual warfare is a very real and relevant thing here at Ridge Haven. im not just talking about satan distracting me when i am leading worship. there are heavier things that have happened and probably will happen again. but, the Lord is good and He has given me strength this week. i really feel the presence of the spirit of the Lord when i am helping with worship. its an encouraging and empowering thing. however, i am sad to say that i quickly forget it. often, after our meetings, satan attacks me with burdening thoughts. i understand much better now how my father, when he was pastoring a church, would struggle all day on mondays after the fellowship of the previous day with the doubts and burdens places on him by the evil one. its real. its powerful. but. BUT, we are not afraid of it. when doors open by themselves and lights start to flicker and surge and the temperature drops and your kids are screaming in their beds, we do not have to fear it. that which is in us is so much greater than that which is in the world.
friends, family, RCF brothers and sisters- please pray for us who are serving the Lord here at Ridge Haven. i know you are, but please continue. i need your prayers every day. we all need your prayers.
i dont mean for this to end on such a dark note. in other news, i finished my summer kickoff book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and i started another of his works, Travels with Charley. this guy is my favorite author. he has such a passion for life and a gift for crafting words. i just cant get enough of it. my devotions should be going as well as my pleasure reading, but im getting there... im getting there. take care, all. i think of my family and friends often and i am in continuing prayer for you in your endeavors this summer.