Seventeen years have passed since Brian and Allyson were baptized together on Fathers Day by Pastor Kevin. It was around 1997 when I took a job as a school nurse for Washington Lutheran School (it’s now called Abiding Savior Lutheran School). I worked there 12 hours a week and did 16 hours a week in the burn unit. After about a year or so the school secretary Iris invited me to church and I went. Pastor Kirk was a former psychiatric nurse and I loved him. He talked so fast and gave awesome messages. After some time a call was placed for a second pastor and Kevin Wendt answered the call. I was not happy about this as there was only one Pastor and that was Kirk. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t even going to like this Kevin guy, like ever. Then Pastor Kevin showed up and I’m pretty sure God was laughing his head off because it was love at first sight. First of all he was super easy on the eyes and secondly he spoke so well and totally kept me engaged. I talked about him all the time and I think Brian finally came to church to size up his competition.
Brian did not go to church as a family when he was growing up. He did go with his friend to Catholic mass either on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Both of Brian’s parents grew up in church but never really went after that well until Pastor Kevin. Anyway Brian soon learned that you could follow Jesus and still watch football, drink beer and cuss occasionally. Pastor Kevin is a cheese head and followed football, when not preaching he would be known to say a curse word and he drank beer occasionally. So before too long Brian started coming to church every week. His sister and her son Kyle were attending as well and then Brian’s parents started coming too. All of this from one invite from Iris.
After Allyson was born and it was time to have her baptized, Brian decided he wanted to be baptized as well. Neither he nor his brother or sister were baptized as infants so he felt the calling to do it as an adult and who better to do it than Pastor Kevin. And so seventeen years ago they were both baptized. Emily and Kayla were sick as dogs that morning so Beverly (the lady who watched the girls) skipped the baptism and watched them for us. Pastor Kevin even came by the house later that day for the party and risked catching their sickness.
I was wondering today how different my life would have been if Iris hadn’t invited me to church that day. Would I have ever had found a church home? Would Brian have ever realized you can follow Jesus and not be a jug head? You can be a cool, extremely good-looking Pastor, who loves football. Would I have ever found Oak Bridge or my love of teenagers?
Mole Moral ~ One invite really can make a difference. My family is living proof!
This may be the first time I have actually written about every session. I usually have great intentions to do so but get home and back in the real world and out of sight out of mind. Sad but true. The last session was about being made new through what Jesus did on the cross. All of our sins are forgiven: past, present, and future. Things in the universe break down naturally over time. Just look around, except at me. God doesn’t want to improve who we are but implement a permanent new through Jesus. So because of Jesus you stay new no matter what you do.
This all lead up to what I call the “altar call”. Except at camp, people don’t come down to the front but just stand if they have decided they want to follow Jesus. After that the camp breaks into their small groups and the small group leaders talk to the kids and pray with them that they believe in Jesus and accept him into their heart. This is such a much better way than when I was a kid. Every week the church I went to had an altar call. The congregation would sing Just As I Am which the pastor would say things like “If Jesus is calling you to come down front and you don’t come and you die this week you will go to HELL.” Do you know how scary that was for a kid. I wasn’t sure if Jesus was calling me or not. (I was around the age of 10). What if he was and I didn’t go down and I died? Would I burn in Hell forever? It was scary to get out of your seat and walk down to the front but I finally did it but I have no recollection of my age or the date or even the time of the year. I do remember going to a small room and a lady praying with me. I think somewhere around 30 kids from our church stood up. Earlier in the day 14 of our kids were baptized in the ocean. They were kids who had already accepted Jesus and now were publicly identifying with him. In a couple of weeks we are having a baptism service at church and the kids that were baptized will tell their story and then the church will show the video of their baptism. Baptism services are the best.
This was the first year I had a Fitbit tracker at camp. I set a record for total steps for the week. I was 10 weeks post surgery and for the first time in two years had two feet that weren’t on fire! I could have done without knowing how little sleep I got. I am an 8-9 hour a day person so an average of 5 did not cut it. Although I did nap and sleep on the bus, most of them did not register as sleep because my heart rate was not low enough to be considering sleeping. My heart rate is around 42-44 when I sleep. The sign of a finely tuned athlete! Hahahaha. This totally explains why it took me three days to recover! I was talking about some of the nurse stuff that happened at camp. I was busier than I realized but I enjoy every moment. I must give a huge shout out to my roommate Lynn who is so helpful. Especially when a kid would wake me up out of a nap and I wasn’t fully awake. She would make suggestions. She was talking about not coming next year because all of her kids are grown but I being selfish said who am I going to room with and who is going to keep me on track. She did get to observe me in full on nurse mode. When the girl was dehydrated and started puking and was not responding to my satisfaction, my spidey senses went in full gear and I started bossing people around to get done what I needed to get done! That usually means I am panicking but not showing it! The kids asked me why I didn’t just start an IV and run fluids in. Well folks, that would be practicing medicine without a licence. The state board of nursing puts a paper out every 3 months and it always lists what nurses get in trouble for. One time a nurse started and IV on another nurse and gave her a bag of fluids. I can’t remember if she was hung over or pregnant but the nurse that did that got her license on probation. So there will be no IV starts at Big Stuf camp!
Mole Moral~ It is only 362 more days until Oak Bridge leaves for Big Stuf! I will be honored to go as the nurse again next year! It’s the best busiest, exhausting week of the year! I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is nothing more awesome than watching kids understand there is a God who loves them!