January, 25, 2016
We have intended to get back to posting our journal for a long time as you can see, it has been awhile. It certainly takes discipline to sit down and do this, but we have had many tell us they really enjoyed seeing what we have been doing and where we were, so with your encouragement, we will try to get to it a little more often. I, Peggy, am trying my hand at this as Jim is out working.
We just began our 3rd week here at this Youth Camp, which has the backing of the Independent Baptist Church, but is not governed by them. The director has been here 30 years. He now has two children. one in middle school and one in high school, who live here with him. The camp started out with 200 acres, but 0ver time, they needed money to make improvements, so land was sold off to pay for various projects. It now is an 80 acre camp. They have two out of four of the original small cabins. The other two were destroyed in a flood which ravaged the camp at one point. They have built several more bunk houses. There is a dining hall, recreation hall, outdoor ping pong tables, a basketball court, soccer field, pool, houses for staff, and other houses which mission people can come and stay. They also have a ranch with horses, calves, sheep, goats, pot bellied pigs, peacocks, and chickens. Kids love coming to the camp to ride the horses.
RVICS (Roving Volunteers In Christ Service) arrives here at the camp twice a year to help with anything they need done. In exchange, they provide 4-5 RV sites, with sewer, water, and electricity. RVICS headquarters is in Smithville, Texas and is run entirely by volunteers. We stopped by headquarters for one night to meet some of the people on the way through Texas.
Since we have been here, the women have been painting a large bunkhouse which has 8 large rooms, each one can accommodating 12 people. Two of the men have removed 4 swamp coolers off a rotten roof, put down new plywood, rebuilt the frames for the coolers, painted the area, put cement shingles back on the roof, and replaced the coolers. The other two have removed 6 solar heaters which heat the pool. They had frozen up when they tried to save energy by turning them off when they didn’t use the pool. Problem was, when the temperature goes down to freezing, the water froze and that was all she wrote for the solar panels. All needed supplies are furnished by the camp. The problem is, they are on a very tight budget, so if a part is needed, instead of running to Home Depot or Lowes, the guys must go to the camp junk pile, find pieces they need, bring them back and use a dremel tool to take the rust off, clean them up, weld them together and hopefully they will work. (Very time consuming) After two and a half weeks, they are being reinstalled on the roof as I write this, and all are praying they will work. There was one day it was very windy and the guys all had a rough day just standing up on these roofs, let alone dealing with solar panels and coolers.
The women work from 8:30-11:30 and the men work from 8:30-3:30 with an hour off for lunch, Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday, the men also get off at 11:30. Our day starts off with devotions together. One evening we have a social hour and on Friday we go together on a tour of something interesting in the area. The balance of the time is on our own.
I will try to figure out how to add some pictures soon.