I wrote a blog the day I returned from France, but somehow I erased it and did not send. I am sorry.
As you know the trip to France was wonderful, albeit long and at times lonesome. To date nearly 200 campers spots have been “confirmed” from France and another 140 are undecided. Daily I make the calls, send the emails and follow up to encourage the parents to register. It’s a balancing act of urging but not pestering! I sometimes commit the latter and must apologize. But I am pushing with all my energy and limited talents to get us to 300 camper placements from France this month and then help Cesar to do the same in January when I go to Mexico and the same for Charito and Rosmarie when I go to Bolivia in February. The real joy from all of this comes when the campers and staff arrive this summer. Their excitement and expectations are fuel to those of us that are trying to get the camp into better shape than ever this, our 34th year!
Of course the enemy always wants to discourage me, hold a mirror up to my face and remind me how precarious and at times hopeless my situation is at times. I cannot recount the number of times I have wanted to give up, walk away, “go home", or simply do something else. But just when I am at my lowest, He sends me a small, sweet voice that reminds me of His favor and love. When I wonder if anything I do really matters a visitor from years ago calls or visits and reminds me that camp “changed his/her life”. Then all is well for another day. Daily sustenance seems to be the spiritual diet of those of us working like this. I know I could work smarter but I do not see how I can work any harder. Please pray that I might be wiser in the work I am doing.
Finally, another major prayer request. God blessed us with a bank that re-financed our debt, but the proceeds from the closing were not what we originally asked for or hoped for. It seems that we are always under-capitalized! Anyway I am trying to close the gap between what we got and what we needed by trying to raise $150,000 in gifts, not loans, prior to Jan 1. The easiest way to raise 150,000 is for one person to write a large check! The next way is for 30 people to help us raise $5000 each, but the “third” way always seems to be God’s serendipity. I am reminded to work as if everything depends upon me but to pray (and surround myself with men and women who WILL pray) as if everything depends upon God.
I am hoping to tell each of you that we enrolled 300 campers placements from France and raise $150k within two weeks!