As you can tell from the first picture we ended up in the back of the caravan, which was mostly my fault because I needed to stop for Dramamine on our way out of town. Trust me it was a stop well worth it. There was a little bit of a fun race to see who could get into "first place" between the van that Solomon was driving and the SPG van. However, as we approached Burlington Solomon overtook us, and so we were stuck because now we were going top be on a two lane stretch of road for the next 3 hours:P. Well our stop at Diablo was just the ticket we needed to get ahead. See Solomon had Chris and a bunch of younger boys (I think there was 6), while Tim had himself and 4 adults in the van. Which do you think is easier to coordinate? The SPG's thought so too. The minute the van stopped we bolted for the bathrooms, we were the first because it's easier to stop an Odyssey than a school bus. All of us got in. . .and out in record time and even managed to take some spectacular photos at the lookout point.
Soon enough though we gathered ourselves together motioning to Tim, who was in a conversation with our rival, that it was time to beat feet. Both of them got the big picture of what was taking place and Tim bolted to the van. Yet again the kids were Solomons foil and Tim was able to beat him out of the parking lot putting the SPG's in front of the pack. Try as he did Solomon could not over take the SPG's and we safely arrived at the campground in first place. Better luck next time Solomon.
Soon after we arrived the Calvary followed and the men wasted no time in setting up the tents while the children played and the girls rested up, knowing that our lot could soon find itself with the domestic camp duties (mess tent and dish washing) as soon as the ladies that held those items in their vehicles arrived. The tents were set up in record time too. I don't think I've ever seen a camp set up go so smoothly. Really people setting up camp for 60+ people is no small task.
There was plenty of tent hopping too. Of course the kids started right in trying to see how they could angle getting into one of their friends tents. Josh H. and his brother wanted to sleep in the boys tent, instead of share one with their sister, which lent Alyssa's tent to the girls (Kali, Maggie, & Linnea) to share, which gave us with air mattresses more room in the girls tent. This was my first year with an air mattress. After last years experience in the Skagit Valley outreah I realized that my body is to old to be sleeping on bare ground (the recovery was not as quick as it had been in my youth) and so I resolved that this year I would suck it up and invest $20 in an air mattress. As things started to come together I was thinking out loud that next year I may end up buying a small tent for myself too (the constant in and out of the tent in our first few hours at camp was driving me nuts). Well Sharon, having heard this, and also knowing that her husband had mentioned that they had an extra small tent suggested to him that I may want my own tent this year. So he offered it to me. Really, it was a huge blessing and I slept better than a lot of people did that first night. The privacy made all the difference. It was cold for sure, and with only one shower for all the ladies (mine ended up being freezing cold the next morning) the little bit of pleasure that the privacy of a single man tent afforded me helped keep me in a right spirit as we were going to be sent out on a big day on Friday.
The guys set up the tents
The tents were set up in record time
Ahhh, my own tent:)Games... Fellowship...
& rest were now called for
3 awesome ladies that had the the mess
tent streamlined. Way to go!!!
Captain Kiesel at the grill
Pork Ribs and Chicken were on the menu
Dave was an awesome cook!
One thing that Dave came prepared with was the black nectar that starts every sleep deprived adults day. That's right people COFFEE, Java, Qahwah (Arabic, where the word coffee actually evolved from), Cafe, Jo. . .whatever you call it the hot beverage was a welcome sight for many that morning. It was simple, no fuss, good ol' fashioned black coffee, my favorite (next to a Capo from the Bee Bar of course).
Trish up and "ready" for the day as well and set to work on breaking the eggs for the breakfast that morning. There were 90 of them. Watching her work was oddly serene for me. I feel the same way anytime I'm watching someone else work in the kitchen. After a bit she seemed to develop a system of efficiency without loosing to many of the eggs out of the bowl as she beat the yellow goo. Josh was in charge of the buttery goodness that we call hash browns and Chris had the bacon and sausage. While Dave overlooked the proceeding action and running back and forth to the mess tent for more supplies, with all the teamwork involved the cooks were actually ready with breakfast before our scheduled time. Even with the little things bathed in prayer it all can go smoothly, PTL.
~ Psalm 119:76 "Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant."
Breaking the eggs for scrambling
There were a lot!
Josh eyeballs the hashbrowns MMM...they were delicious
We had to clean up Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a matchScrub, scrub, scrub the eggs away from the tub
The women by the well...
The previous evening we went through a devotion that encouraged us to engage people in coversation. Those that were seeking after spiritual things, those that were searching for the truth, and those that were just interested in holding bible studies. The focus, unlike in previous years, was not so much on to get material into people hands, but rather to make them understand how we, and especially God, cares about their sould and where they will ultimately spend eternity. This is what the HWY20 project has been all about.
However because of it's different set up some people were thrown off as to how to engage complete strangers into a conversation, that many consider to be a private matter. It showed me the limits that I put on myself during out reaches and putting my own pride into the outreaches that I'm a part of. Not a good thing. When we get used to doing things a certain way we limit ourselves and the Lord in his direction toward us. It was very enlightening.
Maggie and I were partners for the afternoon, which was nice not only because Maggie is pleasant to be around, but because we were also partners 2 years ago the first time that we had an outreach over in the Methow Valley. We walked a different part of Okanagan this time around. The neighbor hood wasn't the greatest and so I was very happy to have Chris and Steve on that route with us. Solomon and Jim weren't to far off in the bus either. However, many of you may already know, even though things may not seem safe on the outward appearance, there is no where safer to be than in the center of will of God.
~ Psalm 119:117 "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually."
~ Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"
The Life, Liberty, & Happiness rally in Twisp was set up earlier on throughout the month by Chris Majors who has been up in the area working with people who have been saved, through some of our previous outreaches, as well as continually reaching out to those that are still in need of having their eternity settled. Some of the men went ahead of the crowd to get the speakers system and the chairs situated for the visitors that we would have that evening.
All set up for the rally
Me: "Sherri would it be too much to ask if Steve could get a fire started for us so we can have some Smores before lights out at 10 (it was now 9:10)?"
Sherri: "You want Steve to start a fire? Sure. . .He's already out of the tent."
We could see the fire blazing from the highway as we approached the campground. Way to deliver Steve! Tummy full and my veins pumping full of sugar from my GF Smores I laid my sleep eyes down on my pillow and fell asleep to the campfire glee that engulfed the night, all before lights out, satisfied with the day I had left behind and dreaming of the future ahead.
~ Ecclesiastes 5:12a "The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much:"
The final morning we all slept in, which is code for waking up around 6. Those of us gathered around the morning campfire enjoying our java were greeted by a hot air balloon flying overhead. Breakfast was simple cereal and fruit for most, GF banana bread and cherries for me. People started packing right away. I had all my stuff packed as soon as I woke up but I didn't have any tools to dig the tent steaks out of the ground so all I could do was deflate my air mattress and wait for the guys to show up with their tools to do so (Steve ended up disassembling my tent for me later when he found the missing hammer from 2 days earlier, the men that put up his tent left it under there by accident). Some of the youths had woken up early in the morning to climb the mountain that was behind our campsite and they sat around reveling in their conquest.
The devotion that we closed with was a time of shared testimony of the people that we had talked to and shared the gospel with combined with the things that the Lord had shown us personally, and what the blessings we had received were. Tim also left us pondering his message of what the Lord will do through our efforts.
~ 1 Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
The final morning...
Hot air balloon before breakfast