Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sometimes there are few words...

Last night the hills above our beautiful city blew up into flames. No words can express the terrifying eeriness of that orange glow illuminating the sky. I was driving around the neighborhood with the boys to enjoy some air conditioning for a bit. Everyone had on their 5 p.m. Bits of ash hit my windshield. At dinner, Mark announced that Eagle Lake would be closed for the rest of the summer. No more campers to welcome on Sunday afternoons, no more Crazy night, no more days filled with happy laughter and screaming, no more watching counselors bowed in prayer with campers during a one-on-one. Oh, can our hearts take any more, Lord? And then 26,000 people were evacuated in one evening, including four of our full-time staff families. We weren't one of those families. My heart aches even more for them. On Saturday when all of this began, the Lord gave me Psalm 34 to read and meditate on. I've held on to it these last tremulous days. "I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me let us exalt his name together!" Sometimes it is hard to put emotions and feelings into words. Today, I raise my arms and whisper, "not my will, but Yours Lord."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hoping and Praying....

As many of you know, the Waldo Canyon Fire has been threatening Eagle Lake Camp for the last day and a half. We arent sure what God is doing, but we do know that God is God alone. Above Him there is no other. His love abounds, His mercy endures, and He is not deaf to the cries of His people. I haven't wanted to write this post. It just makes it all the more real. Didn't I just write about all the memories this place holds in my heart? Just last Wednesday, Mark and I sat atop Ravens Crag on our date night. We were praying about Camp, how long God would keep us in this beautiful place, if we could ever really say goodbye. Things are different now. We are unsure of so many elements. We ARE hoping and praying. Pray with us. Pray for safety, trust, and wisdom as we make many decisions. Today, the simple is such a blessing. A home, two silly boys who fill this place with laughter, safety of our staff, and gracious outpourings of love from so many. We are blessed and we are trusting Him. Lord, we are willing. Bring Your rain. Jen

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Then and Now

Fifteen summers ago I found myself in the midst of unknown beauty. Beauty discovered in myself, in learning to love and serve others, and in the gorgeous creation of Pike National Forest. Little did I know that God was working deep themes within my heart--a desire to know Him and to love and serve His people. That summer "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:2

Today, fifteen summers later, I sit quietly writing in the middle of this same place.

Eagle Lake 
Home in so many ways. Those two little words stir up much emotion within me.

It was here that I met God in real ways, that I learned to serve outside of myself until both body and soul were desperate for rest. (And I loved it!)

It was here that I first shared the grace of Jesus with a hurting girl. She looked at me and looked to Him and she surrendered. Oh, how I prayed for her and ached for what she was returning to.

It was here that I met my husband and have lived and loved and breathed Jesus in and out to one another for 11 years.

It was here where I begged God to remember me and bless me with children. He told me to pray for two feet of rain. He brought 26 inches two weeks later. Then, He brought two boys. One brown, one blond--both faithful reminders of answered prayer.

It IS here that I feel closest to Him. It is here that I see Him work-- many young lives forever changed on one great night last week. It is here that I experience Him in the conversations and prayer with young women who desire to love Him for a lifetime.

Today, I celebrate this season of love and growth. Would you pray with us for this summer? Pray that our staff would lead and serve with humility, gentleness, and grace. Pray that the lives of many would see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

May our hearts sing with joy as we praise Him!