Well, this is an “extra, extra read-all-about-it” special update, because we have the immense pleasure of introducing our DAUGHTER!– Zoe Beth Rasmussen. She was born on July 23rd, at 12:28 in the afternoon. 8 pounds 1 ounce, 21 inches long.
The labor and delivery went so smooth all the hospital staff couldn’t believe how peaceful the whole process went– All praise to God for relieving me of all my burdens, and giving me an amazing husband/birth coach! The brothers love her so much; Silas always wants to hold her, Owen always tries to pick her up, and Caleb always pokes her face and says, “baby stit-tah”.
June was an exhaustingly productive month at camp. So much prep for summer. Mainly, for creating an entirely new BMX track! This project was a labor of love for sure. Josh and his team spent many, many hours, packing the dirt down, and making it just perfect for every age rider. Silas enjoys riding the track any chance he can. We are looking forward to how this attraction will bring more visitors to camp to hear the Gospel.
Speaking of visitors on camp… It was so fun to once again, have my dear niece Autumn come to camp for week #2. She came to our house prior to camp to have a sleepover with Silas. And he asked her, “Autumn, do you love us?” and she replied “yah, I’m glad I get to spend more time with you guys”. How this warmed my heart. And what a reminder, as I checked her into teepee #6 that every camper is someone cherished and loved, every camper is someone unique and special, wonderously worthy of the Gospel invitation! Overall, in 22 days time, we had 616 campers onsite, 99 of them receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and savior for the first time! I saw one camper, Nick*, receive Christ with his counselor (Jamul Community Church’s associate pastor, Ben Alva). He pulled him aside during the camp carnival, which I found peculiar; I assumed he was in trouble! But later, Ben explained, the Lord urgently prompted him to ask the young boy about his relationship with God! “Do you want a relationship with Jesus?” He asked. Nick looked at the carnival: people dancing, eating snow cones, playing games, laughing. Then, looked back at Ben. Again, looked at the carnival and then back at Ben. “Yes” he replied firmly, and right then they prayed and angels rejoiced. Praise God Nick graciously grasped true wisdom –The pleasures of this world will not satisfy. The music fades and the snow cones melt away. Only Christ’s eternal salvation gives us the enduring joy that we truly crave.
This summer, we had 62 amazing high school and college staff voluntarily trek the 22-day program with us. This involves a week of training, 2 kid camp sessions, and ends with one Jr. High camp. Josh spoke the first night of training week on the importance of perseverance and enduring the uncomfortable not only to keep staff unity, but to enjoy staff unity. From that, Romans 12:1-2 became a key teaching point—“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—This is your true and proper worship.” The staff also meditated on 1 Peter 5 daily… “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may lift you up in due time, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you….” It is encouraging to see high school and college students grow in their knowledge of God, and mature in Him on our campgrounds.
Another neat thing about this summer was training up some new worship leaders. If you don’t remember, last summer I led in song at almost every opportunity. But this summer we slowly transitioned this responsibility to two blooming musicians, who (pun intended) totally rocked the challenge. I also was asked to help lead an artistic project with three other artists. It was very fun to create, and the end result will hopefully leave a lasting legacy in the hearts and minds of all who see it at camp. The 22 days ends with a weekend away to reflect and debrief. I had the privilege of attending those days without my children climbing my legs. We got a good amount of rest and heard lots of hilarious stories and encouraging testimonies of God working. Pray for those 62 young people that they would remain obedient and steadfast to the Lord’s teachings, and not lose heart when they grow weary outside the comforts of camp.
Well, that about encapsulates our 4th summer here at Indian Hills Camp: a new BMX track, a new daughter, and new revelations of God in the hearts in minds of people young and old! Praise God for these sweet blessings; He is good to us! Thank you so much for your love and support through the intensely-packed summer season. We truly felt the prayers and are so grateful for them.
In His hands,
Josh, Alicia, Silas, Owen, Caleb, AND …Zoe Beth!!
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