The other week, I assisted my wife and some other adults in advising a group of sr. high aged kids from around the country, in a week of service and volunteering. This “Work Camp” was held in Concord and Charlotte, NC at a therapeutic horse farm called Wings of Eagle Ranch, a shoe ministry called Samaritan’s Feet, and a food pantry. Although we all worked very hard during the week, we grew close together in the process. Our theme for the week was “Deeply Rooted” and throughout the week we worshiped together, and shared what keeps us rooted to Jesus, what makes us who we are, and how we grow holy fruit.
Are our roots established in Him, or on our comfort? The director of the WIngs of Eagle Ranch was started by Christine Cronin who moved to NC later in life from California, and has never riden a horse before in her life. She had a son with special needs, and found that horse riding was improving her son’s life physically, mentally, and emotionally. After looking away from the idea of starting the farm for too long, Christine gave in, and dedicated herself to God in this now powerful ministry. She now has a fully running 88 acre farm. Christine believes that God created everyone for a reason even if you have special needs. Christine is a perfect example of her roots feeding her, and it is evident of the beautiful fruit she is providing.
One of the scriptures we incorporated was Romans 11:16-18.16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
I will have to be honest. This is my first “Work Camp”, and I never went as a camper because for one, I was involved with resident style camps in High School, but secondly, I wasn’t excited about going somewhere to work for a week. I mean. . . It is called a “work camp” after all. Why wasn’t my impulse to donate my time and money to volunteer? Im not going to say that I wasn’t deeply rooted in Jesus to do this work, or that my house is not built on the solid rock, but I will say that my metaphorical branches were too overgrown, and they were covering up the roots and rock where I stand. Last week, I pruned those branches away hoping that my fruit can be seen. In the end, I wish I could do more at the ranch to get it ready for its ministry which is so very important! I didn’t want to break when it was time to, or stop when it was time to call it quits. If you have a moment, please check out these ministries, and if you are interested in the Work Camps, please look into them!