28 July, 2009
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience….And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb 4:11; Heb 5:11-12
Youth Camps and Jump School
We just returned last Friday evening from two youth camps and a jump school graduation. We were only able to be with the Arizona Youth Camp for two days, but they were profitable and enjoyable. It was a great joy to participate, and watch so many young people challenged by the theme, “The time is now,” based on Eph 5:15-16. Nan and I were able to take both adult and youth classes; some of which are on the website.
Our early departure from this camp was due to Cody’s graduation from jump school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Gary Horton came to be with us for this special occasion— it was great to have "the Ranger" with us. Monty and Cheryl Watkins were also able to drive over with their son Hamp and his pal Riley Goad. Monty, Cody’s uncle and a former Airborne Ranger himself, was able to pin the silver wings on Cody— a privilege for them both. We enjoyed two evenings with Cody and his wife, Amy, before he had to return to Okinawa, and we moved on to other objectives.
On our way to Pennsylvania camp we were able to stop over for a day and night with Nick and Tammy Bacon. Please continue to pray for Nick as he battles cancer. He was upbeat as ever, a fighter all the way. We had a great visit with them and were joined by my brother Lynn, Clarke Cardiff, and Brad Hanke. Clarke got out his guitar and we all joined in some of the old Cowboy songs from the past.
The Pennsylvania camp was built around Rom 12:1-2, “Be transformed.” The doctrine of sanctification was developed in each class. I was graciously given double session classes four nights in a row. I took the four main concepts of the passage and related them to the story of Ruth. In the first chapter of Ruth we see her laying hold of “the mercies of God” by faith in the God of Israel. Then the second chapter moves her on to “present [her] body a living sacrifice” as she goes to the fields to glean and care for Naomi. In chapter three, she submits to Naomi’s guidance, and makes her plea to Boaz for his care under the law of the “kinsman-redeemer,” thus moving her toward transformation. Finally, chapter four sees the long term effects of the union of Boaz and Ruth, leading down to King David. The story picks up in Matthew one, and leads on to the birth of Christ. Thus, “proving the will of God, which is good, acceptable, and perfect.” I really enjoyed teaching these sessions. Nan also was busy with the children’s classes.
Off into Asia
We have been home three days and we are off today for Asia. We ask for your prayers as we have the opportunity for village ministry, and a small three day meeting with pastors and their wives. There will be some long-range travel, and this is often the most dangerous part of working in other countries. We need your prayers. We will be joined by Aurora Salter from Virginia and Jason Kazad, who is stepping in to fill Logan’s place, as he continues to recover from back surgery. Please continue to pray for healing for Logan so he can be back on the mission trail with me.
Remember— as we always remind the kids at youth camp— every one of us is to be a missionary within our own sphere of influence. We are living in perilous times. Your witness and ministry is vital to bring light into these dark days. While we labor afar, we encourage each of you to be faithful in your arena. Do not lose heart, for God is faithful. Do not give in to apathy or despair, for in due time, we will reap!
May God strengthen and sustain each one of you in your battles.
Gene and Nan