We had an exciting Character Camp this past week! I don't even know how to explain it!! It was so crazy and wonderful and amazing and scary all at the same time!! So the Character Camp went really well. We had quite a few kids and it was a lot of fun. There were a lot of fun activities that we did with the kids and the messages shared by everyone were really good. So the crazy scary wild part was when we saw two fires on either side of us about 8-10 miles away. So that made it interesting on Tuesday night... We kinda just prepped for the power going out and fighting the fires in case they came closer. Over the next few days we moved into a level 2 (be packed and ready to leave) evacuation and the fires came less than a mile from the ranch ok, maybe it was under 2 miles, but it was super close. We stayed up really late every night and watched and worked. So that made us all really tired, but it certainly grew our faith more. It was so awesome to see God's power so evident- and being able to trust in His care over us and the ranch!! The one thing that really helped was when my grandparents said back with the other fire last year., “If the Lord wants to use this place still than He won’t let it burn but if He still has a plan for it then He will save it.” That gave me peace and later when we read the verse of the day and it talked about passing through the flames and not being consumed, that too showed God’s power and provision. I think over all, the whole week was a big faith builder for me and everyone else.
So anyway that was what happened. The power did go out on Saturday but it turned back on later. It was really hard staying and living without electricity and running water! I am very thankful God has given us that!
Over all even though the week didn't end up how we thought it would, God gave us so many opportunities to share the gospel and build into the lives of these kids! Praise the Lord!!
Here is what we sent out to our church each day-
Monday and Tuesday- All is well on the Peniel Ranch front. I am sorry I didn't send out a prayer request update about the Character Camp sooner! On Monday we had 15 kids including teen leaders. In the morning we played a team building game and then we had our meeting. My dad spoke on Gratefulness, and the kids enjoyed it a lot. We spent the afternoon at the water and then did crafts and archery. Tuesday we had even more kids at 22. We are expecting more kids for the next two days. For crafts the kids made birdhouses, and we baked bread. The kids were very excited about it since they were looking forward to making bread again. My grandpa spoke on Compassion, and some of us put together skits and performed them in front of the kids. After lunch we played on a slippin' slide and that was a blast! :) Then we swam for the rest of the time until they left. The kids have been open and attentive to what we are sharing and many of us have had chances to talk to them about the gospel and Jesus. Please pray that we will have enough energy and patience. Please also pray for the safety of the kids and helpers. Pray for the salvation of the kids and leaders.
Wednesday- I know I just said everything was going well.... but some fires just started in our area and we need to pray for them and that we wouldn't be in danger. There is one pretty close to us, I don't know if we are in danger or not. But just pray thanks! Later that night... we are currently in fire danger now. There are two fires, one by Omak and one by Grand Coulee. Both are around 8-10 miles away. There might be one even closer that is small and just started. I will keep you updated as much as I can. The power could go out at any time so I won't have any contact after that. Thanks so much! We know and trust that we are in the Savior's hands! We are now filling up water and buckets, moving tractors, making sure we have flashlights and walkie-talkies. Our current plan is to work on securing the ranch in case the fire comes and be ready for the power to go out. Everyone is busy and praying. I am thankful people are calm during this situation and planning and helping in any way they can. There is still lightning and thunder around and we have rain off and on. Please keep praying!! Thank you!! There are three fires near us. Two on the Omak side and one on the Grand Coulee side. The one towards Grand Coulee is definitely smaller and is almost contained. That one isn't a threat at this moment. The ones on the Omak side are more of the concern. They are on Mount Whitmore which is in front of us. We cannot see flames from those fires, but we can see a glow on the hills. Please keep us in your prayers. We are currently on level 1 evacuation.
Thursday- A couple of us teenagers stayed up till 1:30am, and I know my parents, Mr. Justus and my grandpa probably stayed up later than that. :) That is why we are sleeping in this morning! Anyway I haven't heard any more updates. From what we can see, the fire on the Grand Coulee side went really low, and we thought it most likely was contained. The other fires we can't see so I don't really know much about them. I am assuming as of now we are not in immediate danger. I think we are still having the kids today, so we are happy about that, but we sure would love some extra energy and strength! :) The Lord is always faithful, and we saw His power last night!! Thank you for your prayers! We did get the kids and we spent the day like normal. We brought out the slippin' slide again and it was a blast like before. We were just notified by police that we are in level 2 evacuation. We are continuing to stay here with the kids, and they will notify us when we have to leave. We are packing things and getting ready to leave if we need too. **(Level 2 Evacuation means be ready. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready at a moment's notice.) We didn't have to evacuate and we had the kids for the whole day, Praise the Lord!
Friday-The fire is coming over the hills, we can see a lot of smoke and some flames. It's not over the one closest to us, but it could be at any time. There are a lot of planes flying over and dropping water. Please pray that we would be able to know what we should do and that the fire wouldn't come down our direction. We are good right now! The power is still on and the fire seems to have gone back over the hills more. Or at least it looked closer last night than it is now, which is a huge blessing. I think we will continue to prepare for the fire maybe coming here and then just wait for what God is doing here. I think most things are ready for the fire to come if that happens. Overall it's been amazing to see the Lord's hand of protection around this place!
Saturday- The power went out and both roads getting out of the ranch are closed. Most everyone left today to go home as normal. The fire has definitely gone back over the hills more.
Sunday-We don’t have power still, but we are up the road to get service. The fire is a lot farther away, so we are out of danger most likely. Thanks for your prayers
Monday- The power is back on, and we are out of danger! Praise the Lord!!
Written by Lauren Davies