Monday, July 17, 2006

Camp Living Water takes shape

This weekend I rejoined the missionaries of Stepping Forward to help work on the camp in the Romanian countryside. Missionaries Steve & Cammy Mather and Scott & Noami DeWeerd were making final preparations for the first group of orphans coming in August.
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind
They shall build houses and inhabit them;They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit."
(Isaiah 65 verses 17, 21)

The pic above shows vineyards which cover the hills near the town of Panciu.

On this trip, there was additional help from Jessica (a college intern working with the missionaries) as well as missionary kids Andre and Steve (yes, there were 5 guys at camp this weekend and 3 of us were Steves) at camp this weekend. Andre is from Brazil and is a recent graduate of Bucharest Christian Academy. His parents left Brazil in 1995 to serve in Romania and Moldova. Steve (called Stevie) will graduate next year. He is from Florida and his parents are also missionaries here, working just outside Bucharest as church planters.

(Front: Scott, Noami, Jessica, Cammy, Mid: Steve, Renee, McKenna, Me, Back: Andre, Stevie). The extra hands really helped as you will soon see.

The group (except for me) arrived on Thursday afternoon. They made good progress in getting the first dining platform done. I arrived on Friday as they were quitting work for the day and getting ready for supper - my timing was perfect. The photo on the left shows the first platform constructed on Friday.

Engineers camping with laptops - Be Afraid, be very afraid...

As we ate supper, Steve M. (missionary Steve) was mulling over a design for a picnic table using the lumber he still had. Steve M(a former engineer) was hoping to draw it first on his home computer but hadn't had the chance yet. I told him I had a CAD program on my PC from work that could draw it and measure angles and stuff, so we got to work. I (Steve #1) booted up my laptop and started doing the drafting while Steve M (Steve #2) and the younger Stevie (Steve #3) gave me input. Here's the sketch we put together, and the results on the following day!
We spent the rest of the evening playing a fun card game called "Heck of a Game".

Visitors and Critters

Despite all the hard work going on, we still got to enjoy the fun parts of camping. Well, you don't go camping without seeing critters, and Romania is no exception. I spotted this guy sneaking under the deck, and with Jessica, Andre, and Mckenna's help we caught him (credit Jessica with the catch - any 20 year old girl who will catch a lizard for us "kids" will make a fine wife to some lucky guy as far as I'm concerned - heh heh heh - I know, I'm just terrible)

Like the last trip, we also had several vistors from the nearby village of Fitionesti (FEE-TEE-OH-NESHT). Not surprisingly, several men commented on the spectactular picnic table design. However, Mckenna's favorite was no doubt Andre the shepherd and his herd:

Progress is made

Saturday was a very productive day. It did rain a little, but the cool temperatures and nice breeze made it a perfect day to work outside. While the 3 Steve's got to work on the picnic tables, the remainder of the team started work on the 2nd dining platform, the cooking platform and the fire ring. Here is what we got done.

On Sunday we added a couple of braces to the picnic tables, added steps to platforms and finished up the really big but really cool fire ring - check it out:
Shortly after lunch, we had a mini-church service with Noami leading a devotion and Andre leading the music playing the guitar. Andre offered to keep me company on the ride home, so that was a nice time of fellowship. The drive home was much longer thanks to a massive traffic jam so having company was a good thing.

I hope you enjoyed my 2nd Camp Living Water post. I have great news too. I have enough photo material for an additional post on my Romanian countryside experience including a couple of real gems on country "transportation". Stay tuned!