Ten Sleep: Week One

She said… 

Ten Sleep, Wyoming, gets its name from a Plains Indian Tribe who used to travel here, ten days (or nights) from their home. The Circle J (keep Jesus at the center of your life) Camp is lodged in a beautiful canyon with high rock walls and what is right now a roaring river. In a couple of weeks the spring melt will have passed and the roar of the river will subside, the threat of flooding will diminish.

When we take a Nomad’s assignment we agree to work for three weeks, Monday thru Thursday, 8am to 4pm. Friday thru Sunday is our own to do with as we like. Free camping is provided on site with full hookups.

We are serving here at Circle J with three other couples, and a fifth to arrive next week. There is a group of kids here for church camp on Wednesday thru Saturday of our first week, so our priority tasks were to help get the camp ready for their arrival. We have had some down time while they are having camp, so our job on Thursday was to hang out and help where needed.

The first part of the week we built four 7’ long flower boxes for the kids to paint and plant vegetables in, cleaned and painted the girls shower room floor, built a new dumpster enclosure, did repairs on roofs and walls of buildings at the camp, did some electrical work, deep cleaned all of the bunkhouses and guest quarters, and cleaned the chapel, a beautiful historic old church that is living its third incarnation here at the camp. The list seemed formidable when we started, but we made short work of it, and it seemed to make an enormous difference to the staff, all volunteer, a husband and wife team and a couple of college-age kids, to have the help.

Church Camp: There are thirty-five kids here from all over north central Wyoming. A lot of adults have showed up to help as well so it seems that they have everything well in hand. Lessons for me. . .it’s always so easy for me to look at a situation and assume that I have a better way to do things. It’s wonderful here to be able to just stand back and watch God use His people to do His work.

The members of the team take turns doing devotions each morning. My day was Wednesday, and I chose 1 Thessalonians 5:18, where Paul tells us that we need to be thankful for ALL the things in our lives. It’s easy to be thankful for the beautiful surroundings, and the opportunity to serve Circle J, for all the good things that happen to us. But when things get a little hard or don’t go as we want them to, we need to remember that God uses our discomfort and our perceived difficulties to build our characters. A reminder, yet again, that we can’t see the big picture, that we need to trust and put everything in His hands.

It has been hot and sweaty here, so it is imperative that we get laundry done this weekend. We decided to do it on Sunday in Worland after church. For our tourist day this weekend we drove up the Tensleep Canyon and over the Powder River Pass into Buffalo, Wyoming. Buffalo is a very cool little town with great museums and good restaurants. The ladies at the Jim Gatchell Museum asked us what our favorite place was so far and we said “Buffalo!”. It all just keeps getting better and better!

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