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December 10, 2018
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Labor Day Retreat

Sep 05 2016

Every Labor Day weekend, the summer camp that I direct in northern Maine has one last  event before the brief Aroostook County summer turns into the chilly nights and red leaves of autumn.  This year's Labor Day retreat ended yesterday, and it was the best attended yet.  We had 30 young people spend the weekend enjoying the zip line, low ropes, canvas painting, and a giant slip and slide.  We had our annual foosball tournament which, as always, I lost in the first round.  We also had our annual ping pong table which, as always, I won.  Okay, that last sentence was a little boastful, but I have been the reigning champion since I started going there as the camp speaker in 1995.  This year I played Erin, one of our CITs in the championship, and she took me to 22 - 20 in the final game. What a blast!


James Wethersbee was our speaker for the second straight Labor Day.  James is the chaplain at Riverview Psychiatric Hospital and he and his wife, Valerie have become our friends over the years.  I see James a lot more than Sue gets to see Val.  I do a couple shows a year at his hospital, and he comes to the school where I teach to speak about Martin Luther King Jr. each winter.  While our two households were together, we tried to take advantage of every minute we could to fellowship and catch up on things.  James did a great job, as I've come to expect from him.  He focused on the first five chapters of John's Gospel in a way that really brought them to life for the kids as well as the adult staff.


.On Saturday, our oldest daughter, Jona-Lynn came up to the camp where she had spend parts of all her summers throughout her childhood.  Her boyfriend, Sam, is up from Texas now as well, and he had never been to our camp.  She enjoyed showing him around this precious place.  Then, on the final evening of the retreat, after the youth were nestled, all snug in their beds (wishful thinking, I suppose) we sat  in our cabin's living room with Jo, Sam, James, Val, and camp fixtures Tammy and Annette and told stories and laughed way too late into the evening.  It was a perfect way for Sue and I, both teachers, to wrap up our final weekend of summer vacation.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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