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  • Writer's pictureT.j. Morris

Tips from a family that knows about social distancing... and an update on life.

My family and I are missionaries at Forward Bible Camp and live there year-round. Living above the snow line, in a community that is spread out, we have learned how to distance socially before social distancing was cool. I have come up with some tips for surviving the shelter in place orders for those of you that aren't yet used to these times.


2. My first tip was actually about stocking up on toilet paper, and you can't find or get any of that, so here is the new #1. Spend more quiet time with God. You don’t need others, internet, or even power for this one. For family devotions, we highly recommend “Indescribable – 100 devotions about God and science”. For little kids, we love “The Jesus Storybook Bible”, which does a great job of weaving the story of Jesus and His love and sacrifice throughout all the major stories of the Bible.

3. Connect with kids. Yeah, kids aren't good for viruses because you can't seem to get them to stop eating off the floor or licking everything, but they make great constant entertainment. If you have a kid like mine, or can video call a kid like mine, then you could kill a few days of this quarantine just by hearing what they dreamed last night.

4. Plan your meals ahead of time. This one helps with budgeting as well. Charissa makes a great Mexican soup and is usually on her meal plan once a week.

5. Entertain the whole family with some great Bible based options:

a. Seeds family worship – “I am with you” is my kid’s favorite album. We recommend the videos, though the audio versions are great as well.

b. Adventures in Odyssey Club – Every episode from the last 30 years for $10/month, and you support Focus on the Family. The kids also get a magazine in the mail every other month.

c. What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver is a great series for kids. It teaches Bible stories and delves into theology and deeper questions about the authority of God’s Word.

We recently had a major storm and power outage. The snow was wet and heavy, and we received almost 4 feet within two days. The storm knocked an unbelievable number of trees and power lines down all over the mountain. PG&E had 5 crews working our road for a week before they were able to get power back on at camp. During that storm we had a large tree punch several holes in the North bathrooms roof, another large tree crushed the camp van beyond repair, and a large branch put a hole in the dish room roof. For several days we were unable to get down to camp with all of the downed trees and snow. God provided a crew of people, paid by PG&E, to clear the trees and snow with their large commercial equipment and crews. With all the damage and trees/brush all over camp, we are thinking outside the box as to how we can get everything cleaned up before camp starts. At this point we are planning to host a “Camp Clean Up Retreat” from May1st – May 2nd. If you would like to join us for this fun work retreat, please sign up here. Although the camp property and I didn’t like how wet and heavy the snow was, my kids loved it as it was perfect for making snow men.

Pray for:

1. How you can join us this summer. Due to churches and schools being shut down, we have very few opportunities to share about volunteer needs. We are pressing forward with planning of camp and sharing camp needs online.

2. Safety at camp as TJ works a lot with the tractor and chainsaw.

3. Morris and McEfee families as well as camp financial support through this pandemic.

4. Wisdom as we decide if or when to cancel camps as the quarantine date gets pushed further and further out.

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