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August 24, 2019
 
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Mapleton Daze

Jul 02 2019

For the past 25 years, we have spent at least part of each summer in Mapleton, Maine, a little agricultural town just miles from the Canadian border.  For the first ten of those years, I was the speaker at Baptist Park summer camp; sometimes for a week, sometimes for two.  Speaker is a bit of a misnomer; In fact I was doing my juggling and magic presentation for their chapel services.  Then, since 2005, I have been the director, but I've always included jugging in my work here, often for morning services.

One of many nice things about our time up north has been becoming part of the Mapleton community. It is a tiny town with a lot of heart. Most people are somehow connected to potato farming, and every June they have "Mapleton Daze", a weekend celebration of community and rural life.  As I have often done, I juggled in the Mapleton Daze Parade. This summer I was joined by two camp counselors: Brianna and Isaac. While Isaac and I alternated between juggling diabolos, balls and clubs, Bri juggled knives the entire way!  We also looked for young families to whom we gave brochures for the camp.

Prior to the parade I got talking with the guy who was entered directly behind us. He had decorated his tractor, and was very proud to tell me all the bells and whistles he had on his new rig.  Not knowing anything about tractors, or machinery in general, I feigned interest, but was really quite lost.  

Later that evening I also did my three ball routine as part of Mapleton's got talent.  I was competing in the 50 and up division.  I did the routine well, but a couple who sang beautiful harmonies and played flute and guitar won the division.  Samantha, another one of our counselors, however, won the teen division with a beautifully heartfelt song on guitar and vocals.   

The next afternoon camp opened for six through eight years olds, and the staff and I have been on the go ever since.  We might only be living in Mapleton six weeks each summer, but it's a nice place to spend these daze.

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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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