Yes, I really am still alive. But it's summer. And for us, summer means family vacations (sorry, no pics of that coming), and extra ministry trips, and many, many birthdays.
The last month has held more quaking of the deep places of my heart than I'm ready to share at this point. But maybe soon. . . For those closest to me, you already know. For those of you who live farther away and would like to know before I'm ready to blog, just send me an email.
Yup. It's me and my best friend. I love nothing more than to be involved in ministry with Daniel. And God opens windows for that along the way. Last week was one of those.
Daniel and I were privileged to be leaders for the Yellow Bus Adventure, a four day, three night "overnight vacation Bible school" held in Gordon, PA and sponsored in part by FHC Ministries, a group pastored by Daniel's dad, Michael Hobbs. Daniel and I led the music, but were also involved in a campfire story (Daniel told the story of Gideon's Pot-- as first recounted by our dear friend Larry Guthrie) and I did morning coach time (devotions) with all the girls.
YBA is for kid's in grades 2 through 8, so you can imagine the noise, the smells, the attitudes, the enthusiasm, the needs, the attention spans. Need I say more?
I love YBA. We had a big mix of kids from church and kids from "town". Kids who know all the Bible stories already, and kids who don't. Kids from homes with a mom and a dad. And kids who have no idea where their dad is. It was incredible to send kids home having memorized Scripture, watched the Scripture acted out in a very memorable way and having learned songs that speak the truth of God's word in a way they'll never forget.
That's me on the left, then Julie Bradford and my sister (in-law) Esther. We were the paparazzi, each with our own SLR camera, shooting anyone close to us.
Here's William Straight, director of YBA. We worked with an incredible team!! Wow. So much creativity packed into a short time.
Team colors!! Staff had black shirts this year, the boys team was green, and blue, yellow and red were girl's teams.
Ready for YBA: duffle bag, sun visor, flashlight and Bible.
Josh and Will: our faithful computer geeks. :o) Will has a gift for mentoring the young men around him. Josh is one of those.
Putting motions to songs brings so much joy to the kids, and helps them to remember the songs. One hymn we did was written by Keith Getty: "Hear the call of the Kingdom". Hopefully it will be posted on youtube soon and I can share it. It was incredible!! 50 children singing "Hear the call of the Kingdom, lift your eyes to the King." And then the chorus: "King of Heaven, we will answer the call! We will follow, bringing hope to the world. Filled with passion, filled with power to proclaim salvation in Jesus name." There were times I could hardly sing, it was so overwhelming.
Afternoon sports time on a soccer field close by. Tristen and I were waiting for the kids to arrive and Daniel grabbed the camera. :o)
Jake: all ready to run the 100 yard dash!!
The girls with some of their "bestest" friends.
Yes. That's me. The kids love to have adults join in the fun, so I was talked into the long jump. Imagine. No. Don't.
At YBA we use a point system for everything from Scripture memory to good attitudes and our girls were on the winning red team!!
Saying goodbye was NOT fun.
Now, on to our first summertime birthday: Tobin turned 5 on June 23. We celebrated with a family from church whose son turned 14 the same day. With a river close by, what better way to celebrate than with a fire, hotdogs, mountain pies, marshmallows, cake and several hours in the river. Most of the time in the river was spent with snorkel masks on looking for "treasures". You know, things like broken dishes, old tire rims, large pieces of discarded, waterlogged rugs, snail shells, broken clocks.
Tobin, Tyler and Tristen
And lastly, Grandma Showalter has been a caretaker of roses for as long as I can remember. In March she sent me a rosebush from Jackson and Perkins. It's a hybrid tea rose and has bloomed for the first time. I only wish I could include the smell. It's heavenly.
That's all for now. There is so much more in my heart to write, but I haven't the time. Maybe soon.