Business in Tuscaloosa

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sunrise DriveWe were up at 5:00am today and on the road back to Tuscaloosa at 6:00. Almost immediately we began noticing what was going to be a gorgeous sunrise. We got to watch it for about 30 minutes as the sun rose higher and higher. Late yesterday afternoon Dave and Carol called us outside to see a beautiful double rainbow and this morning a wonderful sunrise. What great reminders of God’s love for us.

We had an easy and uneventful drive to Tuscaloosa. We had a real estate closing at 10:00 and were concerned that traffic might be heavy since this is a holiday weekend but traffic was actually very light. We were able to finalize the sale of some of Mama Ruby’s real estate and then take care of some bank business while all three kids were in town for the closing. Very tiring and somewhat stressful day but we accomplished a lot. Since we are this close, we will probably try to go a little further northeast to Oneonta, to check on the Aunts and then head back to Mississippi. A lot of driving but we are anxious to get back to Camp and our NOMADS friends. Every one please be very careful this holiday weekend.

Bug WatchingWhile Anne and her brother’s were meeting with the accountants, Max was outside looking at bugs. Max won.

Great Ending To Our First Week At Camp Lake Stephens

Thursday, August 30, 2018

This morning was a cooler 70 degrees when we took our morning walk. Too bad the coolness didn’t last very long and by noon it was another hot summer day. But the morning was very nice.

Peggy brought us a wonderful devotion this morning by reading us a story of an art collector who lost his son in war. It reminded us that whoever takes/accepts the Son, gets it all. It sparked some good conversation. Thanks, Peggy.

Today we completed the retreat cabin (Cabin ½). We and more importantly, Rich, the camp director, are very pleased with the outcome. Max and Kitty worked to complete it, while Anne and Peggy worked on putting together the IKEA furniture for the cabin. There is still more furniture to build next week but it’s looking good. We are trying to provide a wonderful retreat cabin for pastors where they can come to retreat, reflect, envision, and return to their churches revitalized. Camp Lake Stephens is committed to being a place where children, youth, and adults can encounter God and respond in faith to God’s call to transform the world. They have a dedicated staff that we are blessed to be getting to know and hope our work here somehow contributes to the success of their mission. It is a small camp by Sumatanga standards, more intimate and very pretty. We feel very welcomed, appreciated and comfortable here.


Back to our work. The barn crew today consisted of Carol, John and Shannon with some short term help from Max and others. They survived another sweltering day and continued to put up walls. They are making good progress in spite of the heat. They needed lots of hydration today. Max and Anne felt almost guilty for working in our air conditioned environment but not guilty enough that we wanted to be in the heat. A fencing crew (Dave, Mariel and Del) worked to complete the new garden fence started by some AmeriCorp volunteers. With a family retreat this weekend that area needed the fence completed to make things safer for the kids that will be here. It was another successful day for the team and we will all sleep well tonight.


Hard Working Team

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Another hot one in Oxford. The high temperature was 90 but with high humidity the heat index was approaching 100. Summer is not over in Mississippi. Another few weeks will make a big difference, hopefully. Another team will be here after annual meeting and hopefully they will enjoy some cooler weather. Lots of thunderstorms in the area but we still have had no rain. Rich was cutting grass today and goodness at the dust. Thankfully he was wearing a mask.

Max and Anne brought devotion today based on Philippians 2:14-16 NIV. Take a look at that passage again sometime soon. So many things we could have discussed, such as the “without grumbling or arguing” but we focused today on “then you will shine like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Next time you find yourself enjoying a night sky full of stars, remind yourself that you are to shine like those stars on a clear night, not like a cloudy night.

The team continued to work hard today. The barn crew, Shannon, Dave and John cut the expansion joints in yesterdays concrete, installed the Tyvek and then started framing the interior walls.

Carol and Mariel installed curtains in cabins that will be used this weekend for a family retreat. The curtains were made by some church ladies for the camp and really pep up the interior of the cabins.

Del and Peggy assembling furniture for the hermitage cabinPeggy and Dale started putting together the Ikea furniture for the cabin where Max and Anne and Kitty have been working. The cabin flooring is almost complete, just a little left in the bathroom. There is still some plumbing to do and some major cleaning to be done. Max installed a gutter on the cabin today to prevent the water problems we have been working to repair. This cabin is being changed to a hermitage retreat type cabin for pastors. For summer camp the furniture will be removed and bunk beds reinstalled for the summer guests.

Flooring almost finished in cabin

Flooring almost finished in cabin (should have taken the picture before we moved all the tools back in.)

Lots more progress was made and we are all again, really tired. Lots more to be done tomorrow since it’s our last day of work until next Tuesday. We will work next Friday to make up for taking off Labor Day.

Okay, while typing it has started raining. Maybe we will get enough to take care of all the dust. Hopefully it will last until bedtime. Love to sleep to rain on Fred’s roof. Hope your week is going well.

Another Busy Day at Camp

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Team Picture Camp Lake Stephens 2018We again got up early enough to walk a couple of miles before devotion. We walked on the same county road in from of the camp and have yet to see a vehicle on it while we were walking.  It can have some pretty speedy cars later in the day but early morning it’s very quiet.

Kitty brought our devotion today. She referenced Sunday’s sermon and talked about how we should work to preserve our environment and county for future generations.

Since none of us finished our tasks yesterday, most of us returned to our same job sites to start off.

Shannon, Mariel and Carol finished the infirmary step by lunch and then moved to other tasks. Mariel and Shannon started working to replace the blinds in some of the cabins with curtains that someone made for the camp. Carol and Peggy worked on some landscaping.

Kitty, Anne and Max continued on the repairs and flooring in “Cabin ½”. There is also a “Cabin ¾”. These two cabins were built after all the others and come geographically before Cabin 1. Hence the numbers. Anyway, by the end of the day about half of the cabin flooring was down and some plumbing done.

Meanwhile at the barn, John, Dave and Del finished preparing for the concrete pour. After lunch the concrete truck arrived and they helped Rich, the camp director, and some of the staff and interns finish the concrete.

Another busy, and hot, day at camp.