Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finish Line

I'm five days away from leaving my summer home. Being at Ridge Haven has been two solid months of blessings and I am sad to leave it again. I haven't really sorted out all of my mind's thoughts about the summer and how it has changed/affected me yet, but I do know that God has used this summer to mold me into a more recognizable likeness of his image. The distance between the two is still incalculably vast, but nonetheless I am encouraged.

A week from Monday I will be flying from Raleigh to Philly to be with Danboy, Sienna, and Kyrie. It will be a time of excitement and discovery, filled with adventures and shenanigans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lord of the Dance.

The coolest thing happened to me this week. This week MTW has it's re-entry conference for missionaries who have been on assignment for a long time. They come back to America and come straight to Ridge Haven to de-brief and acclimate themselves to an American lifestyle again. The junior high and senior high mk's are in cabins, and there are only 12 of them. I and one other counselor have 2 and 4 guys each, respectively, and the same with the girls. On Wednesday night Ridge Haven had a hoedown at the recreation shelter for the missionary families. The dancing was pretty sweet. I have a kid from South Africa and another from the Ukraine, and boy could the break it down. The counselors taught everyone the 16 step and the 32 step, both really cool line dances. After a while though, I really felt the spirit lead and I broke off from the group and went off into a corner and started to dance by myself. After about one hour I was soaked with sweat, bleary eyed grinning like a monkey. It felt soo good to just flail about with no objective and no audience, just letting the beat move me and in turn allowing my soul to be moved. I called upon the wise words of Chris Tucker,

"Free your mind and yo' booty WILL follow."

Oh if he only knew how accurate he was. Anyways, all of this to let you know that I danced really really hard for all told maybe an hour and ten minutes. I would have loved to dance more but something amazing happened. Something unthinkable. By far the most honorable and dazzling feat I have ever achieved.

I passed out.

That's right, I literally danced til I dropped. I wasn't aware of it until I was looking up at the concerned faces of Rachel and Megan. There eyes communicated concern, but even more they were shouting jealousy and admiration. They helped me to my feet and I teetered over to a picnic table, where I promptly downed two bottles of water. I guess I was sweating so much that I became dizzy and then unconscious from dehydration. After drinking the water and sitting still for a little, I got back on my feet and two-stepped/bottydanced/windmilled myself into oblivion till the night was over.

The only part of this story that is fabricated is that Rachel and Megan (fellow counselors) weren't at all impressed. They pretty much said I was really weird for actually being impressed with myself. I promptly re-assured them that they would never understand why it was awesome that I had passed out, and as a result of that lack of understanding they would never ever be able to really dance their heart out.

What fools they are. DANCE!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sand, seaweed, and really good food.

Three things that are a part of a Kendall family beach week. An offshore tropical storm spun up a bunch of seaweed that has made it's way to the seashore. The aunt's and uncle's cooking is pleasing. And the sand is a beautiful contrasting white to the green-blue of the sea. I am very happy to be here, but it's not quite right without the bro. Go here for more pictures:


Monday, July 2, 2007

High above the mucky-muck.

This is the real post.

This week and the one before it were a real one-two punch. I am not going to dwell, but I learned more about the Kingdom and Family of God in these two weeks then I have in all of my life. I recovered famously from my sickness and was back with my boys a mere 7 hours after I started throwing up. I also want to throw out a thank you to anyone who was praying for me and the guys. I had a camper come to know the Lord this week, and I am positive that without prayer nothing would have been achieved.

So there is some cool stuff I have been doing recently, and the time has come for me to share them. Tree-bending is a sport that I think originated somewhere in Canada, and in spite of it's sub-standard country of origin it is a really really cool thing to do. Tree-bending is a rather simple activity, and the name pretty much sums it up. A rough description would be that you climb up an undeveloped sapling, usually about 30 feet or so high, about5 or 6 inches in diameter, and then wait till it bends to the ground. In reality, you are sweating blood from the effort of trying to pull your self up the flimsy pole of a tree that you are attached to. Since it is a sapling, there are no branches on which to hang or stand, and so you have to cling, quite literally, for your life. When you get to the top, you kick your legs out the side and the tree bends dramatically down until your heels reach the forest floor. At this point you let go and the tree goes whooshing back to a vertical state no worse for wear. It is so. much. fun. As much fun as it is, it is equally exhausting to haul my 190 pound body up a skinny little wooden pole with no substantial support except that which is coming from my arms and thighs wrapped around the tree. After two or three ascents, I am so sore and winded that I can barely even spell the word tree. Or climb.

I also have been called upon (last weekend and this week as support staff) to blaze what is left of the West Trek trail on RH property. It is the most difficult trail on all of the campus, and it was started a couple years ago and never finished. They got as far as a really beautiful gorge would let them, and now I and my buddy Dan have to chop our way through Rhododendron and Oak and God knows what else up the side and over the top of this gorge and finish out the last couple miles of the trail. It takes a while, but is very rewarding. Hopefully with a week's worth of time we will be able to finish. It makes me feel pretty manly and stuff to ride a four wheeler into the woods and spend the entire day chopping and cutting my way towards an unknown objective. The unknown is the good part. It keeps you going until you know it fully, and when you know the unknown, you really sleep well at night.

I will be putting pictures both of tree bending and trail blazing up as soon as I can make some space on my hard drive. I love living in the smokies, mere miles away from the continental divide and in the midst of God's "Wilderness Cathedral". I am indeed very fortunate.