Today we officially cleared out of the house that has been our home for the past two years. In fact, it was exactly two years ago today we drove off in our fully loaded minivan, and began a 2,500 mile trek from Salem, Oregon to Lake Ann, MI (which included a very circuitous route). What a wild journey we’ve been on during this time! The next phase of our journey is shaping up to be another great adventure, as God has given us the next few steps to take. (Thursday’s blog will roll out the details of the next part of our future, be sure to check back at 10:01 EST, 7:01 PST, thursday morning). Today, however, I wanted to reflect on four of the great things that have happened while we’ve been here, reminders of how clearly the Lord worked in our lives to bring us here.
* During our time at LAC, God has given us so many great relationships! Sometimes Traci and I have had to remind ourselves we’ve only been here two years, yet with relationships that are so deep, it seems like it has been many more. Bruce, Lyndsey, Tom, Tammi, Brandon, Rachel, Craig, Kori, Mandi, Dave, Brenda, Terry, Jenn, Taylor, Bryan, Ginger, Terase, Justin, Jaqi, Ramon, Jo, Dan, Brent, Sue, Larry, Deann, Steve and Jan just to name a few! Honestly, this list of dear friends could be the entire blog, and I’m sure I’d still leave a few names out! THANK YOU to all of you for embracing the Castaneda’s into your lives -- we have been so enriched because of it!
* We’ve had a unique view of God’s work from a ministry position that gave us a broader audience with which to connect. We’ve seen the lives of students changed as they’ve embraced the truth of God’s Word. Several couples have thanked us for the work Traci and I have been privileged to do through our marriage seminars. Truly one of our greatest joys has been ministering to those in ministry, a task we joyfully look forward to in the next phase of Overboard Ministries!
* I’ve personally enjoyed broadening my work experience by delving into the world of marketing and promotion. January 1st, two weeks before I was let go, it was exciting to see summer pre-registration numbers at a level they had not been at for over five years! Learning how to market to church leaders and individuals, how to work with a talented intern to build a brand new web site and how to harness the power of social media will, I’m confident, be tools that we will used in the near future. The new work experiences have been great.
* Our children have had the joy of being around some incredibly godly young people. Many of the year-around interns have become close “friends” with my kids, and the summer staff has been awesome about making AJ, BJ and CJ feel loved and blessed to be at LAC. One of the great losses for us in this experience, is the loss of the personal connection that unfolds while living on site during the summer camping season, yet it has been something our family will look back on with great fondness.
There are many more blessings we could count, but I could fill dozens of blog posts trying to name them all. Instead, it’s just good to remember that what has happened over the past two months doesn’t define or negate what God has done the past two years.
It’s hard to believe that our time at Lake Ann Camp is over. We’ve learned so much during the past two years of experiences, we’ve grown so much during these past two months of disappointment, and we’re eager to see what God will do thru this next phase of our lives and ministry. As we move forward, we want to remember the faithfulness of God in the past, and know that He will continue to work in us and thru us, to do His work.
The God who called us Overboard on March 15th, 2013, is the same God calling us Overboard on March 15th, 2015. We are, as always, in the care of His good hands!
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!