What a wonderful day! What a wonderful place! What a wonderful people!
Today we had some time before the planning meeting so we scheduled a visit with one of the B4T operations and met several others that were meeting for the same purpose. We had a wonderful time looking at all the improvements and listening to all the stories from everyone in the group. It was a time of deep sorrow to hear of the suffering in one area - from which one of the guests had just returned, but there were stories of great encouragement and joy from several of the others. It is amazing to realize how God is working, always working - even in (especially in) the areas that seem most distant from the hope and joy of the gospel.
We had a short time in the afternoon to review our materials and plans in preparation for the planning meeting with the Camping leaders. Come to find out that we need not have worked so meticulously on our plans - much of the program had changed, and the next few hours allowed us to put things (somewhat) into a new and improved plan. The lessons and many of the activities will be the same, but the sequence is changed and some of the topics will be combined. We had to shorten the length of the trip, and rearranged the teams to facilitate more personal interaction. This will allow more small group discussion and hopefully provide a stronger base from which to build relationships within the small group and throughout the coming year.
We will be finalizing the plans tomorrow morning and gathering all the equipment and supplies that will be needed. We hope to have everything ready to load up and take out to the camp site Sunday afternoon, so when the young adults get there Monday morning, everything will be ready for a smooth start. I love plans, they are so malleable.
We have to get as much done on the camping as we can, because Thursday morning we are scheduled to leave for the retreat (so far that schedule has not changed).
Thank you so much for your prayers. I encourage you to extend your prayers for believers in oppressed areas. My heart aches for the stories we heard this afternoon. To hear of the faithfulness and courage demonstrated in these areas, it really makes it seem outrageous for me to whine about little inconveniences.
Blessings and joy,