JULY: Goodbye Campers,Hello Neighbors, Poop smears and Shower Loofahs

 

Well hello there people of the interweb! Let me share with you what our month was like! The summer ones seem to go by the fastest! July was full of activity and motion! Camp is like a contantly revolving door of relational exubraincy. I have soo much to say, but let me update you on our summer camp programs specifically– I love the energy camp brings! People come together, to belong, engage, and ultimately get transformed by God! It’s just the best. Go to camp people! If you never have been, experience the power!!!

Summer 2016 ended quickly with our new 22 day program. Over 780 kids came on

camp to experience The love and joy of Jesus!  148 campers gave their lives to Christ for the first time! group pic summer

We celebrate their NEW life and eternal salvation.  Angels are still cheering, and it echoes around camp; So many stories, so many testimonies of God moving here at Indian Hills.  He did a NEW thing this summer, and it’s such a privilege to just stand in awe of the work of Christ.   Here’s one testimony told by our camp director,Festus during Angel Tree week (a camp hosted solely for children of imprisoned parents)

“Angel Tree Camp was, as always, difficult and a blessing all mixed into one camp. Difficult, because the kids come from homes and lifestyles that are upside down and they deal with life issues a little more harshly.  Blessing, because I also have received more hugs during this week of camp than all others combined. These kids are starving for affection, stable adults in their lives, and someone to connect them with Jesus who the Holy Spirit reveals to them through the week. We had 81 campers with 22 of those campers giving their life to Jesus for tangel teehe first time. The kids were very responsive in all the Barn Meetings as we talked about how Jesus is the most amazing person who ever existed.

One boy camper found himself caught up in multiple fist fights during the week, escalating as the week progressed. We knew there was a soft heart in there, but fighting is how he dealt with life. On the last evening he had to sit out of activities for a while and cool down. He spent almost two hours with his camp counselor who patiently sat with him on their cabin porch. The camp counselor told me he felt compelled to speak to him about a repentant heart.  After a good discussion the counselor encouraged the boy when he was ready, he could go into the cabin and get on his knees and pray about how he deals with life.  About 15 minutes later, the boy went on his own got on his knees at the cabin bunk and prayed for a while. The next day he got caught up in another fist fight (though he was on the receiving end of this one) and I had them sit down away from each other challenging them to calm down and make it right.  After 5 minutes… HE asked for forgiveness!… And gave HIS “attacker” a hug.  I was amazed.” 

It was such a joy to see the summer staff grow, in such a short amount of time.  Days 19-22, were spent at Rough Acres in Boulevard, CA in order to debrief the summer experience.  Josh and I were fortunate enough to find a sitter that could stay behind with our kiddos, so wejuly10 could stay for the whole retreat void of diaper changes and races to the potty! The weekend epitomized fellowship: real life struggles confessed, hilarious stories revealed, and my personal favorite, post-camp decisions voiced! It was truly a special time of growth and intimacy.  Josh and I each looked over a few people specifically, most of whom feel called into full time missionary work (Travis, Kim, and Stephen). Please pray for them as the enemy desires to fill their minds with doubt. Keep praying that conviction would deepen in their hearts and minds.  Also, pray camp would remain nothing more than a catalyst for the Gospel to spread rapidly in all their lives and through all their lives!  

                   Before saying “GOODBYE” to all the precious campers and summer staff, we had the exciting privilege of saying, “HELLO” to TWO new neighbors here on camp!  We welcomed the Morrison family from Bakersfield. Ryan (Beardsley) Morrison will be working maintenance while his wife (Lori) and two kiddos (Olivia 9 and Zachary 6) settle into camp life.  It’s already been so fun to host play dates.  Olivia loves babies as you can see from the picture to the rightJULY6!  We also said “Hello… AGAIN!!!” to the Spears Family from Reno.  We first met Matt and Tiffany TEN YEARS AGO at Camp Wynola!  What a time warp it is to see them again! Not much has changed, the same silly camp-loving souls remain, but now they are also a daddy and mommy to their boy Caleb who just turned 21 months!  Matt (AKA Vulture) will work with Josh doing different programs, while Tiffany and I sit and enjoy our Caleb’s together.  As our staff family grows pray our year-round mission statement would continue to read true!We are an intentional community that pours into each other to pour out onto our staff to build a team passionate about reaching and teaching children for Jesus Christ.” 

