Monday, February 2, 2009

In This Place

When I arrived it was the oddest looking building nestled among the Pennsylvania mountains. The building was gray and almost as big as a barn. To the side of it was a large kind of broken down building. So this was where I would spend my summer...out in the middle of nowhere.

As I entered the front door a friendly woman with white hair put her arms around me. "You must be B.," she said! We've been watching for you! She then asked one of the teenagers in the main room to take me upstairs. "Pick any of the rooms you want! The campers will not be coming until early evening!"

With those words, I was ushered upstairs and entering one of the rooms, I dropped my suitcase down and rolled out my sleeping bag. I looked around at the six or eight bunks surrounding me. I wondered who would be sleeping in each of those beds.

I would never have believed that so many children could come out of a countryside that looked so desolate! There were hundreds of kids descending on the house. Surely they were not all staying here!

I did find that the camp was a bit larger than I had thought. The ground extended all the way up the mountain. Yet the cabins for the guys were back behind the main lodge building where the girls would be staying. I was amazed that so many children could fit in these buildings. Why the girls even fought over sleeping in "The Porch" an open porch area perched at the end of the main building which was a porch with six beds on it.

Gina and By began cooking in a little kitchen. Was she going to feed them all from in here? She handed me a bowl and asked if I would fill it with mashed potatoes and then come back
for more. We worked speedily and would you believe it...we fixed our first meal for about 200-250 campers? I was amazed. God must surely have something in this summer for me!

Heading upstairs after dinner I found that the bunks had been filled by six girls of all shapes and sizes. I saw right away there were a couple talkers and at least one that would be a challenge. Yet I was excited to see what God did.

Would you believe that I loved every minute in that run down camp! God was in that place like I have never seen! Child after child received Jesus because this family opened their home and property to reach lost kids with the gospel and love on them.

That summer was so great! One of my teenage girls shared with me that she wanted to be a missionary like me some day. Heather began a journey that day that took her to medical school and on to Bangladesh. This quiet red head became a doctor. Today she is still a missionary. Was it a summer of blessings? Need I say more?

I learned a lesson while there...that God can use whatever we have to give him if we open it up to him. He will will use it to reach a lost world.

As for By and Regina...well...this summer just as that one so many years ago...they will be found in the kitchen once again making meals for hundreds of campers. This wonderful couple of teachers in rural PA who have a heart for children have followed in their parents footsteps and opened this big old home so that children and teens can hear the gospel.

Me...well I was changed by that summer...and never again would I be the same.

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