The Route to Catalina

What a joy to have Brian and Heather Dietz serve with us this summer at Campus by the Sea.

Greetings from Campus by the Sea! Two days ago, we set foot on the rocky shores of this very special place to begin our 34th summer of ministry here. Wow! It really doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we arrived to begin our first summer together here, just three weeks after exchanging wedding vows in San Diego. At the ripe old age of 21.5, and having just graduated from San Diego State, I really had no idea that the decades ahead would unfold for us with CBS at the center of our ministry and life. Though camp has gradually transformed from the very rustic (no electricity, pier, flushing toilets, or water except from a natural spring) to very comfortable, the ethos has remained the same: to provide a set-apart place for spiritual growth and renewal under the Lordship of Christ. We have learned more about ourselves and about our Lord here than anywhere else, and it’s been a joy and privilege to serve here together and to raise our children in the context of this place.

Coming here sans children this summer has been bittersweet. We not only miss them, we miss the huge contribution they make to the staff team. No one knows the program and the families better than they do, and we’ve been a bit lost without them so far. At the same time, we are so very grateful for all the years we’ve had the girls on the team and feel deeply blessed by their hearts to serve here. CBS has played a huge role in shaping their hearts for the Lord, and it’s a great gift to know that though they aren’t on this team this summer, they are on HIS team as they serve Him around the world.

Our last days in Massachusetts before departing for the west were full. :) After returning from Alexandria late Monday night, we spent all day Tuesday counseling and then removed our shingle until after Labor Day. It’s been thrilling for us to see God at work in bringing healing to broken marriages. What a privilege to be a part of that in some small way.

On Wednesday, June 10th, we celebrated Patty’s 51st birthday. A year ago, she was in a coma on her 50th birthday, in the ICU, with but a dismal hope of survival. How thankful we were to be able to celebrate her this year and to have her AT the celebration! Her healing has been painfully long in many ways, but she is relatively healthy and has a positive outlook on the future. Yeah!

Celebrating with thankfulness, Patty's 51st bithday with Pam and Christy.

That night we invaded Fenway Park with a troop of pastors (and great friends) from California. Thanks to Doug Macrae, we enjoyed a pre-game private tour of the park, a fabulous buffet dinner, and great seats for an exciting win over the Yankees. Does it get any better than that??? We had a blast, and so did our Red-Sox-loving friends from Bayside Church in Granite Bay and in South Sacramento.

Doug Macrae, Dave Harris, and Ray Johnston were part of the very happy crowd on hand at Fenway for the middle game of the Red Sox-Yankees match-up and all were elated with the win. Go Sox!

Legal Seafood provided the great food and setting for a dream session about a possible Boston THRIVE conference. Bring it on!

Back into Boston Thursday for lunch at Legal Seafoods to brainstorm several ministry ideas with a group of very talented, creative men of God who are committed to changing the world for Jesus. We dreamed aloud about bringing THRIVE to Boston. Thrive is an annual leadership conference hosted by Bayside Church of Granite Bay which we’ve been privileged to present at for all five years of its existence. We’ll keep you posted.

Packing and cleaning followed, and then off we flew to Oregon to help Paul’s sister Beth and her husband Clint celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. We spent most of Saturday doing projects for them and that was a real joy. That night we had a lovely dinner out with several of their friends and were so thankful to be with them for this milestone. It was also great being with Ron and Joyce Rottschafer (another one of Paul’s sisters), who flew in from Michigan for the occasion.

Celebrating Paul's sister Beth and her husband Clint's 25th wedding anniversary with sister Joyce and Ron Rottschafer was a blast.

Brother-in-law Ron Rottschafer and Paul work on some projects at sister Beth’s Rogue River home.

Sunday we drove to Portland to join Earl and Sandy Wilson who were celebrating their 50th anniversary. If you’re familiar with our book Restoring the Fallen, you understand why reaching this milestone was such a HUGE reflection of God’s goodness and His power to restore. All of the Wilson children were gathered there as well, and we all felt like we were part of something so much bigger than any of us. It was pure joy.

Celebrating Dr. Earl and Sandy Wilson’s 50th wedding anniversary was over-the-top joyful for all involved.

Up and out early Monday a.m., we flew to Los Angeles and caught the boat to Catalina Island to begin our summer ministry. As I said, it is such a joy to be here, even as we adjust to life at camp with no children. God has brought together a great team, thankfully, and we’re expecting Him to do a mighty work among us.

Lisa is safely home from Uganda and is adjusting to not being at camp. :( Julie is in her last month of serving at the Mbale CURE Hospital and is beginning to figure out what next year will look like for her as she begins Physical Therapy School. And Kari and Gabe are getting some projects done at their home. We are thankful for where each of our kids is.

The daily hikes up Scar were launched on Tues., June 16, with this intrepid group of staffers.

Well, it’s time to hit the hay so I’ll wrap this up. Blessings on each of you.