Though we haven’t published much news in the past few weeks, it hasn’t been for lack of things to talk about! Actually, things have been quite busy. However, there hasn’t been a lot of cell phone or internet coverage in the places we’ve been. So, on to the updates!
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to participate in a Snow Camp down in Northwest PA. It was our first time being a part of this particular camp, Penwood Bible Camp, and had a great time getting to know its director, Mr. Brooks. Though not a large camp, there were facilities quite capable for the good number of young people who came. The camp had a pretty nice snow hill, and the temperature was very cold, making the surface quite slick for sledding and tubing. We had a great time teaching God’s Word and spending time with the kids who were there. We even had the opportunity to bring one of the young men from our youth group in Albion to the camp! There were also several churches represented with whom we have become acquainted over the past couple of years. It was great to be able to continue to build relationships with these Pastors as well.
In fact, we stayed in the area on Saturday and went to church on Sunday at East Lawrence Baptist Church, a church we had shared our ministry with last April. We had a really good time renewing acquaintances with a number of the folks from East Lawrence.
Over the next couple of weeks we had the opportunity to visit the First Baptist Church in Maine, NY, as well as Harvest Baptist Church in Bath, NY.
Two Fridays ago the ESF held their annual Men’s Adventure. Several men from Victory Baptist Church here in Albion went to the Men’s Adventure, and I had the opportunity to go for the first time. It was really a neat time of fellowship and activity. There were over 500 men in attendance, and that was a low year!
Sunday morning we headed across the state to see Pastor Mincy and the folks at Waterville Baptist Church. Then, Sunday afternoon, we headed up to the Adirondack Mountains. We were spending the next few days in Indian Lake, NY with Pastor Hartwig and his wife. Monday morning we represented Grace Baptist Bible College at Word of Life’s College Fair. It was our first time representing the school, and we learned a lot.
Wednesday began Snow Camp at Moose River Baptist Youth Camp (MRBYC). We had been preparing for snow camp for quite a while, so it was really exciting to see all that work coming to fruition. We really were not sure how many kids we would know at Snow Camp, but we ended up knowing quite a few from our time at Summer Camp a year and a half ago. We ended up being able to pick up effectively where we had previously left off with some of the kids. This was rather nice, and provided excellent conversation-starters.
Snow Camp lasted from Wednesday through Saturday. We praise the Lord for His provision. On Thursday, as we were taking a few kids to the snow tubing hill in our van, the Serpentine Belt began to shred. One of the leaders at the camp, Doug, knew a lot of people in that area and had friends at a garage only a few miles away. We were able to cut the shreds off the belt and drive it safely to the garage where we had a new belt put on the next day. The Lord even provided for the cost of this breakdown, which was all a huge encouragement to us.
Saturday after camp Doug invited us to spend the night with him and his family, who lived just a little ways away. This saved us a tremendous amount of driving and gave us some time for relaxation and fellowship with Doug’s family. We are very thankful for the hospitality of Doug and his wife Beth.
Sunday we had our first meeting of the year. Our meeting was in a suburb on the North end of Syracuse. Pastor Stevenson, the missionary Pastor at Faith Baptist Church, had met us late last year, and we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to him. We had a really nice time with the church family. They just brought in an associate pastor who is originally from the Brockport area. His wife remembered my Grandpa, “the guy who looks like Abraham Lincoln.” It was neat to make some connections with them. During the afternoon on Sunday the church hosts a large youth group, during which we played all sorts of games. Those kids are serious about their dodge-ball! We had a fun time with them, and didn’t end up with too many bruises. 🙂
We got home on Sunday night, and are now preparing for a couple weeks of Missions Conferences. We will keep you updated next week with how the first one went.