Camp for a Week, Friends for Life!

Lessons from Yellow Snow

Living most of my life in Texas, I had never experienced so much snow. Usually in Texas, we get sleet or ice or nothing at all. While I would love to have a white Christmas that would add that wintery, magical ambience seen in so many Hallmark movies, I was still elated to see the snow fall and stick in February.  The camp was blanketed in 5 inches of snow, and many of the details of the ground of rocks, sticks, leaves, and plants became uniform.  The familiar landscape and look of the camp had changed.  The snow accentuated areas and visual fields in an awe inspiring and majestic way that I had never seen.  With the energy and excitement of my three-year old, we could not wait to explore and take pictures!

Our adventure started quickly and stopped abruptly when we realized that we needed more layers of clothing and gloves before we should begin our snowy trek.  Once decked out in many layers of clothing, puffy jackets, gloves, and Peruvian hats, we began our journey.  Not wanting a toddler to destroy a pristine picture, my job was to entertain him while Eric took pictures ahead of us before giving us the ok to proceed forward.  Since pictures speak a thousand words, and I know I can be verbose, I have included them to tell the rest of this story.

One of the aspect that caught my attention were the footprints and tracks in the snow.  These were not the sandy footprints in the poem where God carries the traveler in times of hardships and trials, rather these were the evidence of wildlife traversing the snow.  Some of the tracks belong to deer, raccoons, bobcats, and wild turkeys.  I was amazed at how many were out, but I was more amazed at the amount of yellow snow.  While the tracks were there to give indication of life in this frozen landscape, I was stunned to see yellow snow in places where there was no evidence of tracks on the ground.  I began to think that the small animals light in weight probably could not have produced the quantities of yellow that I was observing unless they go to the bathroom in groups like so many of the girls back in high school.  I then remembered the animals that crawl through the trees like squirrels, opossums, and raccoons. Perhaps they made these yellow, monochromatic artistic designs in the style of Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko.  I never thought yellow snow could be so mesmerizing or thought provoking.

As I ponded the realization of the amount of activity at these sub-freezing temperatures, I was surprised at how much I could discover in the absence of actually seeing the animals.  Slumber Falls Camp has a wonderful biodiversity that is not always seen or appreciated. While walking through the snow, the buildings also spoke to me.  Slumber Falls Camp is the camp that loved built and continues to build.  The evidence of love, faith, and conviction for outdoor ministries, human development, and a deep spiritual connection to God and others emanate from the surroundings.  The quiet spaces of the volleyball court, swimming pool, archery range, basketball court, craft pavilion still carry the distant echo of campers laughing, hugging, and smiling and are ready to serve as spaces for God to work this summer.

Slumber Falls Camp is not just a summer camp ground and year round retreat center, but it is a physical manifestation of the church’s activity in the world.  The work of the church is not always visible like the myriad of creatures that call Slumber Falls Camp their home and refugue of the expanding areas around New Braunfels, yet the ministries are still seen by the evidence left behind.  Through lives changed, families strengthened, church transformation, environmental protection, and relationships fostered, our ministries are evidence of our faith.  So like yellow snow, I hope and pray that our work in the world leaves traces of hope, joy, and unconditional love that we experience from our relationship with the living God.

I would love to hear your experience with yellow snow or how you or your church has left positive evidence of your faith in your homes, communities, and the world.  If you are at Work Camp in March, I would love to catch up with you.  Our calling is not always loud and in the news, but the impact we have can transcend generations and shape the course of human history.

Peace and Love,
Jeremy

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