First of all, thank you all so much for sending in money to help me after I mentioned that my car broke down in my last letter! I did not know what to expect after sending that letter out, other than that God would provide what I needed, when I needed it. And I have certainly found that to be the case.
Over the last month I had been commuting every day using our camp truck, when our speaker for The Verge, our high school age camp, had heard that I was in need of a car. He went home, and about 2 weeks later, he overheard that some missionaries from his church were heading back to Thailand and were wanting to sell a car that they kept in here in the US, while they were gone. So, he got us together. It also happened to be that they were able to drive the car up to me to see it, since I’m not able to really leave camp during the week. They were also gracious enough to give me a pretty hefty discount on the price, because they appreciated what I did here at camp and understood what position serving at a camp puts me in financially. Overall, I had about $1,250 come in that I put toward the car, and with the money that I save during the summer by not buying groceries, I had almost exactly what I needed to afford the car. So, again, thank you all for being a part of God’s provision for me.
I feel like I have seen this again and again throughout the summer. I would say that this is the case every summer, but I think maybe I’m just more aware of it this summer in particular. For instance, the past few months I have been more seriously studying God’s word and reading books about specific concepts that I was coming across. Through this studying, it sparked a desire in me to want to share this with our staff, because I was concerned about how much time they’re spending in God’s word, outside of the chapel sessions. So, after praying about it and asking God questions.What do we study? Is it something we the staff need? Is this something I should be doing? And, after a few weeks, I began to plan the study out. The study that I had planned, however, didn’t really happen though. We were going to get together in the afternoon, but for the majority of the summer, there just always seemed to have things come up the interfered. Thunderstorms, activities for groups, having to assign spotters for the pool, helping with the trading post, and others things seemed to come up every day. So, through that I felt a bit discouraged. On one hand, studying God’s word and striving to understand Him more fully is never bad. But, I didn’t want what I was learning to stay with me, and so I felt a little disappointed that I didn’t really have a chance to do that. But, midway through the summer, I understood that that was not the case.
At church, there came a need for someone to take over leading the morning Sunday school/ discussion time for our high school and college age, and my name came up. So, after hearing about it, I found myself and one other guy from our church leading that the next week. Though the study is not on what I had prepared for earlier, the time I spent preparing has given me some time to think about how to best present it, time to reflect on how we did our studies during the summer, and how to engage people with the material. I wouldn’t say I have it all figured out yet, but it was a good head start. We’ve been working our way through Acts for a few weeks at this point, and it’s going pretty well.
Now, after saying all of that, I think it should be important to note that throughout the summer, we ended up extending the time we meet in the morning and building in time for a Bible study. We weren’t expecting to do that before, it sort of just happened after we had such a good response to some things we did during our staff training week. So, through that, God had also eased my concern for our staff’s spiritual health.
I’m reminded of a passage in Matthew 7:7-12 that came up in a book I was reading this summer by John Piper. Matthew 7:7-12 reads as follows:
“7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
I certainly asked and God answered. Though, it was not what I asked, I know that what he gave me was good. I wonder how many times we ask for things not knowing what the consequences would be if they turned out that way we want. In my particular situation, I probably wasn’t ready. Based on how the summer has turned out, I would have also been kind of overwhelmed based on all of the things we had going on.
I’ll be sending out a letter before the end of the month going into more detail about the summer, so I’ll just wait until then.
As always, check out upcoming events at hickorycove.org.