“Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.”
After taking the boys to school this morning I stopped by County Market to pick up some food items. I’d also gotten inspired to make Valentines Day fun for them. The store had a big display of flowers and chocolates and a few lone balloons. I found one with a happy gnome as the picture and picked that one. Near the Valentines gifts I also found some window clings that are like removable stickers you can put on the glass.
I came home, unloaded the bags, then sat down with a bowl from earlier to finish my breakfast. I heard a car pull up to the house and kind of sighed knowing I’d have to answer the door. Two men I didn’t know were on the other side of it. One of them asked if I was busy. I replied, “Uh, sort of?”, not knowing what they wanted. They were scouts from a Christian group board, looking for a place to hold their Walk to Emmaus retreats.
I’ve heard of these before, that they’re amazing and life-changing, but I didn’t know exactly what they were. I thought they needed a place to actually go on walks, to be in nature where people can be alone to commune with God. In that case they had absolutely come to the right place. I called my husband to confirm that he had indeed spoken with another Emmaus woman who was looking into prices. Their story was true.
We walked to the Christian Growth Center and then to the Retreat Center. I’m always a tad bit self-conscious about the buildings. We’re not a fancy place, and it’s been 40 something years since some of these buildings were built. I think they’re in need of updates, not out of absolute necessity, but because people expect nice places to stay in. When you’re used to camp it’s one thing, but when you’re not, it’s different.
I love giving tours. We stopped by the Indoor Chapel on the way down to the dining hall. We walked through the kitchen and I showed them the new building. We walked to the cabins and they checked the amount of outlets to see if they’d be able to accommodate multiple CPAP machines. I told them there was no running water in the cabins, and that the nearest bathroom for them during the night would be in the dining hall.
They didn’t need land but I showed it to them anyway, at least pointed in the general direction. Toward the river, toward the creek, across the dam there are even more acres to walk on. One asked about the deer, the fishing, and the mushrooms. We have all of that here. They don’t get much free time on these retreats, and the people who come to them are often older. There would be 60-80 people to house including kitchen staff.
There were several other camps that were also being looked at. In March everybody presents their findings to the board. One man had been a missionary in Africa with his wife. I asked if he liked it and said that he loved it. I’ve never been on an overseas mission trip, I said, but have always wanted to go on one. He said I should do it, that it would change my life, and I should bring my kids along with me. It’d be expensive but worth it.
I came home and they left. If we never see them again, even still I’d been blessed. I put away the rest of the food and sprinkled the table with Valentine’s day candy. During supper one of the boys brought out a gift from Dad that he’d left behind. I was completely surprised. It was a journal, on which were written the words Faith, Hope, and Love, along with a set of colored gel pens and a card, which to me, it was perfect.
I just love this photograph!
Isn’t it different? The lighting was so unusual.
Yes, super calming… peaceful