Camp Berean, Mt. Morris, Illinois
June 29-July 3, 2009
As we said our goodbyes and drove away from Victory Baptist Camp Saturday morning, I tried to gear myself in for the day's schedule. Having received precious little sleep the night before, my brain was somewhat foggy. But we still had to drive two hours home, and someone had to stay awake long enough to do so.
Thank the Lord, we made the trip safely, though eyes were blurry with exhaustion. We had just enough time to re-organize luggage, eat lunch, pick up Dad, and head to the Pittsburgh Airport two hours away--where we were to catch our flight to Chicago about 6pm.
Our flight went very well and we met up with our chauffeurs, Bro. George Edwards and Bro. John Falzone. The ride through Chicago traffic was one to remember. I'll just say I was amazed that we made it to Rockford in one piece! Most of the time I had to keep my eyes averted so as not to watch us speed up close to the back of yet another bumper. (My pounding heart, be still.)
Along the way, there were various phone calls being made between Bro. George and a certain unknown person. When we stopped at Red Robin for a meal, we found out who that was...our brother, Matthew! He brought my newest nephew with him, Caden Doyle...oh, yes, and the rest of the family! Mom was also with them as she would be staying with Julie and the boys while Matt was away at youth camp. We had a nice time of fellowship with them. It was too short.
Sunday was spent with the Great Berean Baptist Church. The Walker Family was there with us and we took turns singing all day long. Bro. Jim preached in the morning service and Dad preached the evening service. There were the usual times of food and fellowship after the services. In the evening service, we sang the camp theme song.
The theme for Camp Berean 2009 was "I Choose the Cross". Once again, Sharon Monsour (my fifth sister) had written the lyrics and Monica had arranged the music. Joanna and I had been drafted into playing the piano and pennywhistle for this arrangement, and we were still a bit new at this song, but things went ok that evening. (Aren't we always trying to rush around and get the song down before camp?)
Camp Berean started Monday, and the big Exodus was made to Camp Emmaus, where Pastor Mark and his faithful staff have been going every summer for 18 years. The Lord provided gorgeous weather for us, the messages were powerful, the singing by the Blunkalls and Walkers blessed hearts (we won't mention our songs...), and everything seemed to come together smoothly. There seemed to be some activity at the altar this year, and one little girl accepted the Lord as her Savior. We sensed that God still had work to do, but we were thankful for those who did respond to the Holy Spirit's leading in their lives.
I enjoyed seeing Bro. Maury Gibson again. (He preached Thurs. and Fri. this week.) His messages always speak to my heart. It's wonderful to see him going on for the Lord after all these years. I still remember the first year at Camp Berean when he preached his famous message on the lost coin and the lost sheep. The chant, "I don't know, you don't know, ain't none of God's children know. The Bible really doesn't say, but it does say she sought 'till she found it!" became a popular one around Berean.
We had another version of the greased watermelon game here, only it involved a tarp and a sprinkler. For sure, there were some crazy girls out there wrestling it out. I must say...ahem...I did win my round. I didn't know wrestling could be that much fun! We had our annual "Mar-Blunk-er" skits on Wednesday night. This means that the Walkers, Blunkalls, and our family sat around the lodge for hours trying to come up with something we thought the kids would laugh at. I don't know if that happened, but at least we tried!
We said goodbye to everyone late Friday night after talking and jawing a bit. Tried to sleep for a few hours before leaving early with Bro. John Falzone for Chicago. (uh, oh...not again!) He proved this time to be a capable escort to Chicago Midway.
And thus we ended our second week of camp. And we lived to tell about it!
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