Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Trip of Firsts, the Boundry Waters

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to the Boundry Waters in northern Minnesota. It took me all of about 10 seconds in my mind to say yes, but I told him I'd think about it. Curtis had never done anything like this! Never fished, rough camped, portaged a canoe. Never been in a canoe by himself! I found out later. But the area that we were to go into is some of the best musky and walleye fishing that there is!

Well after talking with some members of my family, there were alot of bad feelings about this trip if I planned to go as usual, with all my gear and fishing for the BIG one. After praying on this , I decided not to bring any fishing equipment, that I would trust in my teaching Curtis to fish and for the Lord to make sure that we had enough to sustain us and I would focus on time with the Lord.

We left on a Saturday morning on our first leg to Superior, WI. We were welcomed into the home of some friends of Curtis'. I'll tell you this that I've seldom ever been welcomed into a home like this before. The feeling of the Lord was all around us. They showed us several waterfalls. Big Manito, the highest in the state, is about a 5 min. ride from their house! It was a great way to begin our adventure!

On Sunday we checked in at the Ranger Station to get our entry permits and found out about the forest fires raging in the area. Even thirty or forty miles away, you could smell the fire. Our entry point, Missing Link Lake, required a paddle across a lake and a portage, just to make it to our entry point. Besides all of our gear I asked Curtis to bring along his guitar to serenade the loons.

While paddling across Missing Link Lake way off in the distance we could here thunder, so we hoped that one of the camping spots on the lake was open. Low and behold the one across from our morning portage (which was to be our longest, about a mile and a third) was empty. After camp was set up it was time to get Curtis learning to cast. In between getting dinner ready and climbing a birch tree to retrieve a lure and chasing away something that I thought to be a pesky bear, Curtis started to hit the lake with greater frequency.

Well all things must come to an end though, Curtis got snagged on the rocks, lost the lure, and asked me what to do. So I sent him out in the lake to find his bait.

After a few minutes of stumbling around in the water, banging his ankles on the rock, Curtis called to me,
" Richard I think I know what is making the noise around the camp!"

I walked over to the ledge and there was Curtis sitting on a submerged rock. About 35 to 40 feet away stood a bull moose, just standing and munching on lilypads! He would just stand there, give Curtis a look and go back to his munchies. Both of them seem to understand each other.

Well, Curtis got out of the water, the big guy hardly even gave him a glance! Me I've been chased, treed, swam after by them, most times they have an attitude against just about anything out of the ordinary. I realized later that the moose was probably just getting out of the way of the fire.

During all this time the sky has a red tint to everything, the sun actually looked red! The smell of smoke was like being in a chimney! We still didn't have a fish either!

If one would think about it, the fire that is, is doing what it has to do. Burning off the dead and useless in order to create a base for the new. Like the burning fire of the Lord ! Once we accept accept the cleansing fire into us then we can start to grow in the Lord. This is going to be some trip!! til the next time, and may God Bless

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Volunteer’s Perspective Part 1, The Beginnings of FCMI

Sherry and Roger asked my husband Lanty and I to share some of the experiences that we’ve had with FCMI. It’s hard to know where to start. I decided I’ll start this off as a 2 to 3 part series, so I can really capture the details of what I remember.

Our connection with FCMI goes all the way back to before FCMI existed. That’s because we have been a part of Sherry’s life and had the opportunity to learn about FCMI before it officially existed, and before it even had a name. My husband has known Sherry for over 10 years, and I met her in 2000 when we were part of Sunrise Church which at the time was a small church on State Street. Sherry and a group of us were part of a mission trip to India in 2001 which was the first time any of us went to India. She was there for 3 months, while we joined for a 2-week period during that time. It was after the mission trip that I can remember Lanty and I hanging out with Sherry at a coffee shop and she began describing her dreams for an organization that would later became known as Full Circle Ministries International. The neatest part about FCMI is how the organization ministers to those in need right in the heart of Madison, while at the same time reaching out halfway across the globe to those who are poor and in need in the heart of India.

It is the Madison outreach that I am most familiar with, having been able to see that take shape first hand. When we were part of Sunrise Church, we had a lot of opportunities to hang out on State Street and minister to the people there, especially people in Peace Park. During the times I hung out there, it was always inspiring to see the deep friendships that Sherry was developing with many of the people there. Those relationships continued to grow and finally Sherry realized she needed a place, a sort of respite where people could come and where she could minister more fully. From what I remember, it started with Sherry having a small office area in one of the rooms of Sunrise Church, but then Sunrise left State Street, so Sherry moved to a neat little office space on the lower level of a building off University. This is my recollection of when FCMI really started growing. Stayed tuned for part 2, Sherry as Sherri Maamma.