Less Than Two Weeks Until Launch
Two weeks from today I anticipate that my family and I, along with 25 others with us, will be on Canadian soil. In fact, we will have been “oot and aboot” in the land of the “Loonie”, “Toonie”, and “Eh?” for a couple days, at that point. The team of 30 people is scheduled to leave around 8:30 AM from the EBC parking lot on the morning of Sunday, July 9, and arrive back the evening of Thursday, July 20. Our first night’s stay will be in Hope, BC, then off to the bustling metropolis of Hixon, BC, before arriving on Tuesday afternoon at Rock Nest Ranch, located toward the end of Barrett Hat Road on the outskirts of Houston, BC.
I can understand if you’ve never head of these places. Each of these three small towns are quite familiar to me, though, as I’ve driven through them all many times. The picture above is from 1999, which was the second time I took a trip to Rock Nest Ranch. I was there that summer from late June through the beginning of August, even celebrating my 18th birthday at the camp. I’d venture to say I’ve probably taken the 920ish mile trip to and from Rock Nest Ranch around 20 times in my life, and I’m thrilled to be going again.
Our team of 30 will be helping to facilitate a week of Bible Camp for First Nations kids who are largely coming from unchurched backgrounds. What an opportunity we have to share and demonstrate the good news of Jesus Christ to these 9-12 year old students. As a team, we will lead chapel sessions (music, Bible teaching, skits, etc), and the primary subject matter for the week will be Psalm 23. There is so much about who God is, what He has done, and how He relates to His people in Psalm 23! Some team members may have opportunities to serve as camp counselors, others helping to put food on the table, still others to work on some work projects (like a big sheetrock job!), and all of us will have opportunities to build relationships with kids and enjoy all the fun that can be had at a summer camp.
Would you pray for us? It’s a big journey, and a ton of work when we arrive. We are all fully funded, which is a tremendous blessing. We are eager to help the kids hear about and experience the love of Jesus, so would you pray that we would do that well, too? Not just with our words, but with our actions and attitudes. And we are bringing many of our own children and teens with us, for whom this will be their very first ever cross-cultural missions experience. So can you pray that this will be a significant event for them in growing and developing their faith in Christ as they take some first steps in serving others in this kind of way?
Here is the list of our team members, each of whom (including the kids) will have opportunities to share and demonstrate the love of Jesus to the campers:
- Ryan, Leanne, Mabel, Estelle, and Rosie Donovan
- Andy, Heidi, Eli and Johnny Dryden (the Drydens actually go to church in Washougal, but we’re happy for them to join with us on this trip!)
- Scott, Jillian, Mason, and Micah Valway
- Kyle, Jamie, Levi, Joseph, and Grace McRay
- Bethany, Jonathan, Charis, and Rebekah Ahrendt
- Kevin and Cassie Wence
- Ruth and Daniel Alvarez
- Rachel Eyster
- Gus Gessert
- Laura Martinez
- Kelli Russell
Pastor Ryan Donovan
PS – If you look closely at the picture above from 1999, you can do a little “where’s Waldo-ing” to find me, Jillian, and Andy. We all look exactly the same today as we did 24 years ago…