FAMILY:  Silas participated in his first ever VBS at Jamul Community Church.  I also joined the fun by helpJULY3ing with the first graders; we were the YELLOW team if you could guess it!
It was a tiring four days shepherding 26 first graders, but well worth the energy!  Also, in late July while away for a first ever Girl’s weekend, the twins had somehow got exposed to Hand Foot and Mouth Disease! By God’s grace, the blisters did not appear inside their mouths, and they were relatively painJULY7 free. The necessary quarantine and frequent sanitizing rituals have left us all pretty weary, but we are grateful the contagion will come and go without too much fuss.

JOSH IN MALAWI! AUG 15TH-26THJosh has the amazing
opportunity  to train people in camp programming from two other camps and Malawians from the Passion Center For Children.  He has also organized partnerships with Action Sports Outreach and Luis Palau Ministries while in Malawi. Lovemalawi On top of that, some previous global reach partners are driving down from Lilongwe to participate and share what they have learned running the IHC “Camp in a Bag” programs.  Surely, it will be amazing to see so many different peoples, assembling as one body, strong and glorious for JESUS!  Below is the itinerary so you can be praying, that what He sees and does would bless the heart of God, and expand His kingdom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Leave from LAX

16

In the air

17

Arrive in BLZ

Blantyre, Malawi

18

Head to PCFC Meet staff

Prepare for camp/

Widow visit

19

Camp at PCFC

20

Camp in a village/Child Headed Household visit

 

21

Visit Churches

 

 

 

 

 

22

Safari

23

Hospital visit/

PCFC group ministry

24

Camp in a village

25

Camp in a

Village

26

Depart for

LAX

 

JULY5

>>  >How are YOU doing?! What was YOUR July like? Did you have massive poop smears in your toddler cribs too?? 

Do you have any prayer requests? Let us know via email!

 

Blessings from:

Alicia + Josh + Silas + Owen + Caleb 

therasmussenclan@gmail.com

JUNE Update

 

Time is flying by… as usual!  It’s not stopping, just like Owen  and Caleb! — At least time always moves in the same direction!!

june1We ended May with a Dean Retreat up at Palomar Christian Conference Center. What are deans you ask? Deans are the spiritual heads of the entire volunteer summer staff.  They make sure everyone and everything is accounted for.  3 out of the 5 deans are returning, so, it was an honor to see them get back in the swing of things! Literally, we swung from ropes in the forest at Palomar’s new ropes course (pictured below).  Such a beautiful place!  We were blessed by the director, Micah and his super hospitable staff as we prayed and prepped for this year’s summer program.june3

In early June, Josh passed his Lifeguard instructor’s certifications.  It was a labor-intensive process, but now, he is able to train all our camp’s lifeguards.  Thanks for all those prayers of peace as he passed exam after exam! Shortly after that, we celebrated the retirement of our treasured maintenance man, Tom Long.june4  What a man and legacy he left for all of us at Indian Hills Camp.  Pray for him as he adventures into retirement with his amazing wife, Karla.  And pray for camp as they adjust to life without the man who knows everything!!

We welcomed the lead staff to camp for a retreat in early June as well. These are the selected high school and college age staff that have volunteered in previous summers, but are now trained in how to become a leader, more specifically, a servant-leader.

These vibrant young adults and students come eager to learn and ready to laugh.  They prep for summer by making fun posters that hang all over camp for staff training week. The posters read: “Appreciate and Affirm” “It’s for the Kids”, “Kill criticism”, etc.  It’s amazing to watch young people growing under the banner of the Gospel—they are renewed by the Word of God, and daily submit to the good works God has planned for them! They fill this camp with the fruit of the Spirit; It’s truly a joy to have them around.  And it’s energizing to see Jesus shape them as they serve here at camp!

Staff training week started on Sunday, June 19th.   With open arms, we welcomed 72 high school and college staff (including two from China).  We have them until July 10th. 22 days straight! Keep them in your prayers to finish strong, to endure without the “weekend breaks” they used to get in previous summers! june7 I think the switch in remaining on camp all program long has kept the fellowship strong and the unity even stronger!  Pray for continued endurance and supernatural strength to run the seemingly endless program with joy.   Josh taught a few trainings and devotionals for the staff.  I walked in to one meeting and he was speaking to the men in the room, reminding them of their need for mission, purpose, and passion.  It was truly captivating and I believe most of the young men were convicted to purpose their lives for Christ!

