Devotional from the life of Nick

December 30th Devotional from Mark Driskill

Mark and Mary have been serving as camp resource people since before I (Roger) got involved with camp.  We appreciate so much the way they invest in the lives of campers and staff alike.  Mark has been doing morning devotionals, so if you want to get a “fill of the word” early each morning, join him for that.  Above is a link to the devotional he did at the end of 2016.  I hope you enjoy.

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Hello on this beautiful fall morning!

We’ve just finished up our Fall Youth Retreat weekend and although the crowd was small, the impact of the weekend seems to have been a great one. I love to watch how our weekend retreat campers relate to each other – their excitement at seeing each other again on Friday evening as well as their reluctance to say goodbye on Sunday afternoon. As year-round staff members, we have the privilege of watching lots of long-term friendships develop and grow.

Throughout the year we also get little glimpses of how God is working in the lives of our campers and drawing them closer to Him. While we can’t pass along every story of how Bethel Camp is being used to influence young people for the Lord, we would like to keep you better informed about all of the Bethel Camp happenings.

Would you be interested in joining our email list? We’re not promising regular weekly or monthly emails, but we’ll do our best to send out a note before important events (retreats, fundraisers, special events) so you’ll never feel like you’re the last to know what’s going on at Bethel Camp. If it gets to be too much for you, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Roger & Ruthie Voth
Bethel Camp

-Monday poetry-

This is from Sarah (Stoltzfus) Allen. She served here a number of years as a staff member on our summer ministry team and now serves as one of the board members of the camp. This camp has also benefited from the influence of Wesley Stoltzfus over the many years he spent mentoring kids at camp.

thoughts from the green room

For today’s poetry selection, I want to share something my friend Sarah wrote recently. I never knew this man very well – he passed away not long after we moved to Kentucky – but I’m one of the masses of people across the country who felt nothing but respect for him.

My most vivid memories of him are his homemade sweet potato chips and the bedside stool he made for his petite wife so she could more easily get in and out of their high bed. And the tour he gave us of his wood shop one Thanksgiving afternoon – although, out of all the beautiful pieces of furniture he created, the piece that made the biggest impression on me was his own coffin. This is not your average guy.

Originally posted on Because I Can:

grandpa

grandpa (wesley)

in my head,
there is always music
even when i want
the…

View original post 157 more words

The end of Phase 1

So here’s the story. Because when it comes to a good story with a happily-ever-after ending, it’s better late than never…. right? If you don’t have time to read this whole saga, here’s the short version: We’re in our new camp chapel!

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Our first week of camp (Special Needs week) came and went without the chapel being ready for inspection. It was frustrating to be so close to done, and yet not done enough to use the building. But it was a good week, and the miracles that you prayed for did happen. Phil & Mindi Raber were here from Indiana for that week of camp. As Phil was working with Bruce and Samuel on the building, he couldn’t help but realize that we needed more workers. He called a couple of friends from home, and “Smash” and Jacob were here by Wednesday to help. Then Samuel Short called his family and they came down to work Friday and Saturday. With all those helping hands, things were more or less finished and ready for final inspections by 2:00 Saturday afternoon.  The plumbing inspector and HVAC inspector only work our county (Breathitt County) on Monday.  And Monday night we wanted to have our first chapel service.

IMG_3325Sunday evening our staff came in for orientation to get ready for our first week of overnight camp.  Monday morning Roger is calling to confirm that everyone is coming as planned, and the line to the Health Dept where the Plumbing inspector has his office is busy.  (Narration switches to Roger at this point.) The cell phone number that we had for the HVAC inspector was saying it had been disconnected, so we called the installer and he was on vacation in Florida.  It was one of those “God… you’re gonna have to work this out” moments.  I knew I was at the end of things I could try to make things work.  15 minutes later I got through to the plumbing inspector and he said he couldn’t come till after lunch.  30 minutes later the HVAC the plumbing inspector came, looked things over and slapped his green sticker on one of the Air Conditioning units. Whew….. Electrical inspection — check!  HVAC inspection — check!  Just two more.

IMG_3332Then the State building inspector called and left a message.  He said he got our request to be there today, but had another important meeting in Paintsville and would not be able to make it to Breathitt County today.  I called him back and when he found out the situation, I asked whether there was any way we could use the chapel Monday evening.  God must have been working and His people had been praying, because we found favor in that inspector’s eyes and he said that if we got the other inspections we were free to use the facility. He would come Tuesday morning and get the numbers off the inspections and check out what he needed to see.

IMG_3360 The plumbing inspector showed up about noon and looked over the building.  He put his green sticker on the water heater and we were ready to roll!

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(Back to Ruthie.) You could see the relief and joy on Roger’s face as he walked back to the kitchen and told different people about the miracle that God had worked on our behalf.

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And now, here we are:IMG_3540 It’s bigger, it’s cooler, it’s much more convenient, but the heart is still the same. Other than being more comfortable in the middle of the afternoon and having better acoustics, it really doesn’t feel that much different. And that’s a good thing.

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It’s still Bethel Camp and it still feels like Bethel Camp.
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If you were part of this building process, I hope you’ll especially enjoy seeing pictures of this chapel in use. So many of you put so much time and care into the details of this building. And now all of those details are just the backdrop to the beautiful action that is taking place. And that’s as it should be.IMG_3315

 

 

checking in

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Oh. Look at this.

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Random, right?

