Work projects are better with friends
At camp we are working on getting ready for future camps. We have been repairing and improving the facility as well as planning for potential programs at camp. Things change weekly, and we have no idea what next summer will be like. We are hopeful that we will be able to have camps, even if they need to be smaller than in years past.
Over the last few months, one of our long-time camp volunteers, the Koder family, have been living at camp and helping with current projects. This is a temporary arrangement that has been amazing for our family and the camp. Jake and Sheri Koder have led worship at camp dozens of times over the last 15 years and Jake is a contractor by trade. It is great to not only serve together at camp but have a friend that we can talk with and grow together while working. The time has been encouraging and special as well as really productive.
As we get ready for this summer, I face a hurdle that I have not had before. In past summers, we struggled to get the volunteers needed for a great camp experience. This year, we enter summer not only with unknowns, but after a year of craziness, no camp, and most churches not gathering as they were before Covid-19, which is where we get most of our volunteers. I ask you to pray for us as we plan and seek volunteers. We have been praying at 10:02 for volunteers at Forward Bible Camp as well as local ministries and churches. Please also pray for camp and its missionaries.
Starting this last semester I became a small group leader for 6th and 7th grade boys at our church. It has been a great outlet for me to share Jesus with a group of boys, encourage them, as well as grow as a leader and use the skills that God has worked in me at camp. There have been many times when I knew it was God who put me in this group of boys and not just that I was willing and there was a vacancy. One question that came up was, "Who in your life has made an impact?" I know that in my life God used several men and women to grow me into who I am today. The first two that came to my mind were Bev Moon, who I later called grandma Bev, and Glenn Greene. Mrs. Moon was my 3rd and 4th grade teacher. She taught me to love God and had a love for others and her country that I follow in. Glenn was a family friend and an Awana leader during a point in my life when I was most annoying, 6th grade. I thank God for putting these two in my life, along with countless others that He used to show His love for me. Who stands out in your life? I would like to hear from you about the people that God set up in your life as well.
As a couple, we are excited to help host a financial class called Financial Peace University at our church starting January 24th. The class focuses on managing your money with a budget and getting in control of your finances. Our favorite part of the class is that we have a plan for emergencies and goals for the future. If you live in the area and know anyone that could use this class, or would like to come yourself, please email me for more information.
Our family caught Covid-19 in December and were not able to meet with family for Christmas. We were blessed to have light cases but wanted to give plenty of time to not share with family. Sometimes not sharing is caring, even at Christmas. The longest part for us was Charissa not having her sense of smell, but that has turned into a huge blessing as now she can only smell good smelling things. She can smell candles, cinnamon, and things like that, but not diapers, bathrooms, and teenagers. I know it sounds like a superpower for a mom, but we are praying she gets that sense of smell all the way back.
Our family financial goal is to save up for a car and eventually a house with cash. We have housing provided while I serve at camp, but we know that saving for a house is a long-term goal. At this point, each are at $4300, which I know is not much for a house fund but is an exciting step in the right direction. We can put about $200/month toward a house and would like to see our support go up over time, so that we can put more toward things like housing and retirement. For now, we understand that God has a plan, and that includes housing at camp for at least the near future.
Let us know if you have any prayer requests, and have a blessed day, TJ