Friday, July 3, 2009

The back story

It’s really hard to figure out where to start the back story because it seems to have begun when I was born at a YWCA camp on Canandaigua Lake in NY. Camp was a GREAT place to grow up! It was practically heaven to a kid. I came to know Christ at a Young Life weekend retreat at a camp, and worked at camps in college. Camps have been there at many key points in my life, always tied to fond memories.

Rodney worked at a Young Life camp in college and I went up there to pick him up at the end of the summer. He LOVED working maintenance there! He practically glowed with the excitement and enthusiasm for the job. Through his 22 years with the frustrations of working as a State Trooper and State Police Investigator (especially the child abuse cases) that image of him there always stuck in the back of my mind. I thought that he’d fit perfectly at a Young Life camp after retirement.

My cousin Jeff lives in Palmer, Alaska (outside of Anchorage) and he's been sharing stories and showing Rodney pictures of Alaska for 10 years. Rodney has always been a bit of a mountain man type and Alaska has appealed to him for years. Jeff’s stories only served to fuel that itch! Last fall he had the opportunity to go build cabins for Kingdom Air in Alaska so I told him he had to go to find out if Alaska was really what he wanted. He went and fell in love so he wanted to move there, but didn't really know where to or what for. This was a really dark time for me. I felt certain that we belonged in camping ministry. He felt certain that we belonged in Alaska. For months people had been telling us that Rick Cornfield, who we knew from work he did in local ministries here in NY, was in Alaska at a camp but no one could tell us enough details to find him. Finally this spring someone at LeTourneau (the camp here that he used to work at where our kids now work) directed us to Victory Ministries. When we read a little about the camp and discovered that they were looking for a maintenance person, it was clear to us that this might just be the fulfillment of both of our dreams.

It has been a whirlwind of activity (our brand new kitchen was installed 3 days before we left for Alaska), a visit, application, so many details to work out, but God has moved in miraculous ways to pull it all together. We hope to start the trip by Aug 1 in order to have time for the kids to start school there in the fall. I don't mind leaving behind the kitchen if God wants us in Alaska! I've lived without a real kitchen for 20 yrs. I can live with a smaller, less fancy one there!

I have a friend who often quotes Bible verses. One of the ones that sticks out most in my mind is from the New King James Version. Ephesians 3 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. That phrase “exceedingly abundantly” kept coming to mind the whole time we were in Alaska. It really feels like He is providing exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or imagine. That house across the lake – when I found out they were considering that for us my first thought was “exceedingly abundantly.” Every time we would see another need at camp where Rodney has experience (site planning, logging) it would come to mind – “exceedingly abundantly.”

This spring many of the people in our church memorized Psalm 23 which in the New International Version says in verse 3 “He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.” This is Rodney’s verse for Alaska. He feels his soul being restored by the people and surroundings there. That verse hung on the wall in the small apartment that we stayed in at camp.

With God, ALL things are related! It is so much fun watching Him tie all these little details together! One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 46:11 which in the New International Version reads “From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” So many times I see Him bring a man (or woman) from a far off land to fulfill His purpose and I come back to that verse. I’ll have to save some of those stories for another blog entry. This is another exciting episode in that adventure! I can “feel” some other possibilities for future stories as well. Kingdom Air has ties to Russia and Victory has visions of possible future work in coordination with Kingdom Air there. That can NOT be a coincidence! We’ll see how that plays out some day in the future!

4 comments:

  1. Daphne, your father-in-law pointed me to your blog. Rodney's family used to live net door to us in Cheshire. I have enjoyed reading about your adventure. You mentioned something about having enough material to write a book, you should. Until then I will be waiting impatiently for your next post. Nila Repard

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  2. Hi,

    Thanks for including me in this. I will follow with interest.

    Love Caroline Crocker

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  3. Daphne,
    A friend of Betty and I sends you this verse Matthew 5:16
    God bless,
    Bob - Pops

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  4. Thanks, everyone!

    Nila, glad to have you following! Rodney was very glad to "see" you here!

    Caroline, it is so good to "see" you too and keep up with you a little through the web! I'm so glad we met!

    Pops, thanks much for the verse! It is a privilege to be able to share what God is doing!

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