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.