After several minutes exchanging stories, Summer turned and mentioned to Tekoa that her work crew (teenage girls she mentors in an internship job setting) was cancelled due to the storms so she alone had to prepare several rooms for a convention arriving that evening. Tekoa offered her help to strip (take sheets off, empty trash bags) and flip (clean and supply fresh linens, etc) the rooms that were needed at the Camp of the Rising Son. Tekoa’s work crew for the thrift store was also cancelled. My ears perked up immediately, and I inquired about their problem, trying not to sound obvious. I knew: This is why we’re here. I was inwardly praying, “Lord if this is where you want us and what you want us to do, please let them say yes.” I said something to them like, “I don’t know if you guys need it or not, but do you want some help? We can make beds, dust, clean toilets, do whatever you need to be
done!” They just sort of looked at us for a few moments, wide eyed. I don’t know if they initially took us seriously. But I knew that we were there for the express purpose of lending a hand. We discussed it back and forth with them and they warned us that it wasn’t fun work, to which we replied, “We are two of six daughters. We are not afraid of work – our dad made up for not having sons!” Before long we were walking outside – where the rain had stopped – and piling into a van to roll up our sleeves and get to work!
We got a delightful narrated driving tour of the academy campus as we made our way to the camp facilities, thanks to Tekoa. It is this picturesque little campus with a bunch of quaint old houses and buildings. The camp lodge is positioned overlooking Lake Anne with several cabins surrounding it. Our assignment was to prepare several rooms in a guest-house with the girls. After instructing us on how to make a bed with hospital corners (ahem, which I am still incapable of – thank you Jordan – I will never again complain about your insistence in doing this at home!) we set to work for the next several hours. And we had a blast getting to know Tekoa and Summer while we worked! They are truly more kindred spirits than we ever anticipated. After preparing the rooms for the convention attendees, we took a few minutes to play around. The dock over Lake Anne was submerged a few inches due to the excessive rainfall they’d had that day. Summer suggested we get pictures of each other “Walking on Water”, so we headed down to the little beach. The clouds were clearing out of the sky and the setting sun was stunning over the water. I snapped pictures while the girls walked out across the water, submerged only to their ankles.
We continued our adventures with Tekoa and Summer by cleaning a boys bathhouse that’d been closed all winter.
Stories were told and we talked as we worked. I can’t remember when I’ve had a more enjoyable afternoon. They ordered dinner for us from the only cafe’ in town. We picked up our dinner that Tekoa graciously paid for, then made our way back to her apartment. Can I tell you their roast beef sandwich (on the locally made bread) rivaled anything you’d find in New Orleans? And that’s a serious compliment! For the next several hours we hung out talking and sharing our hearts with these girls. Each of us shared various things the Lord has done in our lives, and things He was currently teaching us. I was convicted and encouraged, provoked to love and good works.
With our bellies full, and hearts brimming, they offered us a room in the lodge for the night. We gladly accepted the opportunity to take hot showers and sleep in a bed. Our gratitude even now is unceasing. God provided for our needs so bountifully in those 24 hours. We trusted Him, and he gave us abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine. We would’ve been happy to pitch our tent on the campgrounds that night, but the Lord showed His hand so much mightier than that. He showered us with good gifts, and we must give Him all glory.
Jordan and I both plan on writing about how this affected us on a deeper level spiritually – and how it was a specific answer to specific prayers we’d prayed during the week.