On a lighter note, I had the privilege of assembling artwork for the new “lounge”.  Once a dirty storage shed, is now an awesome space for the staff to retreat for their breathers! Ultimately, my favorite program thus far has got to be the Progressive Dinner.  It’s an extrovert’s dream!  In groups of 15, the staff travel from house to house getting to know the year-round, missional staff. june9 Josh and I always have the kids ask us any question they want, “Boomchuck! Do you have any tattoos?” “What’s the worst thing you have ever done?” uhhhh Maybe it’s not the smartest way to fellowship!… but we DO laugh a lot and enjoy making the memories with all these precious young people.  Pictured left, “Big Mac” holds a somewhat suspiciously posed Caleb!  Also, as musicians, it has been so fun leading times of musical worship.  It’s been an honor to play songs for the morning devotions, Praise God childcare gets resolved quickly in a friendly cola sac! Really, it’s been an amazing privilege to not only lead worship music, but teach younger musicians that worship leaders anticipate God moving.

At the end of staff training week, Josh assembled a surprise inaugural celebration for Festus’ 40th summer!! Forty summers?!!   What an amazing legacy our camp director has here!  We honored him with a signed photo of these year’s staff, a referee shirt with his camp name on the back, and lastly revealed “Festus Falls”, our new camp water slide! It was so much fun to see his face as the staff uncovered the “Festus Falls” sign, because he didn’t know Josh was naming the slide after him!june11

Well, there you have it folks! Keep us in your prayers through July, pray for camper salvations, health, and safety as we press onward! And remember to pray for Josh during his Africa trip: August 15th-29th!                                                                                                    Blessings, The Rasmussen Clan

 

MAY Update

Well, hello again! It’s been too long! I meant to post something on Valentine’s day, but as you can see it MAY  or may not have happened. hahahee. No, We decided to do monthly updates, So, welcome to the first official “monthly” update. I welcome YOU, not only because I’m so hospitable, but because I need the accountability to stay on it! So, here we are it’s May 2016! No flying cars yet, but we do have some twins that are walking! This is. news. Anyways, I hope this letter finds you well; living and breathing with all the joy and blessing Jesus died to bestow upon you!  Let me now summarize the last few weeks here at camp and at home.

I’ll start with the home, because that’s really what I know best!  Silas is in Preschomayblog1ol learning things like “V is for Volcano”– He is so inspired by everything he sees, and always, always asks, “Why?” He is also a champ at going
pee-pee and poo-
poo on the potty; He keeps his Spiderman underwear dry, except for the time when he peed all over the floor at the library! Yep… Accidents happen, right?…and I am learning (keyword, learning) how to embrace them with grace upon grace. Caleb at 16 months started to walk those confident yet wobbly stomps around the house. Owen watched, and said {figuratively} “HEY! Wait for me!!”  mayblog4So… now I have 6 crazy legs to track and chase down, Yikes! Thank you for those continued prayers regarding the respiratory infections; all three little coughs have clearly subsided, Thank God!  Lastly and sadly, we had to put our dear dog, Lucky down.  His abdomen was very swollen and He could not stand up.  This was due to a tumor-invasive cancer, which was devastating.  But we know he was truly a blessing from the Lord; a gift from God to Josh when he was just 29 years old.  So, we give thanks to God for those 11 awesome years with THE best dog I ever did meet. mayblog5

Easter camp took place at the end of March. For four days Indian Hills took some awesome high school volunteers to the heart of City Heights. They hosted day programs on a local school campus, as if to say, “The Kingdom of God is not just at Indian Hills, It’s anywhere God takes us!” So, everyday these courageous kids played fun games and sang silly songs with young Muslim girls and future {potential} gang members! They introduced over 150 refugees to a reality filled with love, joy, and peace supplied by the one and only, Jesus Christ!  may1They love Jesus and saw Him work so clearly on the last day when it started raining. The program got shifted under the rafters.  The kids were so rowdy and disobedient, the program seemed out of control, and the mission under attack! “God, where’s the sunshine?” we all thought.  But HE knows what He needs to work, and it really isn’t much.  Vic Murphy from Stunt Dudes began sharing the Gospel over the constancy of the raindrops and chit chatter.  Everyone testifies the first ten minutes was complete mayhem;  Nobody was listening. The kids were acting crazy.  But there is power in the name of Jesus!  His spirit opened their hearts to quiet their mouths and calm their bodies.  These precious children were silenced for over twenty minutes– mesmerized by one man’s proclamation of Jesus Christ in his life.  Special thanks to Vic and his rad team for taking the time to ride some bikes and speak some Truth!  48 kids raised their hands to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior that week!  Please pray for these kids in City Heights! Pray for the young Muslims who received Christ! — That God would foster their spiritual walks, in spite of the persecution they WILL endure.  Pray for the young boys’ tempted everyday by neighboring gangs– That Godmayblog3 would flood their eyes with light, and put a conviction in their hearts’ to join the LORD’s army!

