Camp Iroquoina has been a part of my life since before I had memories, and so many of my best ones happened there. I grew up there in long, hot summers and whirlwind winter weekends.
It used to be a horse camp, back before we got our hands on it, so when we said we were going to church in Chapel Barn, we meant it literally. Musty carpet, posts marking out where the stalls used to be, and a big wood stove to keep the freezing drafts at bay.
I could walk into Chapel Barn and point to the exact place I was sitting when God called me to be a missionary in Africa, nearly twenty years ago now. We were singing a song that had been brought back from a mission station in Chavuma, Zambia, a song that was requested almost every day during girls' camp.
I want to walk with Jesus Christ
All the days I live of this life on earth.
To give to Him complete control
Of body and of soul.
I sat there, looking out at the rolling hills that ring the property when a quiet, sure voice spoke in my heart. I will go to Chavuma one day. I will live and work in Africa.
It was with a sore heart that I learned that Chapel Barn burned down yesterday. I've travelled far down this road, been in Africa nearly five years now, and I always took it for granted that I'd be able to go back to the place where it started. I know it's just a building, that broken things can be remade, but that place is my home away from some, something precious in a world where I have roots planted everywhere and nowhere.
Please pray for Camp as they clean up and find a way to rebuild something that's so dear to so many people.
(Bottom photo: Meg Bull. Not sure who took the top one.)