This past Thanksgiving my Grandmother went home to be with Jesus. It was bitter-sweet, given the fact that she had been in a nursing home for several years. Her time there was hard, but somehow she still managed to smile and laugh when we came to visit.
I was able to go home for the funeral. During my stay, our family shared sweet memories and photos that took us on a journey through my Grandmother’s life. It was amazing to hear all the ways she touched and influenced those who knew her.
There are so many things to say about this wonderful woman I don’t know where to begin. She loved to garden and could get almost anything to grow in her yard. She loved to collect antiques and old junk that others might throw out. She was a great painter/artist and frequently gave away her artwork to family and friends. I remember her giving me a few pieces of artwork she had painted on the unique medium of shelf mushrooms. She loved animals and was always caring for strays of every kind from the normal cats and dogs to deer and birds. She also played the accordion and the saxophone. Growing up as an only child, she would have to do many of the chores outside like chopping wood, bailing hay and even going on hunts. She was physically strong and fit and spent most of her time outdoors enjoying the wonders of nature.
I have always admired my Grandmother in many ways and I am proud to say that I have inherited some of her spirit and love for the outdoors. I am thankful for the influence that she was on my life and I will miss her dearly.
“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”
This was the quote shared at the basecamp celebration talk. It was a good reminder of what I want to strive for in my life.
The process for building this challenge course began three years ago with the initiative of the Romanian staff from the Viata program in Lupen. The staff had already seen the impact that teambuilding and challenge course activities could have on a community of people who’s trust had been so broken by Communism. People, who had difficulty trusting their neighbors and sometimes their own family members, learned the value of working together for the benefit of their community. This new challenge course in Tusnad is the first step in replicating this process and program in a new town, which is much closer to the capital city. This new location will allow them to reach more Romanians with the love of Christ .
We made it safely to Romania with all of our bags full of equipment and supplies. Surprisingly, there were no problems getting through customs. In fact, there was no customs check-point at all. The Romanians welcomed us with open arms. They made us feel right at home. They provided us with wonderful traditional meals and great accommodations. They spoke English as well as Romanian and Hungarian. Since the town where we stayed was near the Hungarian border there was a lot of overlap with language and culture. It was fun to hear about the history of the area and take a tour of a famous castle.
Over the course of our time there we navigated challenges such as; having the wrong type of cable, rainy weather which impeded our work and various issues with legal paperwork regarding the building location. In the end, God blessed us by allowing us to build 7 high ropes elements and 5 low ropes elements as well as creating trails and signs that made the course look like a legitimate camp.
They are planning to have their first group at the course in August.
This would not have been possible without your prayer and support.