Thursday, August 29, 2013

SD Family to Kona Adventure.

Hello Friends and Family,
We have just finished up our 9th summer serving as directors here at Camp Hammer. Ocean is turning 15 in less than a month and is growing into an amazingly beautiful, creative, loving, confident woman. Elli is 13 and always revealing her gifts, and heart of compassion to us and the world around her. Phoenix will be 9 in October, and she was a camper for the first time this summer. She is a blessing and friend to everyone she meets. Sarah and I continue to grow and strive to be who God has created us to be. We celebrated 17 years of marriage in July, and we continue to love each other more and more. 

This fall we have an opportunity to serve in Kailua-Kona for seven weeks and we want you to be apart  of our SD Family to Kona Adventure. 

More and more Sarah and I desire to see Camp Hammer become a missional ministry throughout the year.  Camp has been used by God to disciple and grow young adults during their summers serving for many years. As you know, so many staff have gone on to serve in full time ministry, or living intentional lives to spread the gospel. The impact is immeasurable.

Last November, my family and I were invited to serve for a week at Youth With A Missions, University of the Nations in Kona Hawaii. My whole family was unable to go, but I had the privilege of speaking on relationships to their Community Transformations, Discipleship Training School. It was a rich experience serving and helping equip over a hundred young adults for their outreach to the various countries they shared the gospel with. The experience was enriching and grew me in my faith as a believer and leader in ministry.

My time there introduced a new possibility for Camp Hammer in the winter months. YWAM would like to partner with us and have a Community Transformation DTS here at Camp Hammer. It would run from October-December, beginning fall 2014. This would be a huge blessing for camp financially, and it would also continue to fulfill the mission of Camp Hammer throughout the year.

My family and I have been invited back to YWAM in Kona to serve as a speaker, but also to invest in the young adults as the process and prepare during the remainder of their lecture phase before leaving on outreach. We have been given the opportunity to serve the Community Transformation DTS from November 7-December 26. During this time Sarah and I will serve as encouragement and be available to the students, and outreach leaders as they process all that they are learning. We will begin our time with me speaking to the school on relationships, which naturally lends for us to continue developing relationships and spiritually directing and encouraging their leaders and students. The girls are excited to relieve some of the missionary families, by offering free child care so that parents can have time to connect and process as a couple. We want to bless and serve however we can!

During our time there we would also be helping develop and implement healthy involvement with the community of locals in Kailua-Kona. There is a large population of homeless youth, meth addicts, and fearful natives of the island gods. Our family will be working to develop ways to consistently care for the local population. This component of the trip gets all of us excited. We have worked with the homeless in Santa Cruz during the Christmas season for a few years. We know that it can be challenging to share the gospel with homeless people due to mental illness, but that is where we have seen the fruit of living it out in action.

The last piece to our mission trip would be educational for Camp Hammer. I would have the opportunity to learn more about YWAM, and really figure out with the main people of their organization if it would be a good partnership for camp. During our time in Kona, I will work with the directors of the Community Transformation DTS, and meet with directors from other bases throughout the globe to gain a better understanding, so that I would be well equipped to move forward.

The most important area we desire support is through committed prayer. We want people to pray for us daily. Without prayer we ail not be able to do what God is leading us to do for his glory. You can also help by supporting our missions trip financially. We have to raise $6,000 for airfare and our costs while on the island. This is no small chunk of change, but we believe in a big God, and we know he will provide! If you feel led to support us financially, we would be so blessed. Our first step is to get airline tickets. A round trip ticket to Kona is about $600. At this point we have raised $3,000 for our family of five to travel. The other $3,000 is for our housing, food,  transportation and hospitality expenses used to bless the missionaries and to serve the homeless while in Kona. We look forward to having you be apart of the SD Family to Kona Adventure. Our trip is a short term missions trip under Twin Lakes Church. All financial gifts are tax-deductible.

Make checks payable to:
Twin Lakes Church, and make sure to write "Camp Hammer Missions" in the memo. (this method is tax-deductible).

Mail checks to:
SD Family to Kona Adventure
21475 Big Basin Way
Boulder Creek, CA 95006

Peace and always love.

The SD Family

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

S E A S O N S: being a father.

