Getting Started at Bay Shore Camp

Monday, September 23, 2019

We had rain again overnight and off and on today. Most of the day was dry but we had several short little showers. It was windy today as well. Gusts to 35 mph this afternoon and since the high was about 66 today it felt a little cool. The wind seems to blow off the lake most of the time. Reminds us of being at the beach but there is no pretty sand here. The shore line is very marshy.

The team joined for our first devotion together this morning and we are pleased to have Tom with us again, as in New Lisbon, playing the guitar. We sound much better with Tom accompanying the singing. After devotion, Jeff, the camp director shared information about the history of the camp and then took us on a little tour. The camp is over 100 years old and is loved by this community. We are going to be “remodeling” the Tibits cottage, to make it a four seasons cottage rather than just a summer place. As you will see as we go forward, it’s actually pretty much of a rebuild but it would not be politically correct to bulldoze the cottage so we will “remodel.” The cabin has already been moved across the street, a new foundation dug and then the cottage moved back across the street and placed on the new foundation. We will now build out the interior and replace all the siding on the exterior. There will also be some carpet and laminate flooring as well as new cabinets, appliances, shower and bath fixtures.

Today Anne and Jenny began by taping and mudding the two knee walls in the loft that had already had drywall hung. Max and Bruce began by removing the front door and enlarging the opening for French doors. They had to move a good deal of wiring in that process. Hopefully we will have time to build a new deck in front of those doors. Tom and Mike removed the front bedroom windows and reframed for a new window. While that was going on, Jackie and Hillary worked on determining the amount of trim that will be needed for the project. It’s a lot. Reid began the work of re-plumbing the bathroom. Anne, Jenny, Jackie and Hillary, then joined forces and removed the rest of the windows and started framing the wall where some of the kitchen windows were. Later in the day the back door was removed and it will be re-framed and the front door that Max and Bruce removed will then become the back door. So, at the end of the day, unfortunately, the little cottage look a lot worse than when we started this morning. The 35 mph wind is blowing through all sides tonight. Hopefully by tomorrow night we will see more rebuilding going on.

We had a lot of fun today. We haven’t worked a three week project since January, and then we were working on multiple houses so the team was split up much like DR projects. On this project we will all be working together on this little cottage. It should be a good three weeks.

Sebewaing is known for beautiful sunsets across Lake Huron. Tonight we finally got to see a sunset when it wasn’t raining. Nice! Hopefully we will see many more before we complete our time here.

Sunday In Sebewaing

Sunday, September 22, 2019

It rained several times over night and throughout the day today. This afternoon we did have a period of sunny skies and we were able to hike down to the county park and check it out. There is an RV park there and the Sebewaing river runs through the park before emptying into the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. It’s a nice little river.

This morning the team all went to one of the about three local restaurants in town before church. The Lamplighter serves a breakfast buffet on Sunday’s and it came recommended by the camp director, Jeff. Some of the team went with the buffet and reported everything was good. We opted for a southern omelet which was very good, and big. It was “southern” because it had sausage gravy on top of the omelet. It was also served with hash browns and biscuits and we were glad we decided to share. We both ate so much we didn’t want lunch until about 3:30.

Trinity UMCWe worshiped at Trinity UMC in downtown Sebewaing. It’s an older, small church that seems very active based on the announcements and things listed in the bulletin. The congregation was very welcoming and invited us back next week to enjoy breakfast with them and view a life size replica of Goliath’s spear. Sounds interesting.

Our opening meeting was at four and it was nice to begin getting to know everyone. We have worked with about ½ the team on previous projects and it’s great to see those team members again. Now it’s time to get ready for tomorrow morning. Devotions at 8:00am.

Traveling Up To Lake Huron

Saturday, September 21, 2019

rainbow on Friday morning

Yesterday we woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. A couple of small showers went over before we ventured out. When we did step out God gave us a rainbow to start our day. Nice way to start our time of walking around the campsites saying our goodbyes. It’s always a little sad. May not see some of these friends until next year in West Virginia. One of our friends had some motor home issues so we hung around a little while Max and Bruce tried to help.

Around 10:45 we left Crescent City in route to Michigan. We were driving lead with our Michigan team leader Suzanne following in her new motor home and Bruce and Jackie brought up the rear. Traffic was very heavy and of course that’s when some people become a little aggressive in their driving. We had to make of couple of hard brakings. When we pulled into our first rest area we discovered part of the reason for the traffic backup. Pulling in just before us and still trying to get their rigs situated were two trucks transporting huge blades for the wind turbines. Looking at the blades generating power in the wind farms, you know they are big. Seeing them driving down the road they look even bigger, but up close and personal, standing beside the transport trucks, they are  huge. They take up a lot of room at the rest area too. Michigan allows you to spend the night in their rest areas, so our little convoy did just that.

