Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Note from the Director

Last summer, I got a call from Bob Javens: “Hi Matt! Bob Javens here. I think I could use your guys to help me help a friend, a family in need.”

“No problem, Mr. Bob. When and where?”

He explained that this family of 14 had been displaced from Texas due to the poor economy and job loss in addition to needing to vacate the house where they were staying as the home owners needed it back. We sent the boys to move their furniture to a smaller house in Chippewa and the rest to a storage facility. It’s providential how God leads certain people in your life like me and Mr. Bob. It’s also providential that God keeps leading young men with a multitude of personalities and a great degree of setbacks and difficulties to Tiger Pause. Yet, in stormy weather or clear skies, they all have “motors” to keep them going and, if I learned anything while playing football, you can win when you got the horses. So, we helped that day and moved on to the next project.

Fast forward to March of this year. I received a call from the head of that household thanking me, once again, for our help last summer and to let me know that he found a job in San Francisco, CA and would like to donate some of his furniture to the Furniture Bank. I’m not sure why, but something inside made me say, “Well, if you like our work, how about letting us move you to San Francisco?”

“You do that?” he asked.

“Like Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from the Bob Newhart show, we do anything for a buck.”

So after some calculating, we struck a deal and the adventure and grand experiment was afoot.
Now, I could use the next two years of the newsletter to describe all the side trips of our journey, and I would love to tell you about them face-to-face over coffee, but here’s the recap.

On the evening of June 16, four adults and five young men set sail with two dogs, a rental car, our cargo van, and a full-size U-Haul truck. Out of respect, I relinquished my captain’s hat to Mr. Karczewski. Tim Bonomo and Dave Slebodnik were the “first mates” and the boys and I looked and felt like the crew in Ben-Hur—crammed and rowing.

Two quick highlights: After driving for two days straight, unloading a truck in the middle of the night and with only two hours of sleep, we headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge where we witnessed the sunrise over the bay as we crossed. The boys acted like giddy old folk on a bus tour and I didn't know if Mr. K was crying because of sheer joy or if the Red Bull was wearing off. Then, we went to Muir Beach where we saw a shark eating a school of fish and, for some of the boys, it was the first time they had ever seen an ocean.
The trip was filled with devotions and teachable moments of God’s grace, majesty, and creation that the leaders took time to drive home in the minds of the young men which accomplished something totally unimaginable but God led. Saturday morning, June 22, roughly 120 hours after our initial departure, they arrived home safe and forever changed.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Camp Update

This summer has been extremely hot and rainy. No one knows that better than the staff and campers of Tiger Pause Summer Camp. However, through it all, we continue to go on field trips, play in the park, and praise the Lord.

As we are in the fourth week of summer camp, it's hard to believe all the activities we've been able to enjoy so far. Taking 75 kids plus staff members to the Pittsburgh Zoo, a Pirates' game, and Fun Fore All is no easy task, but we have also been able to travel to Brady's Run, Brush Creek, and Moraine State Parks, as well as swim every Friday at the Midland Pool.

Thursdays are a special day during the week where Mrs. Tina Davis leads the entire camp in praise and worship in order to prepare for the end-of-summer concert.

While all of these adventures are fun for the kids and staff, the camp also focuses on giving back to the community on our service days. Each grade level is responsible for a different service activity, such as picking up trash, weeding the community garden, or cleaning various Tiger Pause properties.

Our summer is flying by, and it is hard to believe that camp is almost over. We pray for the kids and each other as we hope to impact Beaver Falls and the children's lives for Christ. Thank you to those who support and pray for Tiger Pause Youth Ministry as we close out Summer Camp!

Shane Kaufman
Summer Camp Staff