it is hard to believe that as we approach july 4th, i've been out at the ranch for almost 6 weeks. it feels as if my sister's graduation, saying good-bye to my good friends and coworkers at northrop grumman and driving up the 5 was but yesterday.
since then, the Lord has brought me to the ranch, safely, took me through river guide training, admist 40 degree weather, meeting 100+ summer staffers, and a whole lot more! since it has been 6 weeks, i'll list the highlights.
- river guide training -- 9.0
when jonathan leduc, the one in charge of hiring the men summer staff, asked me if i wanted to get river guide training, i was hesitant. did i really want to take off from work 1 wk early and lose an additional $1k from work? after some prayer and consideration, i'm glad i made the decision to come out early.
river guide training was so memorable in itself that it was worth it! when do you ever get an opportunity to learn how to guide a raft down white water? we had 2 days of indoor instructions, then it was off to the river. by mid second day, they asked us to jump into a roaring rapid. roar!!! basically to learn and experience floating down a rapid, the to dos and not to dos. and learn how to save guests out of the rapid. keep in mind, the weather that day was raining at roughly 40+ degrees and the river was flowing! and it was cold, even with 2 wet suites on. i must say it was an experiece of a life time. we had to cut river guide training short, due to the weather conditions. last day of training, we took out at 39 degree weather with rain. we got back to the ranch for dinner and it started snowing. praise the Lord, none of us got sick and i had a blast as i was warm. i don't think everyone enjoyed it as much as i did.
also, river guiding has been so much fun! praise the Lord, that no accidents have yet to occur, however, that doesn't say much, as i've only guided 3 guest rafting trips so far, summer staff and second wind (2 days). this week will be my first week out on the river. please pray for our safey and strong girls to paddle or i'll be calling rock side a whole lot.
- low ropes -- 9.0
i've always wanted to be a low ropes facilitator. low ropes is my favorite, and as my mentor/teacher, maury carlisle, says it best, it reveals the things of the Lord. and you can facilitate low ropes in so many ways, whether it be team building, team dynamics, leadership development or spiritual, i like maury's approach and focus primarily on spiritual matters. it has been such a blessing to be used by the Lord and reaching and teaching spiritual matters to the guests.
circumstances don't make us or break us, they reveal us. please pray for me, as i get the opportunity to facilitate low ropes. there have been a few busts and its not easy to take away eye sight or the ability to talk or limbs from dad's who paid thousands of dollars for a week long camp. its even harder to ask piercing, convicting questions to dad's who's lives have been focusing on careers for the past 20 years and not on the things unseen. 2 Cor 4:18.
- ranch summer staff -- 6.5
it has been really interesting meeting the 100+ summer staff. i must say, i am out of my comfort zone for a few reasons and hence the low rating. personally, it has been one of the harder challenges this summer as i battle with loneliness and insecurity off and on.
1. i am definitely not one of the popular cats around here. that has actually been pretty revealing of my character and my sinful heart.
2. there is definitely a generation gap or a culture gap or probably a bit of both. as the summer staff range between 17 - 29 (i'm not the only 29 year old!), the mean would roughly be around 21, that's a junior in college. the youngest just graduated high school, while 85% are still in college. i don't even know what's cool for that generation... second, almost all these guys are from the south. just in terms of culture, its drastically different. i've never gone hunting before, some of these guys can name of ducks and deer like its nobody's business. what are southern girls intersted in? beats me! which leads me to my next point...
3. i definitely do not know how to conversate with girls, or at least girls in this crowd. my girlfriend in high school used to say i flirt a lot, and i'd come back with i'm just being friendly. since college, i stopped flirting or "being friendly" with girls. now i just don't know how to relate with them. fortunately, i have a God that cares for me, and will eventually provide the right girl.
none the less, i have become good friends with a few guys. pray for me, as the relationships grow deeper, that they will be long lasting and encouraging to spur each other on toward glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ. please also pray that i continue to grow in being "me".
- programs -- 8.0
i've been trained and have been working at the rodeo, high ropes course, alpine tower, odyssey course, and the lake activities. this has definitely been fun, learning how to tree lizard, belay people and communicating to guests instructions clearly.
- riding an atv -- 8.5
- serving the Lord -- 10.0
day in and day out, the work i do, directly benefits the kingdom of God. check out Heb 11:10. i am participating in kingdom work, being used by our Master, the architect and builder of the city to come.
more to come with pictures!