Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Youth Mission Trip 2012

For ever since the world was created,
people have seen the earth and sky.
Through everything God made,
they can clearly see his invisible qualities—
His eternal power and divine nature.
So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 1:20

I took a hiatus from blogging this past week to serve as a cook/cabin chaperone/babysitter for our church’s youth mission trip. We lodged at Central Oak Heights, a beautiful former UMC Conference camp nestled in the Susquehanna River Valley.

During our week there I enjoyed the privilege of babysitting for our youth pastor and his wife who brought their two-year-old son along. Micah and I spent a good bit of time traversing the trails and walkways of the campground. His favorite spot was the Tabernacle, a lovely, open-air sanctuary that allowed us to drink in the beauty of God's handiwork --a beauty that far surpassed any man-made cathedral! Micah dubbed it "Big Church". After he chose seats for us, we would sing a few Sunday school choruses and then mosey back to our camp site.

Like a couple of naturalists, Micah and I constantly kept our eyes peeled for a glimpse of wildlife. In a secluded part of the campground we discovered Sylvan Chapel. As we sat on the benches listening to the Red-Tail Hawks answering one another and watching the squirrels gather acorns, I took a deep breath and allowed the peace of God that passes all understanding to permeate my soul.

photo by Bridget Riordan
We also captured quite a few toads of varying sizes in the girls’ bathhouse. We examined their bumps and tiny webbed feet from every angle--such an intricate and useful design God created. Though Micah was reluctant to touch their super soft bellies, he took note of their eyes and mouth. Then we returned them to a wooded area so they wouldn’t accidentally get trampled.

One morning Micah stopped short on the trail and pointed to a brilliant yellow caterpillar slowly creeping its way across the stones and sticks. We crouched down and took a long look at the creature. I later learned it was a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar. We were both fascinated by its unusual markings and bright color. God certainly has a vivid imagination.

At Camp

Though not a typical mission trip experience, I found my week to be quite an inspirational way to reconnect with God—through the eyes of a two-year-old.

©2012 Pamela D. Williams