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Experiencing the Bog

June 28th, 2013

A bog is a pond produced by a melted glacier in which land from the outer edge slowly grows overtop. Just a short walk from the main camp is Lake Ann’s very own bog, where 6th graders can experience this unique ecosystem by climbing into the floating peat moss or walking along the elevated walkway. Because the land is made of peat moss, or decaying plant matter, some people find it way too disgusting to go near, much less climb in and stick their head in! But this week our HeartSong team experienced the bog with the camp speaker, Ken Rudolph. Ken has been speaking at Lake Ann for 26 years and has never visited the bog, so it was special for us to experience it all together for the first time.

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Because Ken had never been to the bog, as we walked I explained to him the spiritual metaphors the counselors at Lake Ann use to connect the bog experience with the campers’ lives. Lying in the bog and sticking your head in peat moss is a lot of fun. Even more fun is throwing pieces of bog at your fellow teammates! (which is something we didn’t do in front of the campers). :) But as we walked back to the main camp, the peat moss dried on our skin, and we felt more and more dirty as we walked toward the lake to rinse off. In the same way, sin can be a lot of fun while you’re in the midst of it, but later on it can get caked onto your life and you feel miserable. The lake represents Jesus’ grace, which washes away all of our sin. This metaphor is explained at chapel the night after the 6th graders experience the bog, and most weeks some of the campers get saved through this message.

But our bog experience this week carried on a whole new spiritual meaning. As we climbed out of the bog and took pictures, Ken’s wife Jinner received an e-mail from her son, who is living in Germany as a missionary. Team members that he is serving with had just experienced a family death and another accident. Jinner asked if we could pray, so we all stood there on the floating walkway covered in peat moss praying for the team in Germany. Of the many times I had been to the bog, I never had an opportunity to pray with a group of Christians while covered in bog! This was a good reminder to me to pray without ceasing, and that God can move in big ways even among seemingly trivial camp activities. It has been a blessing for us to get to know Ken and Jinner Rudolph and serve alongside them at Lake Ann, and we are excited to see the many other ways God will use our ministry in chapel to affect campers’ lives this summer!

-Deanna

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