The rest of April filled up quickly with Gold Rush Days. This is a super fun outdoor education program for 4th and 5th graders.  Schools’ bus their students to camp for an overnight adventure!  They adopt a western occupation, and Eureka!  History comes alive with wagon-train sleeping arrangements, gold mining, and cowboy campfires. may3 It’s fun to see the staff be so silly with their Ol’- West characters {Pictured Left, is staff member, Jacques dressed as “Mountain Man” for a funny skit}

We also had the privilege of hosting some graduating seniors for dinner at our house.  We BBQ’d some burgers, learned their camp names, and introduced them to the College, Summer Missions Project. It was fun getting to know the Class of 2016, and invite them on site this may4summer.  Josh’s camp name is “BoomChuck”, but lately I have been calling him “Entry Points” because that is what he does for people.  He continually throws out entry points, as he is eager to see people MOVE on behalf of the Gospel.  I do believe that Josh and I exist on this earth, and at this camp to start fires.  Of course, not literal fires, but soul-stirring convictions about God– who He is, and why He made us!  Needless to say, we are excited to see students and campers physically serve and spiritually launch this summer.  It’s thrilling to remember God uses us in His grand master plan of salvation. He uses us to restore and heal; “to become broken bread and poured out wine for the nourishment of others.” – Oswald Chambers

Also, thanks for all the prayers in seeing Josh to the end of his Lifeguard Instructing Certification.  Many, many hours of study, drills, and training paid off as he can now officially train all our future lifeguards this summer.  He passed the tests in early May, and now we rest for a bit before the summer takes all the energy once again!

          PRAY for continued mercy and grace to sustain us as we fight the good fight of faith with three -young boys and an endless to-do list.  Pray for God’s will, perfect peace, and strong unity.  Pray for our home and this camp to persist at resembling the goodness and sweetness of heaven in spite of any and all troubling trials.

Thanks again for the eagerness to know our ongoing story.  To sit and read this newsletter– it’s as if you sit at the shoreline of our life; Just knowing you are there, encourages us when the waves get stormy.  We feel extremely blessed and honored to share the ebb and flow of our ministry with compassionate people like you!  So, from “Ha-mul”, California to wherever YOU are—Many thanks and may the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ dwell within you richly.

                                                                           Much love and many blessings,

                                                                                                         Josh, Alicia, Silas, Owen, Caleb Rasmussen

Shoot us an email @    therasmussenclan@gmail.com

 Hey! If you haven’t already– Consider journeying a little deeper into our story by joining our financial support team!  Fill out the information on our “Support Us” page, either for a one-time or monthly partnership!  And as always– Keep those prayers coming; they are truly coveted and prized by us and our Heavenly Father.

Sole Power

  Recently, I bought some shoe inserts that are supposed to relieve foot pain and increase sole support. My feet have been killing me lately so I guess I’m just trying to get all the help I can, chasing my three little humans around the house.  

  
 But when I put the inserts onto the sole, it raised my feet out of the shoe! It was silly and uncomfortable. I walked around the house with a jump in my step, about to loose the shoes at my heels! My husband asked, “Why did you put those in your shoes?, you don’t need them.” And he was right my sweet New Balance kicks were sufficient on their own. My feet did not need anymore support than what the shoe had already provided. 

I find Jesus metaphors all over the place, and yes our soles are no exception! Hahaha hehehee

My friends, Jesus is completely sufficient. He does not need anything added or subtracted unto himself. And He will not share His supremacy, there is no room! He is enough, He is God! 

Sometimes, we think we need more because our flesh is uncomfortable. We are in pain or lonely. Our flesh aches for immediate relief. 

