June 30 - Day 46
FaHoCha Bible Camp (east of New Rockford, ND)
Written By Viking
When I was a young child, before I knew how to tell time, I figured out a way to understand how far we were from a destination on a trip. I was a fan of Mr. Rogers, and I knew approximately how long his show was. So, I would lean forward and ask, "Dad? How many more Mr. Rogers until we get there?" My dad would mentally break the trip down into half-hour segments and give me an estimate. I would be satisfied, as the trip was now manageable in my mind.
Today, I looked at the map as we were riding and saw a stretch until our next stop. I thought to myself, "Oh, that's only three more mouthfuls of sunflower seeds." Or one Mr. Rogers.
Yesterday was a slow morning. It was a blessing to have a home to ourselves to move around in, so we took advantage of that. I think we finally hit the road around 9am, but we traveled 70 miles right away, biting off a significant chunk of our day. We pressed on across Montana. Nothing much to report. We met many more bugs.. and we cleaned them off of our faces at every stop.
Just when we were nearing the 700-mile marker on Montana's Highway 2, we saw a most wondrous sight, North Dakota. If you've never been to North Dakota, sell your shoes, buy a pair of snowshoes, and come visit in June. My father grew up here, and he told me of a time when they played king of the hill on a snowdrift, but they eventually had to stop because the power lines started showing. Right now, North Dakota's weather is anything but cold. Rev and I rode into Williston, ND with temps in the high 90's and a humidity level at an extreme only North Dakota could produce. Williston, ND left such a strong impression that we visited twice, eventually deciding to spend the night there. All campgrounds were full. A great man had offered to buy us a hotel along the way, but all the hotels were booked, as well. There's oil in Williston, and everyone's after it. However, our friend explained what we were doing, and a hotel clerk said she would call her pastor. A short time later the pastor of a Williston church was showing us a plot of grass where we could pitch our tents. What a blessing!
We quickly pitched our tents and securely staked them in before the gnats and mosquitoes flew off with them. We knew we had to find some relief from the heat and bugs, so I suggested the American Legion ball field in Williston. I know you're dying to know how I knew about this field in the first place, so I'll tell you. In 1968 the North Dakota Babe Ruth League state championship was held in Williston. My dad's team won. Yesterday morning I asked my dad if he remembered where it was in town. He didn't for sure, but then said, "Oh, wait! You've been to that stadium before." He said it as if I should remember exactly where it was. Having been somewhere around five years old and definitely still in my Mr. Rogers stage, my way around Williston had faded. However, I asked my dad, "Do you know what else happened that year?" His immediate, matter-of-fact answer was, "I got a haircut." That's exactly what I was thinking of!! My father got a haircut on June 19, 1990! Rev could overhear the conversation, and he immediately realized that my unusual memory is genetic.
Anyway, we DID go to the stadium, we DID watch a Babe Ruth League game, and Rev DID find yet another baseball with the name Babe Ruth on it. We then played some catch, went to a Dairy Queen with no a/c to cool down, and went back to our tents. We lay there in our sweat for a while, but a cold front did come in, and we had a comfortable nights sleep.
This morning was a rapid scramble to pick up our campsite, again before mosquitoes made off with any of our belongings. A few diners and gas stations later, and we found ourselves on the east side of North Dakota. On the way, Brady received his first bee sting while riding a scooter. No tears were shed, and he handled it with much grace. He just showed me his hand and said, "A bee just stung me." At the same moment he was stung we were riding across a road that had been paved up with dirt due to the immense flooding that has been happening in central North Dakota.
I called my father to tell him where we were, as this is the area where he grew up, and he mentioned in passing, "You'll go right past FaHoCha." (When I learn what it means I'll let you know) FaHoCha is a Bible camp that my father spoke at when we lived in North Dakota. The Stockeland name is very highly thought of, so Moped Justice Mission was able to ride that wave into camp and enjoy a meal.
Shortly after arriving I discovered that something was missing from my crate. My baseball glove. I quickly thought of the time that it had likely happened. 98% of the time Rev rides behind me, but there was a stretch of very bumpy dirt road in a town 20 miles back when I was in the back. Bumps make things fall out. A staff member graciously allowed me to save an hour by letting me use her vehicle to go look for it. Based on the way this trip has been going, you would almost expect me to go to that road and find 32 baseball gloves laying on the ground. However, there wasn't a glove. I snooped around a little, but it was gone.
It seems that when something is taken from me or somehow removed from my life, it has been because God has been working to free me from something or to free me up for something. A glove may seem minor, but it represents a lot for me. So anyway, it looks like Rev and I are done playing catch for the summer, but we had a lot of fun. No regrets about bringing them, even if it was lost.
Some open bunk beds were offered to Rev and I at camp, and we have graciously accepted the offer, along with the use of the shower. The evening chapel time was such a blessing. I remarked to Rev that it was great to sing praises at the top of our lungs. He added, "Yeah, and with other people." The challenge by the speaker to make prayer a more critical part of your life did not fall on deaf ears, either.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Good doesn't mean easy. Good doesn't mean comfortable. Good could require making a wrong turn. Good could require a scooter breaking down. Good could require losing a baseball glove. God is good. All the time.
Thank you for your prayers. Despite the fantastically rural area we are traveling through, God has been opening many opportunities for utterance. I think we've had opportunities at nearly every stop we've made this week. We have been sweetly blessed by so many people. Our cup runneth over, and people are continuing to pour blessings upon us and our ministry. THANK YOU for your prayers, and for striving to finish strong with us.