Wednesday morning began with another rainy trip to Camp Gardner. The forecast, as we have come to expect, was for showers to dominate the day. When we arrived at the camp we soon discovered that the cook and backup cook had both become sick or injured. In addition to the activities that we had planned for the day we also added kitchen duty to the list. It was undoubtedly the most productive day at camp that we had. It was a privilege to be able to jump in and help where we could. It was also gratifying to walk around the camp and see each and every one of our students working and helping where they could. Activities of the day included loading several truckloads of firewood for campfires, finishing painting the camp logo on the shed (they did an amazing job), and helping with camp activities with the kids. They was a definite sense of accomplishment in what we did for the camp. The weather was cool with a constant drizzle. It didn’t impede us from working, but it did make us long for the dry and the indoors.
After we said goodbye to the camp we were ready for lunch. I decided to give a call to the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane. I was looking for a place to eat our lunches that was out of the rain. Barry Nelson is the development director of the seminary and was my chief contact in putting together our trip to Calgary, so I thought I would try and see if they could find us a place to eat. I am so glad that I called. They threw open the doors and welcomed us in, a very common theme here in Calgary. As it turns out several of the staff have Texas and even FBCSA connections including Barry. He was a member of our church for a brief time in the early nineties. They provided us a place to regroup before our next activity. It was a very welcome break.
The schedule for Wednesday was the tightest of all during this tour and our next stop was in a community north of the city called Airdrie. We partnered with a church for a one-day VBS. The church is meeting in a community building using two rooms for both Sunday School and worship. It is a very small fellowship. What we discovered was a group of people hungry for the Word, who were overcome with gratitude toward our students for working with their kids. This group brought 15 children, and we had the most wonderful time singing, teaching, playing, and loving them. Nancy Poffenbarger has worked for weeks to ensure that our crafts and stories were ready to go, and it was beautifully executed by our students. Watching our students share the gospel with these children was a moment of profound joy for me and the other chaperones. You could see the children with full eyes listening as our kids explained these truths one on one with them. This was fulfilling in every way. The sun was shining, and the Lord continued to show his favor towards our work. The church was so grateful they prepared a meal for our group. It was a wonderful lesson to us about gratitude. This group did not give out of their abundance, they gave to us out of their pure love of the Lord. We came to bless them, and I am certain we got more than we gave.
Quick trip back to the dorms to change and get ready for our evening concert. We drove downtown to Central United Church for a formal concert. This church did a nice job of advertising for us, and we had a welcoming, receptive audience. It was nice to get dressed up and sing our praise, especially in light of the great day we were having. God is so good.
We continue to deal with some health issues. There seems to be both a bug running through the group and a bout of dehydration which really throws you off at this altitude. We can’t encourage them enough to keep drinking water. All is well, just continue to pray for healthy bodies.
We ended the evening at a restaurant that specializes in the traditional Canadian dish, poutine. This is French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Not a really light dish, but very well received by the kids. When in Rome.
I once heard a retired admiral speak and he said that the reason that he made his bed every morning was that if everything else goes wrong throughout the day he could know that at least he had done one thing right. I told the students that when you head to bed each night you should always take stock of what took place that day. You should ask yourself if you took every opportunity that came your way, you used the resources at your disposal, you spent your energy in pursuit of your goal, and that you took every chance to serve the Lord and bring glory to his name. If you can answer in the affirmative to these questions you have had a good day. Today was a good day.