Thursday, June 14, 2018

Little by little it goes

We had a really nice lunch out today,
vegan fare and great lemonade!
Well, today was up and down.
I am still having some throat unhappiness but am working on 
various things to make it better.
Those who have read my blog along time, will know that
years ago, shockingly nearly 20 now, I worked at a Bible Camp in 
Connecticut.  A place I loved deeply and remember every grain of sand,
every thing is so clear and so loved in my memory.
I found out of it's ending and an astounding new beginning there. 
I wrote the following two things about it. 

God works in mysterious ways! I worked at Mountain Lake Bible Camp from 1995 through 2000 and was profoundly influenced and shaped by my time there. Anyone who knew me either at Calvin/RBC/TWU during that time knew I worked there, the camp was my first spiritual home and when Aunt Elaine died in 1998, I felt like I lost my spiritual Mother; the loss of her was one of the hardest things I ever went through, though God brought fruit out of it.. The first seeds of what became my later decision to become an Orthodox Christian were laid in these years. To learn that this camp is going to become an Orthodox Christian Camp is incredible. I will do my best to add my prayers for this new venture and also for the ministry that Uncle Al's son is going to do (I remember meeting him years ago, he has Aunt Elaine's deep brown eyes). Of course I will be praying for Uncle Al, I am sorry to hear of his struggles. The beauty of this land and camp is unparalleled and will always be part of where I wish I was and a firm part of understanding the Lord as the source of all Beauty.


As I was reading my Beloved Husband the news of Mountain Lake Bible Camp passing the torch to Camp Saint Paul, I could barely read it for the tears, for both the end of Mt Lake, and the beginning of Camp Saint Paul.
Mountain Lake Bible Camp was my first spiritual home, one that I felt with me during the year, one that I could not wait to return to the next year. One, like many things, I never dreamed I would one day leave. It was a place that I brought friends to work with me, one that all my friends knew about, and professors I was close to, esp at TWU. God used Mountain Lake Bible Camp in my life in powerful ways, healing a confused teenager, helping me into my early 20s, Creating patterns of prayer and commitment to God that are still with me today.
I am moved to see the schedule of Camp Saint Paul's daily camp:
Orthros (another word for Matins, a morning prayer service)
Cabin Clean-Up
Rotation Session I (Orthodox Life)
Rotation Session II (Diakonia: a session to focus on service projects)
Rotation Session III (Liturgical Hour)
Rotation Session IV (Greek Cultural Appreciation)
Free Swim and Activities
Evening Activity (Camp Fire, Olympics, Scavenger Hunt, Skit Night, etc.)
Lights Out
Other than a bit more Christian (Orthodox) education + cultural celebration, and not having rest time (actually I would add that to their day!), it's very similar.
What moves me here is how much prayer, devotions and Christian teaching will continue on this land that I will always know as Mountain Lake.
I can assure my dear friends who were at Mt Lake with me that the man who began this camp, Archbishop Demetrios is not only a Biblical Scholar who loves God's Word, but is himself a man of prayer. I've met him about 6 years ago and he is unforgettable.
I think as I process the end and beginning, I am going to have a lot more tears, both of grief at the ending and rejoicing at the beginning.

So I am full of memories today... 
That place, that camp, meant so much to me, I could go on
for days just telling you all the stories, the memories, the pictures
I have it in my mind. 
And that it is going to be an Orthodox camp, how surreal, astounding, wonderful.
I am sure some of my friends from camp may be a bit more bewildered,
as Orthodox Christianity is not familiar to most of them,
but glory hallelujah! that the camp is going to continue and the first thing on the
to bring list for the campers was the Bible and then a prayer book.
I am so excited about it.
I miss that place greatly, it will always be some of my 
happiest memories, while yet there was sorrow too, yet the happiness,
that is what remains.
And I guess that is what I have to remember about this time in my life also.
There's a lot of hard times and disappointments, uncertainties in our
life right now and sometimes they overwhelm me.
But yet God is with us, we are being taken care of 
and one day, 
only the happiness will remain. 


Mary said...

Elizabeth, may I ask you for the recipes for that amazing lunch dish AND lemonade? God bless you dear.

elizabeth said...

Mary, it was at a restaurant! A new local one. The vegan bloganase was with tofu and pea powder, udon noodle and a scallion pancake I think was the pizza crust!

Tracy said...

Lovely to hear about your camp memories and happy times, Elizabeth... and lovely that this this place of Christian education, celebration and growing will continue grow. Good to catch up with you and your recent posts. Very much hoping you will feel better soon... And wonderful to see you've been sewing again! :))) God Bless you, my friend ((HUGS))

Elizabethd said...

I wonder if one day you might get to visit the camp? It sounds a wonderful place.

Lisa Richards said...

Hopefully, one day you will get the chance to see it with your own eyes. Sounds like an exciting development, though a bittersweet one.

author said...

How did you come to know about this camp? I believe you grew up in Michigan?

elizabeth said...

Tracy, thanks so much!!

Elizabethd ~ I am greatly hoping so. I already did some initial reaching out but have not heard back.

Lisa, yes, I do hope so! yes, it is bittersweet but yet wonderful, I am still processing it!

Author: a small add in a large file cabinet at Calvin College (in MI) at their career centre! I called all over the nation to see if I could work at a camp and God sent me to Mountain Lake, which was a great act of Love and Salvation for me!!!