We hosted guests in the Canyon this summer!
For weeks on end, Roundup happened every night at Echo Valley and Singing Hills. I saw it myself: silly skits, crazy games, campers and staff dancing and laughing. Then everything settles down to serious discussions about relationships with each other and with Christ. I usually leave the Roundup pavilion a little before it ends. Walking to my car, my ritual is to look up at the starry night and give thanks for God’s protection and his presence with all of our campers and guests. Surely God sees that our work in the Canyon means so much to people and is transformative for our campers and guests.
Jill Phillips has written a beautiful article in this issue about her family’s experience this summer and in years past. Her husband Andy posted a video online of the river as he floated in it this summer with the simple caption: “happy place.”
One of my nephews told me, “David, Family Camp is the best time my daughter and I have together, hands down.” People at Laity Lodge pulled me aside and said, “David, I needed to be out here so badly.” One guest said, “You don’t know how valuable this place is. No, I’m serious. What my wife and I find here is so needed and it was so missed.”
In spite of COVID-19, the summer happened, and I am so grateful. We made it through as much as we could as best as we could.
The Delta variant brought some hiccups at the end, and sadly, some campers and families had a shortened or canceled camp. And as I’m writing this, we’re all feeling pretty exhausted by the fall resurgence.
I remember, though, what my father-in-law Howard Butt Jr. would say. We need hupomone! It means perseverance, and hupomone appears over and over in the New Testament. He said, “Whatever tough situation you are in, whatever difficulty or trouble you are going through, wrestle the creative potential out of that pain, out of that difficulty, and out of that trouble.”
As a man who struggled with depression, he understood deep suffering, yet he found grace in hupomone. For my father-in-law, the word contained “all the power of the death and resurrection of our Lord.”
I don’t know about you, but I need hupomone right now. Whatever perseverance you need today, I pray you find it. And I look forward to the day when you find it with us in the Canyon.