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Wilderness Outcry


It's actually been a long time coming for me to write this blog. I've been pretty busy with life and have not set aside time to write a blog at all for several months. The sporadic few that have somewhat filled the black hole have been ones that I wrote when I should have been sleeping (sort of like right now). But, nonetheless, it's time to break this "no time" excuse and just knuckle down and write.

Back in June, I took a week off of work. Since I haven't been at DEI long enough to have acquired vacation time, all I got was time off without pay. But, I was thankful for that since they could have declined my request altogether. The reason I asked off in the first place was for an event called Wilderness Outcry in Poplar Bluff, MO. It was a call to all Christians regardless of denomination to come together for worship and prayer. Jodi and I both felt that we needed to go. We prayed that DEI would let me off and God came through and made it happen.

Originally, we planned to stay the whole week but our plans changed. We, like most everyone else, found out through Facebook that they were canceling the event due to a lack of funding to pay for all that they were planning. We were told that most of the things that needed rented and paid for would need to be paid for up front. But, since there wasn't a huge organization with a bankroll running things, the result was a canceled event.

However, the landowners, whose property was being used for the event also were the ones with the original vision and heart for the whole thing. So, they put together a website, Moriah Ranch, that they used to say that their land would still be open for camping, worship, prayer, etc. They promised portable toilets but couldn't really say what all would be available. But, they were hoping that people would still come. We were excited still and thought that it was actually a good thing. Some of the events that were planned that were no longer going to take place seemed a bit out of the original vision anyway.

As the days grew closer and closer to the event, people who previously had voiced that they were going or who wanted to go started to back out one by one. We, too, were tempted just to call it off, but we couldn't shake the feeling that God was calling us to go. Our hearts were already set for it and there was no backing out at that point.

It turned out to be much more than I expected. I have no idea how many people were there. It was a lot, but nowhere remotely near as many that could have been accommodated by that land. It turned out that according to those who registered and signed in 38 states and 6 countries were represented. Almost all who were there came from somewhere far away. I felt almost a little guilty that we only traveled 3 hours to get there. The worship was awesome! The quality of the musicians was pretty much just average, I'd say. But, the Spirit was moving and it was truly being felt by everyone. We had some interesting conversations and met some cool people.

The only tough part was the intense heat during the day and the swarms of hungry mosquitoes at night. After worship was over, we went back to our camp to enjoy some eating, hanging out together and what should be the most fun part of a camping trip. However, we pretty much left our food to the mosquitoes while running into our tent to seek shelter from the bloodsuckers. We spent the next hour or two attempting to sleep while killing a mosquito every few seconds. The twenty seconds or so that the door to the tent was open seemed to let in about 40 of the little vampires. We survived it, though.

On the way back home, we stopped at the Current River in Van Buren, MO. The river is fed by Big Spring so it is super clear. There are parts of it that are 20 feet deep but you can stand on a rock ledge and see the bottom with incredible detail like the water isn't even there. All of us swam for about an hour or so. It was a lot of fun and it was satisfactorily cooling enough for us to release all the heat that we had been soaking up for the duration of our camp.

One of the coolest parts to the trip came later. We had prayed that God make it possible for us to go to Wilderness Outcry both in the sense of getting off work and financially. When it came to going, no extra money came, but we had enough to stretch and make the trip. The difficult part would come the Friday after my week off for there would be no paycheck for me that day. Then, that Friday came and I got handed the usual envelope which normally contains a paycheck. I immediately thought, "Oh, yeah. I'll still get a pay stub showing that I didn't work any hours." I didn't even look in the envelope until I got in the truck after work. To my amazement, there was a check inside. I looked at the stub to see where the mistake had been made, but I found no mistake. It turns out that the company decided to pay out a bonus, in which I was not made aware. And, it was decided that it would be that Friday that they would pay it out on, the one week that I would receive no compensation. Isn't God good? We asked and we received. Simple as that.

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