Monday, March 9, 2009

I Was Relent(less)

I know some of you are wondering where I've been lately. And thank you to those who gave a friendly little shout out regarding such (Beth, Katdish). It's just been a couple of weeks and I haven't felt the blog mojo too much anyway. In fact, I just haven't felt any mojo lately and I guess I took a little unplanned break.

Also, for the past few days, I've been away at Wintercamp 09', Relent(less), cooking for about 350 (give or take a few) middle and high school kids. While some may consider that a thankless job, I found it an incredible blessing to be a part of such an awesome thing.

First, you have to understand where this camp took place. I was at Wildhorse Canyon Ranch, now known as Washington Family Ranch. It is a little piece of property (67,000 acres), out in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon, that was donated to Young Life Ministries. Prior to that, it had been inhabited by a 35,000 member cult lead by the The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I'm not going to go into all of the specifics - I've created a link so that you can do that. I will say that I remember them as a kid coming to Bend and they were creepy people. There was a lot of weird stuff going on at their commune, and we always considered their ranch a very evil place. The ranch was eventually seized by the Feds, the cult members fled, a few were arrested and what was once a place full of darkness is now being used to further the kingdom of God. Touche.

There were a lot of really cool things about this weekend. I didn't get to interact much with the kids because I was in the kitchen most of the time, but I did get to attend a few of the worship session and watch kids do the zip line into the pond (seriously crazy because it was like 48°), ride the 'screamer', hang out at the 'Sassy' (yeah - THAT is the name of their little cafe. Love it.), and I was bunking in a room called 'Kicks Iron' (suh-weet). I had some really cools moments and I'm just going to briefly share them with you:

- Being completely humbled by my new friend Nick. He's a really cool kid that I got to spend a lot of time with and God is really big in his life.

- Witnessing 300+ teenagers during worship, jumping up and down with their arms raised, or on their knees singing praise to God. It chokes me up to talk about it. Seriously. I've never witnessed such awesomeness by a bunch of kids - especially when my teenage son is in the midst of it.

- Meg, Sarah, Jeff, Andrea & Tim. The kitchen crew. They work super long hours, for hardly any pay...and they love what they do. True servants. Plus they are really cool people.

- The herd of turkeys. (Ok, it's a flock, but there were a bunch of wild turkey's out there and I'm not talking about the kids.)

- Rocking AC/DC with Nick. (We rocked Cris Tomlin and Stevie Wonder too. Relax.)

- The food. I remember camp food as a kid and this is NOT camp food. I had garlic mashed red potatoes (with the skins and all. YUM..) and they were almost better than mine. Almost.

- Being continually amazed at what God has done with the ranch. I'm thinking Clint Eastwood and 'Go ahead, make my day punk' when the Rashneeses showed up. God blew the smoke off the end of that gun barrel.

- Enjoying seeing a gazillion teenagers having a blast, acting crazy and screaming their little hearts out on the zip line... and diggin' God. Good times.

I'm exhausted, but in a good way. I'm just glad I got to be a part of it all.


Candace Jean July 16 said...

We've missed you! Glad to see you make an appearance. I would have loved to escape to the Wildhorse Canyon Ranch with you. Cooking in a kitchen in the wilderness is sounding pretty good to me right now. (But I would not have participated in the zip line!)

I had to laugh at the "herd of turkeys." I told my dad that once when I was little, and he never let me forget it, rest his soul.

May God bring you peace and rest in your exhaustive state.

Helen said...

Sounds wonderful. I am glad you got to be a part of this.

katdish said...

That's just all kinds of awesome. Yay Annie! Yay God!

Oh, to have garlic mashed potatoes at church camp, no less.

~*Michelle*~ said...

popping over from Pete Wilson's blog.....and I just had to tell you how awesome that camp sounds. What a blessing it must have been to be involved with all the youth and God right in the middle of it all!

And the bonus was the garlic mashed potatoes (although mine are pretty hard to beat as well!)


Diane said...

Glad you got to regroup and recharge in a place that obviously feeds your soul. And glad you're back, too!

Debbie said...

What a neat experience!!!!!

jill said...

i love winter camps....teenagers are way more awesome then most people give them credit for.

Annie K said...

Candace - you are awesome and yes, it was a herd!

Helen, I love you more than anything. ;)

Kat, next time I'm packing my thongs.

Michelle, if there is one place on the west coast you need to visit (besides Bend!) it's this place! I'm glad you hang around here! ;)

Diane - you're very cool. Seriously. ;)

Debbie - it was AWESOME!

Jill, I dig the teens. Probably because I'm one at heart.

sherri said...

Annie- this sounds like a place you need to take Big Al and me!

Glad you got to go.