Our raison d'être


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

 

Dear Friends:

Today was one of those “blurs” or work and activity. I had to catch a train from Lille to Paris, then navigate the Paris subways and smaller trains to get Versailles, then present the camp to more than a dozen very polite French parents, then rush back to the train station in Paris to get back to Lille after midnight tonight,  and during all of this answer phone calls from the USA and France, respond to texts and emails that are coming to me all day from parents, campers, supporters and so forth.

I am glad to be busy and honored for the work I am able to do for His Kingdom, but for 34 years I have felt, quite frequently, that I was “living on the brink”.  I have also always had this feeling of transcience in the work I do at the camp. And it is not that the WORK that I does not have lasting—-eternal—value.  But for 34 years I have wondered, “Is this my last year doing this?”   Again, I am not saying I don’t like what I do, nor am I looking for “greener pastures”, but it’s always “something” that challenges my ministry’s very existence!  911, the banking crisis, the great recesssion, the fire that took my home, the most recent Presidential election—-these are all things that have absolutely had a negative financial affect on the camp and our ability to continue. 

Every time, however, miraculous and wonderful things happened. Every single time.  But for whatever pitiful reason, it is because I cannot  immediately see the answer/solution/means of rescue that cause me to sink and fall into despair and often depression.  Sometimes it’s the assumption that He is waiting for me to DO something—but what?  That’s my fear, I suppose——that I have somehow failed to do everything I could have to have protected this camp and it’s future for the campers and staff.

It’s human to want to give up.  I don’t… but the temptation is ever lurking.  I am NOT tempted to give up on Him or His work; I am ready to fight for the Redeemer of my soul and to humble myself before Him.  But the temptation is to give up the passion, the heart, the drive, the dream…….  And that, I am guessing, is precisely the plan of the Enemy. To lure me into such self-pity and a perpetual state of whining that I fail, by my own example, to further the cause of Christ.

I was never called by God to create an institution to myself or to establish an eternal camp.  I was called to follow Him with such passion and singleminded devotion that others might also want to experience the joy and peace I have. The camp is a tool to bringing other souls to Christ—the camp’s continuation is not the goal.  

But for the time I have left here may He continue to use my feeble efforts to use this camp as a reminder—-a flawed “microcosm” —of what the Kingdom of God will be one day. Please pray that the Enemy will be disappointed in his attempts to impede our work at The Vineyard—-and pray that I may ever display steadfast faith and devotion to Him in every single thing that I do so that many more sons and daughters may enter into His Kingdom. This is the only reason our little camp exists.

 

Dean Barley

 


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