Out of the Darkness....Into The Light!

Dear Friends:

This is my sixth day on this excursion for our camp and ministry in France. I think sometimes of how much I do miss about the ease and convenience of life in the USA and can readily understand why our nation is such an exciting thing for so many young people. I love France, but all things here seem a bit more “difficult” to create, institute and navigate. This has much to do, of course, with the fact that this is a country with almost 2000 years of culture and “habits”—some very good habits and some not-so-good. I am amazed at how glued people are to their iPhones during the day! Texting, and reading texts as they walk, eat, enjoy an espresso, etc. Today I saw a man working with a back hoe on the road and texting—while the machine was still operating! There’s something to gain from this, in terms of marketing, if we can find a way (Jedd?) to get more messages out there about the camp, perhaps. This IT stuff is beyond me though.
I am surprised that after all my meetings and the follow up emails, not ONE person has even suggested that their child will not be coming. This is unusual. Normally a few people thank me and tell me that they will consider camp for another year. But this year, so far, everyone is 100% set on 2017. Please pray that I might hit my personal goal of 300 camper spots. I know that targets are often hard to get in work like this, and maybe goals like this are inappropriate, but “if you shot for nothing you always hit it”.
It’s also heartening to know that all the emails have been kind and positive and that at each meeting the emphasis from the alumni has been the spiritual life that takes place at the camp. Doesn’t that make all of the work and re-financing and improvements and fund raising worthwhile?!
Today I was reading about, and meditating upon the early judges, or leaders, of Israel. In each case the Israelites were choosing badly, God punished them and then the people “cried out” and God sent a leader—“judge”—to lead them away from stupidity to peace and tranquility. May God help us raise men and women at The Vineyard that can one day lead others from stupidity—ie. darkness—and into light.

Dean Barley

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