It’s an exit sign. But it’s not just an exit sign. It’s a working exit sign. Installed above a door with finished trim. Permanent lights in the rec hall made this photo possible – (time to pack away the shop lights.) And someone sat on the rec hall floor to take this photo without getting dirty. This really is an amazing photo, for all of its quirky insignificance.

This chapel update blog has been pretty quiet lately. I just wanted to stop in and say: you may not be hearing much, but things are happening around here. I was telling a friend recently what all the current projects are and she said, “I keep hearing you use the words ‘finishing up’ – I like this.” -)

Instead of posting lots of pictures today (sorry…) here’s a list of things that have happened in the chapel lately:

– The power has been turned on to the building
– Lights, ceiling fans and electrical outlets are installed
– Wainscoting is almost completely installed
-The plumbing is almost complete – just waiting for inspection now (I think)
– Drywall is up in the bathrooms (it was saved until last because we had to wait for a plumber)
– Painting is finished except for the front entry, closets and restrooms (again, waiting for plumbing)
– They’ve filled in behind the retaining wall to make the road to the front door (We’ve gotta be ready for special needs week June 2nd!)
– Rec hall floor has had its initial cleaning  – we’re hoping to get it stained and protected really soon
– Part of the trim boards have been delivered and stained. A few of them have already been installed. Samuel just pulled in with the rest of the trim boards. Lots of staining to do tomorrow – yay!
– A good section of the porch railing has been stained.
– The heating and cooling guys are finishing up their work this week.
– Lots of trash has been thrown away – lots of tools and equipment have been put away. (This sounds trivial, but it’s kind of a big deal. It means we’re done using them!)

I’m sure I left some things off of that list. Probably really important things that have caused people pain and misery. My apologies to them.

There’s a lot of work left to do, but it’s finally starting to feel like we’re in the home stretch.

Oh, and speaking of being ready for Special Needs Camp June 2nd…. I had a realization the other day: This year, our special needs campers will get to use the rec hall. (!!!)

IMG_5272Some of them may not be interested, but for the first time, they’ll be able to get to the rec hall by walking down a short hallway and not climbing a steep set of stairs. I’m kind of excited that they’ll be our first group to do a week of camp in the new chapel. Keep praying with us that things go smoothly and that we’re able to get our Occupancy License before June 1st.

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Over the last few days there have been some dramatic changes in the chapel and rec hall. Bruce and Samuel have been sacrificing their neck muscles and texturing the ceiling of the rec hall – and it looks great!

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Right now, it kind of looks like the scene of an alien invasion. But the electricians and heating/cooling guys will take care of that soon.IMG_1818Just for the record, everyone who spent time working in this mechanical closet deserves a brownie. Or a day off. Apparently it’s full of weird angles and tight corners and if only prisoners should have to sand drywall, then only people who torture puppies or fight chickens should have to work in this closet. No one here fits that description.

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But these guys (and gals) do what needs to be done. Loma did some work in that closet too. She’s a survivor.

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One thing that makes this project feel like it’s really moving towards completion is….. today it was time to paint!!

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Wooly Allen came over for the day to help. He basically painted this whole room. (I did half of the first coat, but he did the entire second coat by himself.) Good man.

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While Wooly was doing the second coat in the chapel, Loma was doing the cutting-in in the rec hall.

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I came along behind her with the roller and did this:

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Tomorrow morning, if I get up there early enough, I may get to do this:

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Here’s the current view of the rec hall. Athough… there’s no current yet. (haha.) Kentucky Power was supposed to come today to turn on the electric to the building, but, who knows. Something must have short-circuited their plans. Soon, though. We’ll have power soon! On Monday some of our electricians will be back to install fixtures, switches and outlets.

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Next up: more wainscoting, doors, trim, staining and sealing the floor… There’s still a lot of work to do before June 1st, but our to-do list is getting shorter and shorter.

We didn’t get any pictures of her painting, but Cat Griffith came over this afternoon to help. We didn’t treat her very well though. We stuck her in closets to paint. Not that she complained. She very graciously agreed to do whatever we asked. Thanks, Cat!

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And these girls. What would we do without them around here? They keep this place lively.IMG_1837

 

a stairway.

Danny Downs is here this week from Louisville to work on the chapel. This is him (with Roger) on his last visit here:

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A lot has changed, huh? Here’s a picture from about the same spot right now:

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One of the most recent developments here has been the new staircase that Bruce built. In theory it looks something like this:

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And this is how that drawing translates to real life:

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With some walls and a handrail:

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From the landing looking down:

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And… with the wainscoting and handrail:

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Looking down from the top of the stairs at Danny, who…

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…brought his welding stuff and created the handrail.

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Bruce told me today that doing drywall is his favorite part of construction…

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..and Danny…

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…and Kris had to beg him to let them help.

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That’s a lie.

I am so grateful for people who do jobs they don’t really like – because they need to be done. This worlds needs more people like that.

I need to be more like that.

tarbabies

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Because some days you just want to put on a hazmat suit and hang out on a forklift with some good buddies.

Urban dictionary says: “Tar baby has become short hand for a situation better avoided than confronted.” This makes so much more sense now. Although I think these guys handled this sticky situation well.

IMG_1232The back side of the retaining wall needed to be waterproofed before we fill in behind it with dirt. Around noon we tested out the theory that cooking spray removes tar from skin, and guess what… it works! That was fortunate since Kris (far right) grilled the burgers for our lunch today… No tar additives in those burgers! 🙂