A crazy wonderful summer spent in Alaska changed my life forever. Memories from that summer with a few pictures brings tears to my eyes and a warm glow to my heart.
In one of my previous posts (How NOT to Catch A Husband), I told you about what happened the summer of 1967 when I went to Alaska, to Victory Bible Camp, and met a fellow named Dan Work. He and I were counselors at the camp that summer. I found some pictures to go with that story that I thought you might enjoy. So, here you go – 8,000 words!
As I look at the faces of the people I met and worked with, I’m amazed at the variety and diversity we represented.
We hailed from Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Washington (state), California, and Oregon (to name a few!). Yet in the midst of our differences in personalities, backgrounds, church denominations, goals in life, and skills, we formed a unit. We were a team. We functioned to serve, to teach and to counsel the boys and girls who came to camp. As it was a counselor-based camp, most of the Bible teaching was done by the counselors.
We worked hard at our job.
But, boy! did we have fun! The lake, of course, provided endless opportunities for fun, even though it was ice cold.
This included canoeing, swimming, and just playing around. One of the “fun” things we devised one week was a Water Show Extravaganza. The men counselors arrived dressed as girls, and so the fun began!
Water skiing in a dress takes a lot of coordination,
but it was Ross (our big football guy) who wowed the socks off everyone – he leaped out of the skis and ran a few yards on the water! Our intrepid leader, Dave Sager, loaded down with life saving rings, led the show. I think the guys pretty well destroyed the dock during the show, but that was okay because the camp was planning to build a new dock. Being silly and having fun is not unspiritual. God has a good chuckle at some of our shinanigans, too, I imagine. And if it makes the kids laugh and enjoy the week, well, so much the better!
I think they have cabins now, but this was my humble abode for the summer – a Quonset tent.
Lots of good stuff went on in this tent and some girls accepted Christ as their Savior. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be used by the Lord. He loves to use the humble, the meek, and the ordinary to do extraordinary things!
Victory Peak, the mountain that loomed above the camp, beckoned to us all summer and some of the guys wanted to climb it.
Some people love challenges. I wanted to go because I love the outdoors, and I love mountain climbing. This was our group at the camp before we left. There were only four of us who made it up to the top. But everyone else got really close and we all had a good time.
I remember the wind blowing pretty hard up there, and the camp director, Johnny Gillespie’s words were ringing in my ears. He told us girls very sternly that we shouldn’t go up to the very top because he thought it was too dangerous for us. I believe he meant well. Today, I might say the same thing to two girls who were climbing a mountain that I thought was too dangerous a climb for them. But when I was 20 years old, I didn’t want to hear that!
I wasn’t into a feminist movement, but I knew I had to do that climb or die in the attempt!
The last few yards of the climb was especially difficult because you had to go single file up a narrow cleft in the rock and the climber ahead of me kicked sand in my eyes. But I made it and was so glad I did!
Sometimes God takes us into the wilderness, like He did with His Son.
There’s a steep climb up ahead and we don’t know how we can do it. Our flesh shrinks from it. Will I have enough faith for this? Can God see me through it? These are the questions that keep us awake at night. But somehow, taking one step at a time, we find ourselves one day standing in the sun with our hands in the air, shouting, “I did it!” (With God’s help, of course.) Hold onto hope for that day, dear friend. It will come!
As I look back over the years and contemplate about what God did for me that summer, and all the blessings I’ve received from Him, I can only shake my head in awesome praise to our God!
All these 45 years of service, our three adorable children and six grand-children, and the journey God has taken us through as we served Him adds up to our praise to our wonderful God. He has taken us on a long journey and we’re not done yet!
Here are some reminders as you think about your journey Home.
*Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
*Climb your mountains. God will help you and hold your hand.
*Meet new friends and make new adventures for yourself.
*Trust God in the hard times. In the good times. In all times!! He will see you through.
“And now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” Eph. 3:20, 21
Comment about your journeys. Where has God led you? How have you kept your faith strong in Him? Reply back to me. I love hearing from you!