"Nothing I've ever done has given me more joy and rewards than being a father to my children." -Bill Cosby

As the season has changed from summer to autumn, so has my attention. I look at my children as they grow and become who they were intended to be, and I sigh. They never cease to capture my heart. The chill falls earlier as the sun drops below the redwood tree line. Warmth and laughter billow from the life-energy of my children at home. I welcome the autumn and embrace the time given.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Looking For Mike In The Little

There is a place that I know 
                                            Where I need more often to go 
A place of amazing comfort and rest 
Where a smile is never rare 
And Your love is as free as the air 
And I lack for nothing 
When I can see the love in Your eyes 
And know that it's all for me 

I fear nothing at all 
When I'm safe in the arms of my Father 
And if I ever fall I take comfort in knowing 
That You are there

I find myself caught in wonder and sometimes absent of being present to the moment. There are a lot of things that make me think about Mike. The other evening I drove up Highway 9 to a burger joint with family and friends. Mike lived just a mile past. I drove that road weekly in after summer seasons. Winding my way home, listening to Patty Griffin, after hours spent fully accepted by my dear friend. I found no judgments, no cynical talk, no expectations, no arrogance, no doubt, just acceptance and love. I knew when I was with Mike that I was seen truer and more real. When I am in conversations and people are talking about the way something should be and dialoguing about the "what ifs," I pause in thought, and wish I was with Mike. Those kind of yoyo conversations of up and down did not exist. We existed. The presence of friendship for a brief spell was more powerful than any weightless rambling about the who knows and who cares. I acknowledge that I am tired, grieving, and feel the weight of friendlessness as I enter the after summer seasons. Mike was a sailor. I was a cowboy. In another lifetime we would have met in port, and he would have rode out to pasture, and I would have sailed into the horizon. But we had this lifetime, so we sat side by side and shared stories of the wild hills of Africa, and the brilliant sunsets from the Pacific. I look forward to a place "where a smile is never rare." Not today, but someday. Today I am just looking for Mike in the little bits of life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

W A T E R fall

“What does it feel like to be alive? Living, you stand under a waterfall. 
You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes,
pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, 
choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. 
The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms. 
The strong water dashes down beside you and you feel it a
long your 

calves and thighs rising roughly backup, up to the roiling surface, 

full of bubbles that slide up your skin or break on you at full speed. 

Can you breathe here? Here where the force is the greatest and only 

the strength of your neck holds the river out of your face. 

Yes, you can breathe even here. You could learn to live like this.

And you can, if you concentrate, even look out at the peaceful 

far bank where you try to raise your arms."-Annie Dillard

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the presence of still water.

there is nothing i can say or do to predict or prepare what is to come. the stirring in my gut, and the spinning in my head will not stop with answers or rest. i must let myself go. i must choose to lay arms stretched across tender, leaf laden ground. if i inhale, i must exhale. i am alive today to live fully alive. tomorrow there might be pain. yesterdays remind me that it exists, but today the water is still. i am a man. there were no heroes in my pain. i was not anything special in the midst of hardship and tragedy. i was me. i am me. even though my wife has to remind me of who i am, and that one day did not make me this way, i am me. changed, but the same me. i am free.

“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” -Wendell Berry

Saturday, May 5, 2012

H O M E :: the-unforseen-wilderness

"And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home." -Wendell Berry

I have found the longer I spend being in one place, moving forward and around, discovering the sensational nature I am apart of, I do not wrestle with wonder of where my life is going, but simply smile at where my life is.

The redwood forest is often a place of rescue. People come here holding onto their last thread of hope in something bigger, or better than their circumstances. They seek a shout, a verse, a mere whisper through the trees, telling them they belong to something more. The disillusionment of power players, leaders, and religious pillars have left their hope in God dangling by one last tendon, but their limb is not severed and there is hope. The recovery time begins in the first inhale of pure air from nature. A wonder settles into a sigh of rest. For some the redwood forest transforms them in an instant. For others it takes days, weeks, months, and sometimes years.

I know what it is to be rescued amongst these magnificent trees. The humus holds me as I rest in the knowing of God and the potential of his love known by all. Everyone is not a caretaker. It is a humble position and often forgotten. As I tend to this place where healing happens, I hope the healing is remembered and the maker of the redwoods is taken away in the souls of those who come and go. As the season approaches when many will come and experience this place, I walk gently, whispering the names I know, asking for the forest to be a God reveal, and healer. The bees are buzzing early this year. Poppies blast orange of the sun against the sandstone hillsides. New redwood greens dance in the spring breeze. Deer nuzzle their noses against fields of clover, enjoying their sweet nectar. It is a season of new. Nature is always ready to receive those who come. It was created by God to be his gift to all who come away. This is my home. All are welcome here for a stay.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

R E N E W E D :: Time to Dance

"By reading scripture I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet." Thomas Merton