Saturday morning sunrise on road

Everyone reported good sleep this morning before pulling out for the last leg of our trip. We had much less traffic today and saw a really nice sunrise as we traveled toward Sebewaing, MI. We received a warm welcome from the Bay Shore Camp director around 11:30. After setting up we set out to explore the camp. The camp is on the shore of Lake Huron, the second largest of the great lakes, where we hope to get some good sunset pictures while here. We found the climbing wall, miniature golf, zip line, archery, lots of buildings, pool, ball fields, outdoor worship areas, a boardwalk out to the lake and a road out to the lake. We probably haven’t found everything yet. It’s not nearly as large acreage as Camp Sumatanga at home but nice with lots of amenities. The director told us there were two negatives here. One, the sugar mill doesn’t have a pleasant aroma when the wind shifts the wrong way, and the railroad tracks that run right behind our rigs are used once a day late at night. He warned us that they would disturb our sleep for about an hour but after that it would be over for the day. We may have to bring our the ear plugs. Let you know more later. It was a good trip from Illinois with three good friends. Looking forward to the next three weeks.

Update on our love auction – extravagant generosity from everyone including NOMADS that were not able to attend – over $52,000.00 was raised to use in funding projects to help our camps, children’s homes, community outreach, etc. Amazing!

Training Day 2 and Last Day

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Today was the last day of this year’s NOMADS annual meeting. On the agenda was Bible Study, sing-along, worship and a continuation of the board meeting in which the gavel was passed to the new chairperson of the board and the new board members were introduced. For some reason the outgoing chair could not get the smile off his face. Training today included classes on giving devotions, converting a regular bathtub to a walk-in tub, RV solar power, line dancing, first aid and “Women and Tools”.

We ended the day with a catered dinner and entertainment by “Natural High” a local singing group that included some of the members that sang on Monday night.

Entertainment by Natural High
A great program of Christian music

Then came the sad task of saying “see you down the road” to friends we may not see again until next year. It has been a fun and busy week and we are looking forward to going back to work on a project to get some rest. Please pray for safe travels for the NOMADS this weekend.

Training Day 1

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

We have been blessed with nice weather for this annual meeting. Last year we had a lot of rain which tends to make for muddy RV sites and problems pulling out on the last day. Looks like we will avoid those problems this year.

Today we started with our usual energetic morning music/singing time, announcements, and then a devotion by a young really energetic pastor from a church about 7 miles from the campground. She challenged us to develop new ways to share our faith and reach others. She presented some good ideas we will be thinking about and considering. She really encouraged us to tell our stories in new ways. Good message.


We then had another business meeting and more reports for the membership. After that educational seminars began. We skipped two of today’s classes to spend more time in preparation for our seminar on First Aid tomorrow afternoon. We did go to the DR Leader training class. Tonight we had another pot luck and a great choir concert. It was a fun, busy and tiring day. But it was a good day!


Extravagant Generosity

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Forgot to mention yesterday that while we were on the tour of the dairy with several other NOMADS, the ones who stayed back and assembling food kits for MMDC put together 1,920 food kits that will feed 11, 520 people.  Extravagantly generous with their time.

Today was love auction day. After our morning Bible study, devotion and meetings the silent auction opened. Then at 3:00 pm the live auction began.  Such a fun time! Crazy things happen at our love actions. Two watermelons were sold for $500 – each. A magnifying glass sold for over $700. One quilt sold for over $1,000. A love, or charity, auction is not a place to look for bargains. The bidders go into the auction having decided how much they want to give to the organization and have fun with it. Even though our attendance is down this year the auctions raised over $30,000. Extravagantly generous giving. In case you’re wondering, the money raised by the auction goes to help the agencies where we volunteer pay for materials and other expenses associated with our projects.

Dairy Adventure

Monday, September 16, 2019

What does it mean when a preacher looks at his watch
Bill Koch, retired pastor and now NOMAD, brought our morning message. What does it mean when a preacher looks at his watch? Absolutely nothing.

It was another beautiful day in Illinois out here among the corn and soy bean fields. We start every day with a Bible study, a morning social time, some singing and a devotion. Today we also had our friend from Midwest Mission Distribution Center come talk to the membership about their mission work. Chantel the Executive director did a great job sharing MMDC’s story and mission.

MMDC trailer
The director of MMDC brought supplies to make feeding kits.

The rest of the day there were several options such as a tour of a dairy, work to get ready for the auction tomorrow, pack food bags for MMDC or a few other things. We spent part of the day going to Fair Oaks Farm‘s “Dairy Adventure”, then returned to do some work.  The dairy was of interest to us since Max worked at the family dairy growing up and we thought some of the family back home would be interested in seeing the pictures.  This was a huge operation, milking 350,000 gallons of milk per day.  In the barn we visited they milked approx 2800 cows three times a day and they have 11 barns.  The milking parlor used a 78 cow carousel taking 6 minutes to milk each cow.  Amazing to those of us who grew up on farms.

Tonight we had a chili contest. We didn’t enter our chili which was a good thing because Max was asked to be one of the judges. It was a fun night with lots of good food followed by a concert by a quartet that is part of the “Country Theater Workshop Group.” They were very good and everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening. Another busy, fun day.