July 2016

Hey everybody!

July around the campus ministry was dominated by one all-consuming effort: Camp. We have been preparing for camp left and right around here. We have done some other things as well, Bible studies, preparing for the new school year, and meeting new students, and all that, but the big deal was camp prep.

I'm directing Black Hills Bible Camp again this year and our theme is “Instruments Of Peace.” It actually start this Sunday and I'm pretty excited about it! The way the scheduling works, this particular year is really close to the start of school, so last year we thought our numbers would be way, way down, but that has not been the case. We are a little lower than usual, but we still have well over 150 folks coming to camp this year. So we have been working hard to make this camp shine.


Our Camp Logo This Year

Our Camp Logo This Year


Our logo this year is this dove with the fig leaf and the words written across its wings. I started painting up a big banner with the logo on it and Albert Harty came over one day and saw it. He said, “You know I used to teach art a little in high school?” and sprang into action. He was shading and painting left and right and it turned out pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. With all his construction background and bid-overalls, I had no idea Albert was an artistic guy, but check out what he made for us:


Our Camp Banner In The Making

Our Camp Banner In The Making


That guy is one multi-talented fellow and I look forward to seeing these messages of peace being shared through out camp.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” - Psalm 34:14

In other news, we've kept our weekly Bible studies going through the summer, but we ended our Hell study in the middle of July. Too hot for that kind of discussion any more I guess. Haha! However, we have had some good talks.

We have actually started two Bible studies on Mondays now, out of necessity. Kris and Brandi both work the evening shift on Mondays, but they also both want to know what we are studying. So I sit down with them in the afternoon and teach the material and then a couple hours later I sit down with Gabe, Bailey, Chanel, and whoever else is available and we study the material a second time. So that's been fun.

In other news, one of our students, Bailey Hoeft, is Northern Hills Church Of Christ's Summer Intern. She is doing all kinds of good things. She is helping with teen classes, having Bible studies with our elders, hermeneutics classes with our preacher, and being mentored by some of the ladies in the congregation. She is growing in leaps and bounds.

The other day she was frustrated and said, “I feel like I'm getting all this praise for studying my Bible well, but I'm not doing anything special. I'm just reading it and trying to get the context for each verse.” It did my little heart good to hear that. I laughed and said, “Bailey, that is something special. How wonderful would it be if everyone read the Bible in context?” That would change the world.

Bailey also headed up a Summer Bible School, which was basically a Vacation Bible School spread out over a couple Sunday afternoons. She picked the theme, wrote the material, organized teachers, and everything. Even handmade the decorations. I led the songs (which were ridiculous) and got to watch as all her hard work came together, so that was cool. I would throw in some pictures, but I can't seem to find any right now, so I'll just give you the banner art for it.

Besides that, July also held a bit of preparation for the new school year. We are cleaning up the Christian Student Center, getting a new sign out front, watering the lawn, pulling weeds, and maybe doing a little redecorating. Meetings are being set up and plans made for the Fall semester. I even met a potential new student. Scott Laird, a preacher from Montana, has a nephew (if I have my story straight), that goes to school here at BHSU. I got to meet the nephew, Isaiah Birkel, and we chatted about school. Turns out Isaiah is on the football team, so I mentioned one of our students, Eli, is on the football team. Isaiah laughed and said, “That's my roommate!” Then we talked about how cool it is that Eli is coming back this Fall and bringing his “little” brother, who is bigger than he is and also joining the football team. I think we hit it off fairly well and there was some interest there.

So there is a decent chance that this Fall, our group may include Eli, Isaiah, and maybe even Eli's “little” brother. If that happens, we will 3 college football players in our Bible study group. Which means we will probably have quadruple our food budget and widen the walls a bit, but how cool would that be? We will have to start going to games and things and cheering, I suppose.

That's all for now. You have a great day!