Blessing: That I was asked to resign from a ministry/place which the Lord had used me to put together, but where we knew we would never be comfortable.
Blessing: I was hired by Deerfoot Lodge, and a few years later, Sally Jo was also. It was obvious from the beginning that we were privileged to be placed in “His Place”. For 23 years we worked hard – in our dream job!
Blessing: The Deerfoot Lodge Board of Directors. They took this incredibly smashed and almost broken man and guided, encouraged, and loved me back to being an emotionally healthy person, able to do my job.
Blessing: Chief Nay (Dave Naysmith), Wazican (Dean Dover) and Jeff Littauer who guided and encouraged me through that first summer. When I became Director, I had never seen Deerfoot Lodge in operation.
Blessing: Those of you who have supported DL through physical work, expertise, camping, maintenance and office equipment, financial contributions, and prayer. It would be fascinating to know how many seriously pray for the ministry of Deerfoot Lodge. Some of you saved DL from extinction by bringing campers.
Blessing: Camp-of-the-Woods invited DL to have a brief slide presentation during the morning worship service one morning each week. They put DL into their summer brochure and a display in the hallway of Purdy Lodge.
Blessing: Getting to personally know thousands of you who have supported Deerfoot Lodge. You are an incredible bunch who know the joy of the Lord, the joy of giving. Your notes and phone calls have been steady – often offering wise counsel. No joke… as I write this, I have suddenly begun to cry. God is awesome… and so are Deerfooters.
Blessing: The Staff that came for many summers: Sally Jo, Nay, MaMa Nay, Wazi, Lee, Lynn, Brent, Abi, Valerie, Linda, Pete, Shawn, Garret, Kelly, Ken and Stephanie – and those hired/rehired each summer: kitchen, maintenance, counseling, waterfront, and office. After our first few summers, I do not think there was a finer summer camp staff in the United States than Deerfoot Lodge employed. These godly people came to serve, to learn, to work hard!!
Blessing: Campers who came to DL to have fun, learn new skills, make wonderful friends and to grow as godly young men! The order of importance of these varied from camper to camper. The Island filled first because Woodsmen became Pioneers, became Indians. Many sessions the Island only had one or two who were new to DL. With good leadership, the Islanders took care of themselves…and little campers as needed. Guides became the core of the DL staff, year after year.
There is no need to say I will never know how many young lives the Lord has used me to encourage – I have a pretty good idea through the hugs, warm greetings (this week in a Wendy’s), notes, e-mails, and phone calls.
What I would like to say to you, and others who have enabled Deerfoot to be Deerfoot, is You will never know how many young lives the Lord has used you to encourage. You have been the enabling people. I was like the quarterback… getting much more credit than I deserved!!
God’s blessing has been upon us, through us! I think Deerfooters bring Joy to God, I really do! Let us continue to live “In Partnership With God” and in partnership with Deerfoot Lodge – His place!