Monday, July 7, 2008

A God Moment

Time is flying by while I'm at camp. I am finally on my first time off since camp has started. Our small RAD group has had a crazy fun time taking our campers rock-climbing at Smith, cliff-jumping and rafting on the Deschutes river, mtn. biking up Hoodoo, backpacking up into snow, canoeing around the lake, and anything else we could think of to wear them out!

There is still a lot of snow up here but not near as much as when we first arrived for training. The lake has unfrozen and the mosquitos have started coming in swarms. After a week of shoveling snow and preparing for camp, all of the staff were given a day off for solo time, the Sabbath before camp started. I almost went mtn. biking with some of the guys, but then decided to find somewhere to go alone. I looked around on some maps and picked out a trail to hike near here. I drove out to the trailhead and started hiking, hoping to make it to the top of Maxwell Butte. There was so much snow however, that I was having a hard, slow time trying to stay on track with the trail. Getting really frustrated in not making my goal, I finally just stopped in a snowy clearing on a log and decided to have my solo time there after becoming hopelessly far from any trail markings.

Reflecting on the past year and looking toward the summer, I was constantly bombarded with thoughts of how I would relate to the campers and just being back from Africa. I'm coming from living with kids who had nothing of their own and who ate the same thing every day -- to spoiled American campers who come to camp with their huge bags of "essentials" for one week, complaining about the vegetarian food, and 3-minute showers. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it all.

Flipping through my Bible, I couldn't find anything that encouraged me or anything that really spoke to me. Finally giving up on God leading me at all or giving any feeling of His presence, I threw my lunch back into my backpack, stuffed my Bible on top and headed back down the hill to try and find the trail again. A while later after having to climb a tree to eventually see the trail, I jogged back down to my car and jumped in, ready to head back to camp for the music practice I needed to be at.

My cd player happened to be on, so I reached over to turn it off and in the process, accidentally changed it to the radio. Being way out on forest service roads, it came as a bit of a surprise when the radio actually turned on. As I listened more, I was even more surprised to hear someone reading verses out of the Bible. By the time I focused in to what they were saying, they were reading from Philippians chapter 4:

...I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength...

After the end of the chapter, the radio just shut off and all I heard was static. I think I mentioned these verses before in a blog, but it was a great reminder to me that it's not about whether being poor is better than being rich, but about being content wherever God decides to put me, and learning other ways to serve Him. Right now he has put me at camp working with kids, and after getting through my first week, I'm really excited about the possibilities that we have to teach and influence campers spiritually. In Africa, I worked a lot more on the physical well-being of people, but here it is a lot more the spiritual, relational well-being of people. I think it is a harder challenge and I am excited!

Anyways, I don't know how that radio turned on and off at just the right time way out in the woods, except that it was a God moment. Keep looking up!