Today's Throwback Thursday takes me back to the summer of 2002. In July of that year the student ministry of the Wesley Memorial UMC headed out on their first trip to North Myrtle Beach, SC. We had a great group of kids, some outstanding adult leadership (Hal & Joanne Gastler) and lots of genuine excitement. To make things even better, 3 of my favorite FUMC-Kissimmee youth- Adam Hill, Josh Fry and Sarah Crudele- joined us. I was excited to have them along to help show my new youth group "The Carl Way." The Betsy B was no long available, so I found another Ocean Drive beach house to rent. It was brand new and had many more amenities than the Betsy B, but it was not oceanfront. We had a great trip with lots of great moments. But it was very different because of how nice the house was. Sound odd? Let me try to explain...
North Myrtle Beach is a very special place to me. My family would camp there for a couple of weeks each summer when I was a kid. I travelled there with friends as a high school and college student. My youth group took trips there. When I started as a youth director at New Garden Friends Meeting in 1979, we started taking trips to NMB. For the next 20+ years I often spent at least one week every summer there with youth groups and my family. For all of those years the main attraction was always the beach. Wide, sandy and beautiful with just the right amount of waves, we would be out on the beach or in the Atlantic for hours every day. And we loved it.
|Sean Bell & Nina Mock enjoy the pool table.|
A few weeks later at our regular Sunday evening youth fellowship I was presented with a gift. The students who presented it said it was a "thank you" for taking the group on that trip. It was a t-shirt that read, Abreadcrumb & Fish- He Still Works Miracles. The scripture from Matthew 15:36-38 was also included. Those youth will never know how much that meant to me. No one had had ever given me a gift simply for planning a trip. The fact that they had spent their own money to buy it while we were in NMB made it even better. After being in Tampa for 9 months, I finally felt like I was a part of the family. Acceptance is a wonderful thing. We were on our way to becoming a real family.
Because of Jesus,