As I was preparing the bonfire for the MSR summer staff trainees one evening, a silver pickup truck drove into the parking lot a hundred yards away. Soon the door of the truck opened and two boys burst out and came running across the grass!
“Whatcha doin’ Mr. Dan?!?” one of them shouted as the other almost knocked me over giving me a hug. Immediately I realized that the silver pickup truck must belong to Jim, one of our Dallas staff, who had asked to spend the night here before meeting with friends from the area the next day.
These ten-year-olds had been here before and they felt right at home. As we caught up on what was going on with them, I learned that they had been fishing, wanted to help with the bonfire, and also wondered if I had any doughnuts they could have for breakfast! I didn’t think we had any doughnuts however told them that Miss Christine had made muffins earlier that day and maybe, just maybe, she would have a few for them!
Visiting with “Abraham” and “SemaJ” I could see the value of Jim bringing them along. Not only did they get out of the city and give their mothers a break, they could also see God’s care expressed through others as well as learn some important life lessons. Jim could pour into them as they fished in a pasture pond and come away to a place like Morning Star Ranch. Our time with them was brief and yet Christine and I could see how special this was to them to be here. We certainly shared with them how glad we were that they had come!
The next morning, one of the boys walked up to me and reached out his hand. As I took his hand I could feel him give me something. In a quiet voice he said, “This is from us... to take Miss Christine out for lunch...” and then right away, “Where ya gonna take her?!?” Another life lesson: Jim is teaching these boys that you give back to those who give to you. Getting to connect with, encourage, and reach out to these two young guys, Christine and I were blessed! What a great way to start the summer—being able to welcome and serve those the Lord brings our way!