I will confess it’s tempting to give up this walk of faith when our feet are feeling weary. It’s tempting to fix our eyes on physical comforts…maybe Jesus plus this or that equals perfect peace…
 Let me encourage us once again …
He is sufficient. He is all we need. 
He is our Lord and savior, our shepherd king, our great joy and perfect peace, our soul’s delight, our helper, sustainer, and friend. 
Jesus, only Jesus. The real joy giver. The Creator, maker, sustainer. The shoes for my feet, the light to my path. The end all, be all, above all God of everything. Jesus, the sweetest name. The hope of every tribe, tongue, and nation. 
Put your feet in these shoes. Trust Him with your whole self. Surrender the old way for a new walk, and His peace will consume your every step. 
SOME TRUTH TO WALK IN:
Ephesians 6:15— …for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news, so that you will be fully prepared..
Isaiah 26:3 –You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Colossians 1:15-17— The Son is the image of the invisible God…all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

Hebrews 8:6 –But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
Hebrews 12:24 –You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
2 Corinthians 12:9— But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Isaiah 9:6 –For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Aside

It’s Time that you Rest like a Jr. High Camper

I captured a moment during Jr. High camp this summer that truly touched my heart.  11742726_857866400928029_5506362834823519033_nIt was the last evening of camp. The previous three hours were spent in a mud bowl, and now, the campers had jrwashed up and were waiting for a casual dinner at the playground.  Strolling through the dusty campground, I quietly admired the sun’s warm hue through the trees. When suddenly, we came across a few young lads resting on a grassy knoll.  Silas, being his extroverted self, immediately sat down and showed them this giant lizard (which is neither real or his so it remains utterly intriguing).  They were really impressed, and asked if He had a name.  I, naturally, thought they were talking about the reptile, so I said, “Oh, he doesn’t have one” They laughed and said, “No, the boy” “Does HE have a name?” I laughed and said, “Yes”.  The small conversation continued and ended; I had to keep the stroller moving for the twinsies…

I thought regretfully to myself. “I wish I could have asked them what they learned this week, or if they had anything moving to say about IHC, or Jesus, or Josh, that I could report back to our supporters…” But the Holy Spirit inside me rebuked those thoughts.

I did NOT need to hear anything from those boys. I SAW IT. And you can too. These boys are resting, truly resting.

rest

It felt like a heaven on earth moment. Everything was good, because it was the Lord’s. His kids, on His grass, under the warmth of His sun. Completely care-less, in the care of God.

By day 4, these kids had a new rhythm to their lives. Free from first world distractions, their time was completley free to claim God’s creation as good and fun. By day 4, they would play outside for more than 60 minutes!…in the mud and on the rocks, playing in trees like the generations of old!

By day 4, these Junior Highers grasped the Gospel as green pasture. The Lord’s kindness as a deep breath of fresh air.

Yes, the Gospel is our green pasture, and if you aren’t resting in it, then it’s not grace, and if it’s not grace, then it’s not the message that Jesus died to give you.

I pray after reading this, you feel God’s kindness drawing you back to Himself. That your ever-increasing desire for rest leads you to Christ.  And that His Spirit guides you through a holy moment of surrender.  Hear his firm yet loving voice calling you unto Himself.  Feel His strong yet gentle hand moving you far from condemnation into a pasture unlike any other.

Put your whole self in the care of this shepherd and you will want for nothing. His love is deeper, and his joy is greater than any momentary comfort we could create for ourselves. Nothing was meant to sustain us like Him. No religion, political party, or economic structure can take care of us  like Christ. He alone was meant to bear the weight of all the joy we hope to graze.

Some Truth to REST in:

Psalm 23:1-4  ” The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need.  He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself which brings honor to His name. Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me.” 

John 10:10-11 “The robber comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I came so they might have life, a great full life .I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. “

Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Romans 8:1-2 “Now, because of this, those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. The power of the Holy Spirit has made me free from the power of sin and death. This power is mine because I belong to Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 16:5-11 “The Lord is all that I am to receive, and my cup. My future is in Your hands. The land given to me is good. Yes, my share is beautiful to me. I will give honor and thanks to the Lord, Who has told me what to do. Yes, even at night my mind teaches me. I have placed the Lord always in front of me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved. And so my heart is glad. My soul is full of joy. My body also will rest without fear.  For You will not give me over to the grave. And You will not allow Your Holy One to return to dust. You will show me the way of life. Being with You is to be full of joy. In Your right hand there is happiness forever.”

Luke 12:29-32(the msg) ” What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest.”

