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Exodus 17:1-7 Takes Me Home

The Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?."

Water from the rock in Exodus 17:1-7 takes me home to Caroline Furnace. This passage was part of the Bible study curriculum during my first summer on staff in 2015. Here, the Israelites are wandering through the wilderness, thirsting for water, and losing faith in Moses - a servant of the Lord and the deliverer of their people. There were days at camp on which I identified with Moses - leading groups of campers through the wilderness and listening to them oftentimes laugh and sing, yet sometimes quarrel and complain. And there were, and certainly continue to be, days on which I identify with the Israelites - thirsting for God's presence as I wander seemingly aimlessly, unsure if I'll ever reach my next "destination." Yet in the midst of the Israelites' doubt, frustration and desperation, God makes a promise to Moses to be standing there in front of him on the rock at Horeb, where Moses is to strike the stone with his staff and let the water flow. This spring at Horeb serves at the physical manifestation of God's presence among the parched and wandering Israelites. 

This story takes me home to camp, where both creation and community serve as the physical manifestation of God's presence among the campers, counselors and volunteers alike. Be it the tranquil views of the lake and mountain range, or the bold and faithful campers and staff, summers at Caroline Furnace offer a transformative time and place to rest in the assurance that the Lord is in fact among us. 

-Jayme Kokkonen, Summer Staff 2015-17

Jayme is beginning a year of service with YAGM in August. YAGM is Young Adults in Global Mission, a program of the ELCA. Jayme will be headed to Madagascar for the year. We're excited for this next step in Jayme's journey!

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