Where do I start telling you about the wonderful time we had at our commissioning service. Well, for one we were blessed to have the encouragement of family and friends supporting us with their presence. We had a great potluck meal. The food and fellowship was good and gave us just a tiny glimpse of what heaven parties must be like.
During our meet and greet time before the service I received a special gift from Laura Dorsey. The bottles pictured above is what she gave me. She said, "I have a weird gift to give you, but it comes with a story." She went on to tell me that a while back when her daughter, Dollye was a counselor at Hidden Acres, during one of their outdoor explorations Dollye came across a box of old bottles that had been dump out in the woods. The bottles were muddy and dirty, but Dollye saw some beauty in them and decided to pick them up and take them home. After bringing them home she began the labor of cleaning them up. Her mom said that Dollye took the time to scrub and clean the bottles, some broke in the process, and some took longer than others to get clean, but after she was done she displayed her found treasure.
So why did Laura decide to share some of these cool bottles with the Carpenters? Well, there are two main reasons. One, she wanted to give these bottles to us as a symbol of what sometimes happens to people at Hidden Acres. She said that just like Dollye took the careful task of cleaning those bottles, God takes the time to clean and empty people of their sins and pollution from living in our sinful world, and sometimes at HA we get to see God at work doing this process during summer camps. Two, she wanted us to keep them as a symbol of a new season of our lives as we go into Christian Camp ministry full-time. A physical reminder much like people in the Old Testament used to do building altars with stones to remind them of things God had done.
That was one of the things I want to remember about Sunday. Well if ever I were to hear what people say at my funeral I hope it goes like it did Sunday. People had such wonderful things to say about Tim and myself I really started to wonder it they had the right script for the service :)
To me one of the best parts of the service was Dr. Water's message. Wow! I will have to get back on the blog with his notes, but really you had to be there. He was personal, and funny, and encouraging. He spoke of personal stories from the mission field. He reminded us about how wonderful and trustworthy God is.
After that Tim and I got to speak and well Tim did a great job sharing how God is directing us and shared from God's word our passion to see people grow closer to Christ. I spoke and said that after Dr. Water's message I was ready to sign up for anything the Lord calls us to :) I almost cried as I thank God for the work that He is doing in Tim and how glad I am to be by his side.
We had a great cloud of witnesses pray for us and bless us right there at Hidden Acres, and it was awesome.
Thank you to all who made it out there and to everyone else who prayed for us. Please keep praying because the best is yet to come and with Christ all things are possible.