Like all of you, I watched with fascination and heart-felt compassion the rescue of the soccer players and their coach from the flooded cave in Thailand. As you’re well aware, the entrance to the cave collapsed shortly after the boys and their coach went inside on June 23. Heavy rains along with rising floodwaters exacerbated rescue efforts. I was heartbroken to hear of the death of one of the rescue workers, and I felt relief when the final boy had been pulled from the cave.
I think this story has reminded the whole world of how precious human life is. As the writers of
scripture observe, we have been made in God’s
image (Genesis 1:26-27), and we are fearfully and wonderfully designed (Psalm 139:14). Therefore, all people on our planet have value. I am thankful to God for the brave work of the rescue workers and that these boys and their coach will soon be reunited with their families
Our own students will take a mission and adventure trip this summer, although we hope they will not experience the same kind of adventure! We will leave the morning of August 15 for the Dbecan Presbyterian church in Tokio, ND, which was organized by the Lakota tribe. We will spend two days doing landscaping and setting up a new free clothing closet that the church uses to support the tribe. In the evenings, we will receive a welcome presentation and learn what it means to be Lakota and Presbyterian. On the 18th we will
travel to Ashton, ID and camp at the foot of Lower Mesa Falls. For the next two days we will explore Yellowstone National Park and raft the Snake River. The youth group from the Idaho Falls
Presbyterian Church will join us for hiking, rafting, and evening bonfires. We are also hoping to visit Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore on the way home. The final parents/youth planning meeting for the trip is immediately following church on August 5th.
We have also had some faces change at the church. Brian Zifko has joined our staff as the new custodian. You know him as Jill’s husband and that familiar face by the sound system on some Sunday mornings. He is replacing Cindy Beilfuss. Our beloved Cindy has been hoping to return to nursing after her son Porter graduated, and some of you may have heard by now that she has accepted a position at the new OB/GYN clinic at the hospital. We are very happy that she is able to return to her calling of caring for people.
I hope in the final month of summer you find spirit-filling adventure, rest for your soul, company to ground you. You are made in God’s image, so you are special. You are loved by God and your church family. You have value and purpose
because of who made you! Have a blessed
Grace and peace,