A couple weeks ago our church had its annual family camp/conference. This time it was in the beautiful town of Bellingham, WA. Whenever the season for camp rolls around, there is much excitement as we anticipate taking the two day trip as a caravan with others from church, and look forward to a week that promises much encouragement in the Lord through the fellowship of his saints. Getting to breathe in the beauty of God's creation on the way adds to the overall enjoyment of the trip.
After the first day of driving, we stopped at a Motel 6 for the night and enjoyed the convenient location of a Dairy Queen, just a hop, skip, and a jump from our sleeping quarters. When one doesn't get to partake of the Queen's delicacies (because it has been all but completely removed from the state of CA.....) the sight of one is very refreshing. We couldn't resist. So we ventured to hop, skip, and jump over there (very literally) and indulged ourselves with blizzards.
Upon arrival in Seattle, WA, after another day's travel, we went our separate directions to our weekend hosts - Ariel, Samantha, and I to the Perkins, Mom and Dad to the Pipers, and Connor to the Cunninghams with whom he and some others went to a Seattle Mariner's game. We all greatly benefited from a restful Sunday spent with the Seattle congregation and went back to our host families to spend one more night before camp began the next morning. We girls enjoyed reuniting with a friend from Seattle and she was invited to spend the night with us at our location. Much of the evening was spent in catching up, laughing, and....tossing M&Ms..... :)
After a good night's rest, Mom and Dad came to pick us up and we headed to Pike Place in the heart of Seattle for the morning and early afternoon before beginning our treck up to the camp-ground. We sipped coffee from the original Starbucks and wandered the shops. We even ran into friends from Fresno that were in Seattle to visit a cousin. (How weird is that?? Two states away and we find people we know from home in one of the busiest places in Seattle where you could hardly hope to even find someone that you knew was going to be there!)
In the afternoon, we left Seattle for Bellingham. The first night we all gathered for dinner and a reaquainting night where we played some games, ate sundaes and had campfire. The rest of the week consisted of teaching sessions in the morning on The Growth of God's Kingdom, followed by discussion groups, a missions presentation from our missions coordinator/leader, a talent show, and then sports and games of all kinds, lake-side activities, crafts, and lots and lots of fellowship. God really showered his blessings on our time and used his people to encourage and build each other up. I feel so blessed to be a part of this corner of God's kingdom.