Matthew 18:14 “I tell you, My Father in heaven does not want one of these little children to be lost.” (Parable of the Lost Sheep)

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 By Phillip Keller

Aside

Please Stop Moving

Our college interns are leaving us this week. A full school year now over, they are competent in office, grounds, and programming here at Indian Hills Camp.  We will miss All the energy and accidental twinning moments with my son!IMG_0959
I confess I didn’t get to spend much time with them.  We hosted a few family dinners and, occasionally, I got to chatting about college units and future plans.  But really, I couldn’t sustain many conversations while chasing my eldest on his strider bike.  But at the end-of-year dessert banquet, I meditated on a lantern, 1 John 1:5. It says “…God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” There is no darkness in God, but there is deep darkness in me, and it led me to write this final memo to CREW… and to you!🙂

IMG_1127

I don’t know where it was darkest for you this year. Maybe it was a circumstance, a death grieved, a friendship divided. Or maybe it was within your own mind– fighting back the ache of depression or battling the compulsions of the flesh. Our doubts and our lusts consume us whole.  And digging deeper within ourselves for solutions only brings more shame and hopelessness.  Yet we continually convince our minds that we are one decision away from a good idea, that we are one step closer to enlightenment if we just keep trying.  My friends.  Please. Stop. Moving.  Sit in your darkness and wait for the Lord, like the prophet Micah. He knew he was guilty, but he boldly accepted the reality of his darkness, knowing God’s light would eventually shine.  And that Light did shine, in the face of a man, Jesus Christ.  So friends, do not be ashamed of your dark, for that is where we so clearly see our Savior’s face.  IMG_1147

In His love, Alicia

 Some little lanterns for you:

Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”

2 Cor. 4: 6-7 “…..For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light on my path.”

Psalm 16:2 “I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear?”

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

One Big Happy Family

I haven’t blogged since we found out we were having twins. And now, Owen and Caleb are almost four months old.

Edit  , time is flying as usual. It never stops or lands. Our lives are louder and brighter than ever before since we moved to Indian Hills Camp.

But I’m taken this moment to stop and reflect upon what God has done and what He is continually doing. So, what is He doing? What is he all about?

Yesterday I realized the answer to this question is family. God is all about making His family bigger. I see this in my own life as I am now SIGNIFICANTLY outnumbered by boys!  Having 3 babies in only 4 years of marriage, it was whoa moment after WHOA moment!  God built our family fast.  But Why? I ask this question not to get a definitive answer, but to remind myself that God is Father. He is a dad longing to see all his children come home (see, Luke 15:11-32).  My marriage love and my mother love is supposed to give me a small glimpse of God’s love.  He gave us this universal concept of family to illustrate an undying love.  A love we all long for and crave.  Of course, it is just an illustration because our human connections are fragile and break easily by our sin.  Divorce and death choke our glorified image of family to the grave.  So, we continue to long and crave for a restored family, a perfect father.

 We may be miring in broken families, and abusive relationships. But God is waiting for His sons and daughters to come home. His house is big. His house is warm.

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Teeva and Silas eating some snow cones

I saw this yesterday, during our last day of camp for the refugees of San Diego. We hold a carnival with snow cones, hay rides, and balloon animals.  Kids with all colored faces and eye shapes, Teens with bright headdresses and burkas run through the dusty, western campsite.  The sight amazed me, it was like the whole world was in one place!  One 12 year old girl, Teeva, remembered me from last year. This made me happy because I don’t get out of the house much and when I do, I feel sort of anonymous, pushing a stroller through the dirt.  But I’m not anonymous when I make myself available to God.  Neesha held my son, Silas, as I smiled and laughed at the tender interaction.  This turned out to be a very powerful moment for Neesha.  She told me she loved camp so much and that since she moved to San Diego and started coming to IHC, she has always felt “surrounded by God”.  I was so happy she shared that with me. I looked at her and then all around. These children were displaced by war and poverty, and now were dancing and smiling with juice-stained lips! God protected them and God restored them. After she confided her words to me, I couldn’t help but add, “It’s because you are apart of the family of God!” She replied quickly, “I know!!!” We hugged like sisters reunited, so joyful, we were giddy.

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Me and Shanelle (1st grade from Uganda) hanging out talking about Jesus love!

No other name has brought so many cultures together. eastercamp

Jesus, Thank you for taking the wrath upon yourself for our sin. So that we could be reunited with our perfect, heavenly Father. Thank you for preparing a place for us— for having many rooms and for speaking every language. 

….

 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Ephesians 1:5 “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”

John 14:2 “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”

Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15 (the message) “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!”