For my part, I was able to take Alex and two of his friends from the neighborhood (Prince and Blueboy) to the school "picnic" held at Kennywood Amusement park south of Pittsburgh.
That turned into a quite contemplative day for me, while the kids rode every ride--several times. Day's end was a bit tougher, as they closed the park down early in the face of severe thunderstorm warnings, and I had to negotiate my way home in fierce weather with three active kids in the car. The bonus was the free tickets they gave everyone on the way out to come back for an evening session of the park.
But--about summertime: The Lord has called me to assist Ambridge Youth Ignite (AYI) in producing their annual Sports Camp and Arts Camp, a free event for ages 6-13 that begins June 21 and ends July 30. Sports Camp in the morning lasts 3 hours, and will focus on one sport per week: Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Lacrosse; with the final week bringing in one-day rounds of football, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and a "water day." After a free lunch, two hours of Arts Camp will explore various craft and performance arts while the kids produce a movie of the whole season to be presented to the parents at the end.
On Thursday evenings, AYI invites the kids to "Pizza in the Park," where they will hear testimony from a Christian youth before digging into pizza and watermelon.
All this activity has required a change of plans on my part. I had thought that I would be leaving Ambridge for the West Coast near the end of July, but now I will need to delay my departure until the end of August. Alex will be returning to his mother, and I will (finally) be going on a well-deserved vacation before spending a few months with my mother in California.
In the meantime, I'll keep picking my strawberries.....
Please pray for me as I discern God's will for the future of my ministry in the west.