Sorry about missing IPWG # 222 and #224

Chief Ben Littauer, who transfers the IPWG to the blog, and son Dirk let me know that they had not received IPWG # 222 and # 224 in the IPWG series.

My guess is that I did not properly code them.

Chief Ron has IPWG set up in such a way that only I can send out the IPWG, and I do so with a code he has given me. This keeps you from receiving e-mails that are not IPWG.

My bad!

And let me say…it really is good to hear back from you when you have found the IPWG to be particularly helpful. Example: After this weeks “Deerfoot Friendships” I received an e-mail from a Deerfooter whose father has died in the last month..

His not, and others, help keep me working at this. Most IPWG take 6 – 8 hours to write – and get approved by Sally Jo. I probably have a list now of about 10 IPWG I would like to write – they just take time.

When Sally Jo and I leave the house/town for a week, I generally do not tell you. Our home has been robbed once – when the robbers knew we were at DL. It was a tough loss.

Two weeks we were in Nicaragua for a week.

Here is the letter we sent to those who had made contributions to cover the expenses of the trip. – this is not an IPWG so it is 2 pages!


November 2014

Dear Family and Friends

My brother, David, suggested that I type my letters – if I wanted people to be able to read them. I had just written him a letter he considered essentially unreadable! I type this only after writing three thank you notes containing the following…they were personal, but that is about all that could be said about them.

Once again Sally Jo led the team. She interviewed the applicants, communicated continually with Wayne and Megan who direct Centro Escolar, and kept our church congregation up to speed. She also led four session orientation programs, arranged the transportation, kept up with the forms and other paper work. She is the glue before, during and after the mission experience. While in Nicaragua, Sally Jo worked primarily with the Ruth on developing the music program.

Ruth, a retired Jr. High music teacher took with her 30 pr rhythm sticks, 2 sets of melody bells and 30 glockenspiels. The bells and glockenspiels had each tone in a different color – and the music she brought also had each note in a corresponding color. Each day she worked with four grade levels and two school staff members. On the last afternoon the students demonstrated to us what they had learned. Ruth played the keyboard and the children played the bells and glockenspiels… and we were all in tears. A huge step from four days before when the children knew nothing about music notes, rhythms, and the sound of playing together. Sally Jo and other team members worked closely with Ruth.

Frank, who uses microscopes daily, brought to these children, who knew nothing about magnification, a quality hand held magnifying glass, a microscope to use when looking at leaves, snails, bugs, and a microscope like students use today in college. He brought prepared slides, and what was necessary for the teachers to be able to make their own slides. The two microscopes had built in cameras so what was seen in the microscope was seen on a computer screen. Frank was exploding with joy at the response of the grade school students when they saw the wonders of God’s creation – in detail. One student brought in a tiny snail – like really small. While under the microscope, out came the head of the tiny animal.

The team brought the requested wood working tools – including a table saw that was disassembled to fit into two suitcases, a 48 lb thickness planer (all wood comes rough cut), belt sander, palm sander, a 2 ½ hp router and a 1 hp edge router…and clamps, wood vise, etc. Alan and Rick showed the maintenance man, Gerald, how to make quality shelf units – now possible with the new tools. I showed Gerald how to refinish a table top, using two grades of sanding belts, and then the palm sander. Gerald learns quickly and he sanded the remaining 4 himself – did really good work!

At the last minute we were asked to bring 18 matching, rebuilt, Dell school computers for the teachers to use in their class rooms to prepare lesson plans and record grades Already on the our mission team was Nicole who has a computer consulting business. Incredibly capable! When we left, every computer was ready for intended purpose.

Mary, with other members of the team, painted a 12 X 50 mural of Jesus with the children on the wall of an area where a church provides a hot lunch to about 125 neighborhood children every day. Several members of the church became involved with the project by moving the scaffolding while Sal, the professional painter on our team, remained on the top. When the mural was finished, church members helped Doug and other team members put paint on children’s hands so they could put their small hand prints on the wall.

Sal also painted in the medical clinic, which many of you made possible last year, and on which many of the team members had worked last year. When the clinic room had been painted, team members moved equipment and supplies into the room, and the clinic is ready to be used.

Terri and Nicole, with an excellent single lens reflex camera and video camera, took wonderful pictures of the school happenings. These pictures will be used by the school and in our churches.

Terri also worked with the music program, and played soccer and other ball games with the students. Terri is a marathon runner.

Carl again became a shade tree mechanic – literally. As cars and trucks were brought to him, he would make the requested repairs. Doug worked with Carl replacing two tail gates, which sounds easy…but the gates that arrived with the trucks were for a different year.

I had scanned children’s books so they could be projected onto a smart board – a first, and easy to do. I would read a page to a class, and then would point to the words as I read the page again with the students. If they had trouble with the pronunciation of a word, it was easy to repeat the word until the students were close to good pronunciation. The American English teacher ran the projector and we had a wonderful time together. I also told them a story which I made up – using three items they wanted in the story. Like a frog, and elephant and a little boy. Slowly I would talk, using simple words. Fun!!

