Sunday, August 4, 2013

Where There's Smoke There's Fire

This past month has been one of the busiest and most tiring months that we ever had.  When we were here at Fir Point last year we worked many hard and long days.  But this year was different.  This year there was a sense of urgency.  Last year we arrived at camp the first of May and had two months to get the camp ready for campers.  This year due to my knee surgery we did not get here until June and we had only two weeks to get things ready.  We put in some very long days.  We have done so many projects around the campus that we had to write them down in order to remember what we have done.

Some of the major projects were:
1. Install lighting along the path to the fireside area.  Here we had to trench 150 feet for the underground wire; dig four post holes; and install the fixtures; and tap into the main power supply for the area.
Newly installed pathway lights

2.  We also had to bring power to the newly  installed building (the one from my previous blog  post).  We trenched 30 feet to the neighboring  cabin and ran a 50 amp circuit to the new  building.
The "Hidden" Cross with back lights

3.  Repair and organize the chapel.  In the chapel  we had to replace several floor panels that were  rotted.  Dayle applied her cleaning skills to the  entire building.  The projector that was used for  Power Point presentations had died so two 51"  flat panel TV screens were purchased and  installed.  Once installed all the overhead  paraphernalia was removed.  We removed the  projector, the beam that was installed for the projector, and the  large screen.  This then exposed a large and beautiful cross that  was built into the wall with colored glass.  When the sun shines  on the cross it is absolutely beautiful...and no one knew it was  there!  I then had the idea to install back lights to light up the  cross at night.

Shelley with AJ in chapel time
4.  We have been busy raking, cleaning, and beautifying the  grounds.  We have created a burn pile approx 45' long and 6' high  of branches, leaves and other  burnable material and we are not done yet.

The highlight of our time here has been the actual Fir Point camps.  Although we didn’t have much to do with the campers for the junior and senior high camps it is such a joy to see the Lord working.  There were many professions of faith, commitments, and even some baptisms.  But the best week was the 5th and 6th grade camp because I was the “missionary speaker” and we had lots of interaction with the campers.  I spoke to the kids about being a missionary and that every Christian is a missionary for Christ.  Our grandson “AJ” was able to attend the camp for the week.

I was also asked to provide the music for Family Camp.  Family camp was quite a challenge because of the age spread.  But I did some older hymns and older contemporary songs.  The people really liked it.  But when I did “I’ll Fly Away” and “Life’s Railway to Heaven” the people applauded.  Now that has never happened to me before.  The speaker liked the railroad song so much that he wanted me to do it after his message on Saturday night.  Then he asked me to come to his church which is near Sacramento and play when I am in the area.  I told him we will be there in October.

We were looking forward to the next week of camp which was to start Monday, July 29th.  But God obviously had some other plans.  On Friday night we had a violent thunder storm with many lightning strikes in the area which started 54 fires.  The largest fire now called the Douglas Complex Fire threatened the city of Glendale.
A shot from the center of town.

So far the fire continues to head south from us and there is no danger of fire but the smoke is extremely thick especially in the mornings. The air quality is so bad that we will wear a mask when necessary which we received from the Red Cross which is set up in the elementary school. 

The Glendale High School is the actual fire base and it is literally a tent city with over 2000 firefighters scattered about.  All totaled there are 2337 firefighters here from all over the country  battling this huge fire which, as of this post, is
Tent City at the Glendale H.S.
32,535+ acres.  Needless to say it has been quite exciting around here.
Some of the many fire fighter's vehicles.  Notice the smoke.

  On Saturday afternoon the Forest Service rolled into camp and recommended that we close the camp and evacuate all non essential personnel by the end of Sunday.  The recommendation was because the fire was completely out of control and could turn in our direction.  We were only 3 ½ miles from the flames.  And even if the flames do not come our direction we will be experiencing unhealthy air due to thick smoke.  We took their advice and cancelled all camps until further notice.  This would mean a huge financial loss for the camp.  But it was something that had to be done for the safety of our campers.  Then a couple of days later the Forest Service returned and asked if they could use our camp for their firefighters to sleep and they will pay us.  Now we are housing the night crews.  Today we had 170 men and women sleeping in almost every cabin and building.  Wherever they can find a cool quiet place they were sleeping.  Of course this means that we cannot do any outside work that makes any noise.  So now as we make our way around the camp we are walking and whispering to each other so as to not disturb our fire fighting heroes.

 The music leaders for this week was two guys from nearby Medford.  Bryce was the singer/guitarist and his brother-in-law Trevor was the drummer.  These two were really good.  They have a whole band but the others could not get away for the week.  When they arrived to set up in the chapel I was in there trying out my newly acquired bass guitar and they asked me to accompany them all week.  I had a blast playing with them.

My Dayle working hard.  Look at those biceps! 
In our last post I mentioned that Dayle needed surgery for her knee.  We decided to wait to return to Lake Havasu to have it done by the same doctor that did my knee.  But her knee is not bothering her that much and she continues to work all day long, everyday. The only set back she had was when she stepped on a rake and it hit her in the face give her quite a shiner.  Yes, she stepped on a rake just like in the cartoons.  I wanted to put a picture of her black eye but she would not allow it.

We began attending the nearby Baptist church and have become friends with the pastor and his wife.  I will be preaching for him next Sunday (August 11th). 

Please continue to pray for Fir Point Bible Camp and for some upcoming decisions that they have to make.  Also please pray for our continued ministry and future ministry opportunities and for clear direction for us.  Dayle continues to feel great although here fingers hurt sometimes due to the osteoarthritis.  But that doesn’t ever slow her down.  Please pray for our house in Klamath Falls to sell before April 15th.  If our tenant doesn’t purchase it we will have to move back in and make it our primary residence once again so we can avoid capital gains taxes when it does sell.  We will still be living in our 5th wheel as we travel, but the house will be our legal residence for tax purposes.  That means no tenant and a loss of income.

God bless......Shelley and Dayle