When the transmission went out on our van a week and a half ago we thought our planned camping trip was over. Instead, we were blessed beyond measure (the only regret is that we missed seeing a special family at Hume Lake where we were going to go originally). We had three people offer us vehicles (two from our church, and one from our homeschool group who we had just met that day) and a family in our church loan us a luggage roof rack for the vehicle that we did borrow. Not sure where to go as camping was out for space reasons, we kept hearing about Shaver Lake (we wanted to do some fishing and some homeschool outdoor science time). On a whim, Saturday morning, I did a search for Shaver Lake and found the link for The Church of Shaver Lake. I thought that maybe some brothers and sisters in Christ could give us some advice about the area and where we might stay for not a lot. I called the number and one thing led to another and we were heading up there on Monday morning to meet some new "family". We were so absolutely blessed by the hospitality of the fellowship, from their amazing pastor Jim and his wife Debbie, to the family we stayed next to who live at the church, to the rest of the fellowship that we met. The trip was a beautiful balance of being outdoors, having fun, and that fellowship in the love and Spirit of Christ that is so beautiful. We were completely at home in the family of Christ there and we felt the sweet presence of the Spirit there. It was so wonderful and blessed to be a part of their family for a short time, and we know that we have made friends for a lifetime.
We got to fish (even had Warner in their fellowship take us out for a day and teach us fly fishing), go out on Jim's boat, see giant Sequoias, swim, BBQ, go to some high mountain lakes, relax, laugh, love, and just be blessed. I think that it must so make our Lord happy when His children love one another, open their arms and homes to one another, and embrace one another as a true brother and sister, sharing their hearts as well as their "talents." We can't thank all the people who seeded in to our time with their prayers, loaners, and hospitality. We can't thank God enough for His love and goodness. It was truly wonderful and amazing to feel so at home and loved and welcome among a group of people you had only met hours before. There is, indeed, a sweet love and bond and fragrance among those who love the Lord.
Pictures: The chapel used by The Church of Shaver Lake, Mary Ann fly fishing with Warner teaching, our family at Dinkey Creek, the "girls" and their donuts (and bagel) at Dinkey Creek (really roughin' it!). If you are on my Facebook page I posted other pictures there as well.