I spent time with Wayne and Megan who together have developed this incredible school. Much of the time was listening. Life is difficult for those in leadership positions in a foreign country. I spoke through an interpreter for a church service, helped get the mural started, worked in the wood shop, and, like many of the other members of the team, helped wash dishes with the kitchen staff.

During our introduction to the slum around the school, Wayne showed us a ¾ acre of vacant property that abuts the wall of the school property. The school would like to develop a vocational school on the land. During our final meal Sally Jo told Wayne and Megan that out of the funds provided for our trip, the team could provide the down payment on the ¾ acre property. Wayne and Megan were blown away…and with reason.

So…know you were integral to all of the above. We all worked very hard and accomplished much. Thanks to you…and praise be to God!

Chuck and Sally Jo

Special to Me #226

On the wall of my office is the framed certificate I was given after my Lone Eagle Ceremony. Similar certificates are probably on 100 other walls.

Also framed is the bottom of a letter my father wrote to me one summer while I was at DL. “God bless you, Love, Dad. P.S. Can you imagine anyone being given an opportunity for a greater impact on lives than you are having right now!”

On my desk, showing its use, I have the Bible my girl friend gave me when I was in college: “To Chuck – Love in Him, Sally Jo. Ephesians 3:14 – 20.”

Which reads: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” — Ephesians 3:14-20

Also on my desk is the Bible I carried with me at Deerfoot Lodge when I prepared and gave each After Breakfast Bible Study, and to every Breaking of Bread service.

In the front of the notebook where I keep my copies of “In Partnership With God”, I have a page of 60 statements prepared as a gift for me by Tucker Lownes, DL Camper and Staff member: “What I have Had the Privilege to Observe and Learn from Chief Chuck, a man of 60 years”

And yes, there are pictures, and cards chosen for me by my family over many years, most of which contain notes.

We celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What can you give a person special to you that will cost you little money, but much thoughtfulness?

The new tool or toy or shirt or…..will wear out, will be forgotten.

Who would be greatly encouraged by receiving from you, a confirmation of your appreciation, of your love?

Deerfoot Friendships #225

Deerfoot Friendships… often grow out of Camper, Guide, and Staff relationships, but not always.

Charlie Karner, Paul Davidson, and I met through DL work weekends, and our friendship continues to build. The three of us are within 6 months of being 75, and have shared 50+ work weekends. We are good at working hard, laughing easily, eating well, sharing family and other stories, and singing together the great hymns of the faith during the Breaking of Bread services.

In 1988, Charlie took a week off from his kitchen building business to head up the building of the Hutch Cabin. I had the privilege of working with him. We began the construction of the Hutch Cabin in the rain, and ended our work putting on the roof while it was snowing.

Charlie, Paul, and I worked a week in October, 1994 and in 1995 on the building of the Lane Cabin under the tutelage of B. Allen Mackey whom DL hired from British Columbia, Canada. Being October, we worked from sun up to sun down. We ate wonderful food prepared by my wife, Sally Jo, and Judy Reitz, mother of DL Lone Eagles Scott and Jason. One of our unique experiences was when Allen Mackey’s daughter and her husband came for visit. They are both professional bassoon players and they gave the 15 of us a concert in the Lookout. Picture the log cabin lit with gas lights. The $28,000 instruments were so close we could touch them. Unforgettable!!!

I mentioned in my last IPWG that Charlie had a stroke last June from which he has significantly recovered. Against Charlie’s protest, his wife, Barb, thought it best if she kept him home for the Columbus Day work weekend. This past Wednesday afternoon Paul drove the two hours from his home to ours. We talked through the dinner Sally Jo had prepared, about our children, our current projects, the theological implications of the woman’s decision to legally take her own life, the fact that we would not like out lives to be extended through heroic medical means, and our personal Bible study. We learned of a very special time in Paul’s life when he was the teacher of a one room school near where his wife had grown up on a large ranch. Paul talked a bit about his PhD in Biology, and his work in the NY State Prison system. Sometime during the evening Paul said “It is so good to be with people where I can talk about anything”.

On Thursday we began our three hour drive to Tewksbury, Ma. With classical music playing softly, we were soon into significant conversation – and the music became a distraction. When we arrived at the Karner’s, Charlie was working on his current project in his incredible wood shop. After extensive conversation about tools, Charlie showed us the 24’ 1957 Chris Craft he had perfectly restored. I mean “perfectly restored”. When he took it to a major boat show in 2005, he walked away the “Best of Show”, and all 6 of the other awards. The boat now shows 9 summers of continual use, and of Karner care.

The Karner home exhibits Charlie’s work. He goes to his shop after breakfast, breaks for lunch and a nap…then back to the shop. Try to imagine how much work a skilled craftsman can produce through 30 hour work weeks. We also saw the awesome kitchen/dining room table their furniture building son, Brent, made for them. Good food – more discussion.

At 75, we are all aware that our lives will be over soon, and that is just fine with us. We have enjoyed the Lord’s guidance and provision through these many years. We are confident that God has removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. We are all thankful for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ. None of us fear death – and we know this to be true as we have all been near death.

Charlie, Paul and I have lived In Partnership With God,
and we will die In Partnership With God.