I think there are 32 days until Boot Camps begins. It comes up all of the sudden—it seems to be an endless cycle of working on all the different things to get ready for it to begin.
April 9th all of the staff went out to work on getting the Big Top tents up. The first one that goes up is always Big Top 1. The guys spend a few days getting it all ready. They will begin by cleaning the Big Top site, then the tent pieces are laid into position at the five center poles. It takes some strong people to unfold each piece and pull them into position. The tent pieces are then connected to the poles by big hooks and bolted in place in preparation for lacing the different pieces together. Once the pieces are laced, we put the poles under the tent and the medal top is put through a hole in the tent and a screw put on to keep it in place. Then
chains have to be hooked to the ring and to the ring in the ground. Lots of other tasks need to be done but about this time is when it takes a lot of people to circle the tent and as the tent is cranked up from the center poles, the rest of us start to push the outer poles up. Then the tent will look like a swimming pool. At this time the inside poles need to go under the tent and get in place. They are pushed through a hole in the tent and again bolted in place. As the tent is cranked up, the poles are pushed up, and when the tent is cranked all the way the outside poles get pushed into place. You always need to be watching the tension on the chains that are hooked to the tent and ground. There are still cables to be tightened, but when we raise the Big Tops, we don’t need elephants. Then we move onto Big Top 2, the Peanut and then the Mustard Seed tents. This is the first time we have been blessed to get four Big Tops up in one day.
After Big Top 1 is up, a group will put plywood down that will mark the seating areas and aisles and protect the tarmac floor of the Big Top area. Then the staff are ready to start working on the inside of the tent. Big top one needs chairs set up , the stage put in place, audio and video hooked up, registration tables in place and what we call “issue” needs to be set up. Issue is what the team members and leaders will need for the summer, such as a duffel bag and plastic liner, gloves, toilet paper, hard hat and rain poncho, shirts (Get Dirty for God and travel), travel pillow and of course, your bowl, plate and cup.
Big Top 2 will be set up with the pizza tables in place for the giant alligator pizza that will be made during Boot Camp. It will also be used for various classes throughout Boot Camp and a portion will be set up for our Boot Camp store.
Then the Peanut tent will need the stage set up with a puppet stage behind it. Tables and chairs will be brought in for the visitors and craft time and cushions for the team members to sit on.
The Mustard Seed Tent will need the corral set up because it is Cowboy camp this year. We will need to bring in the hitching post for the stick horses to await being ridden for the barrel races. We will also hang pieces of plywood squares around the corral for a photo of each Mustard Seed for their Wanted Poster. The fireplace needs to be in place, then the tables set up for doing crafts, having snacks and making Wordless Books. Bulletin boards will be brought in for each team to hang the Mustard Seed leaves to put stickers on for when they say their memory verse, hang their different craft items such as the Wordless bracelets. Then their meeting area will need some bales of hay to sit on when they have their team time. We will then be ready for the arrival of the Mustard Seeds so we can have our Bible story time, sing songs, barrel races, make crafts and eat snacks after running the Obstacle Course. This year our special Boot Camp speaker will be Cowboy Lee.
As each team member registers, we pray for each of them during the nine months of the year. We pray for the Lord to supply the finances for each team member, that God will be at work in each young person’s heart and that God will have many victories in each heart and that they will grow in their relationship with the Lord.
In 32 days the Big Tops will be ready. Let the summer begin!
After Boot Camp, I will be traveling to Africa and visiting several of the bases. My schedule hasn’t been confirmed but here is how it is looking now.
July 12: Florida to Zambia
July 15 – 31: Zambia
August 1 – 12: Malawi
August 13 – September 6: Madagascar
September 7 – 18: South Africa
September 19 – October 12: Uganda and Tanzania
Please pray with us that God will do great things in our hearts this summer as we serve Him.
Thank you for all your financial support and prayers that make it possible for me to continue to serve with Teen Missions.
Because of Him,