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To The Ends Of The Earth

Rim Rock Bible Camp SignWhen we pulled up to the entrance of Rim Rock Bible Camp I got out and took some pictures. When I got back in the van I told Vicky, “I feel pretty good about this.” When she asked why, I told her, “We have finally done our part to fulfill the great commission. We have taken the gospel to the ends of the Earth.” (Acts 1:8) The paved road had turned to gravel. The gravel had turned to dirt. The dirt had turned into a glorified two-track. The road dead ends on the rim of the rock. You can NOT go any further. This is the end of the Earth.

rimrockend-of-the-earthYou would have to go a long way to find a view any better than what you see when you get here. Wow! God created some totally magnificent scenery for us to enjoy. Looking over the vast openness also sheds some light as to how small we humans really are. Notice in the picture that you can see the curve of the earth.

greatkids

The kids were absolutely GREAT. They listened and responded and God did a wonderful work in their lives this week. I can’t remember a camp where I have felt so comfortable presenting the truth of God’s Word.

Any time God’s Word is presented it brings about results. These are not exactly the most positive things that the devil likes to see happening. This is especially true when he sees them happening in the lives of young people. Satan knows that they still have long lives ahead of them and have great potential to do great things for the Kingdom of God. So this puts us right in the heat of a spiritual battle. It is amazing how at times we can see that battle played out in the physical world.

By the time chapel was over Thursday morning things must have really been heating up in that battle. There was only one more chapel service left before the kids would return to their homes the next morning.

I like to get my completed programs out of the chapel and back into the van as the week progresses. That keeps things to a minimum that curious kids can get into. Which has never happened by the way. It also lessons the amount of work that needs done on the last day before we can leave. So after lunch, Vicky and I both grabbed a load and were heading to the van to deposit them. I was in front of Vicky by just a few feet. Being warned about the possibility of seeing snakes, I was watching where I was going as I turned the corner outside the back of the chapel. I had not taken more than three or four steps when I heard the rattleing sound of a rattle snake right behind me. Before I could turn around, all I can remember is Vicky yelling something about a snake. She seems to remember screaming but I couldn’t say for sure or not. I looked and a 3 1/2 foot prairie rattler was crawling along the side of the chapel towards me. It stopped for a second and then continued a couple more feet. The snake had been right at the corner of the building and I had to have gone within two feet of it as I went past. With Vicky right behind me, when she got there it gave a short soft rattle just before it’s hard longer one. I don’t remember hearing the short one. That is when she saw it. I sat my load down and and told Vicky to keep an eye on it as I went to either find help or something to kill it with.

There were a group of campers with a couple of counslers setting just past the door of the chapel. I asked if they knew who could kill a snake. They all agreed that it would be Matt, the camp director. He lives on the property and has had lots of experence with rattle snakes. I ran into the chapel which is also the dining room and just yelled for Matt. I didn’t know if he was still in there or not but figured that if I yelled loud enough if he was there he would be sure to hear me. Sure enough, he was there and I motioned for him to come quickly. He jumped up and ran my way. I told him there was a rattle snake right outside and around the corner. He opened the door of a utility closet in hopes of finding a shovel but the only thing that was handy was a squeegie with a long handle. He said, “I have killed a lot of snakes with a lot of things but never with a squeegie. I guess I will be adding this to my list.”

We rounded the corner and it didn’t take Matt long to land a crushing blow to the snakes head. The excitement was quickly over. I remember him saying something about it being a big male and that one bite from him would kill a person. Matt has lost 1200 pound cattle to these snakes. It was about that time that he noticed that Vicky had sandals on. It was shortly after that we learned the rattlers will usually give a short soft rattle first as a warning. Then when they are ready to strike they will give the harder, longer one indicating that they are ready to strike. Matt also told me later that one that size could have struck Vicky from the distance between them without any problem.

Hold the snakecoiled

Somewhere along the line, someone must have brought Matt a shovel. I must have blinked because before I knew it, Matt was coming back from somewhere with the shovel and the head of the snake was gone. Someone asked him what he did with the head and he said he buried it. He told us that they can still bite after they are dead. The body of the snake was still squirming at that time. Matt stretched it out for everyone to look at before he held it up. As you can see, it is almost the size of the kid in the background and if nothing else, the length of the shovel handle should give you an idea as to how big it was.

Matt then broke the rattles off and gave them to me saying that would be a good souvenir of camp. He then asked one of the counselors to take it to show some of the boy campers. They had been in hopes of seeing a rattle snake while they were at camp. Actually one of the counselors had seen a smaller one the day before but it got away. Then later Thursday night right after the evening chapel they found and killed another one. It was smaller than the one Vicky found but still a nice size. They say rattlers quite often travel in pairs and they were in hopes that this was the one traveling with the one killed earlier.

It has always been the case that if I or any of our kids couldn’t find something, Vicky could. I can look in the same place 3 or 4 times and not find it and then she will walk into the room and pick it up. How does she do it? Well, Thursday she announced that she is giving up title of “The Nana Who Finds Everything”. After finding that snake and the scare it gave her, she doesn’t want to be finding things any more. I can’t say that I blame her.

I told her that now we are “real missionaries” because we now have our snake story.

Now just for fun, let me share a couple of thoughts that went through my mind in the minutes after all of this was over. I was reminded of the passage in Genesis 3:15 where God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”. This day there was a woman, Vicky, that I’m sure Satan would have loved to have had that snake strike her heel but God protected her and did not allow any harm to come to her. As for the snake, it got it’s head crushed. Satan was defeated once again. I can’t help but think that that passage passed through Satan’s mind Thursday as well. It must hurt to be reminded in such a graphic way of his fate and destiny. Sure glad I’m on the winning side of that deal aren’t you?

snakeskin1

As for the snake, Matt doesn’t really like to see anything go to waste even something like a rattlesnake. He had one of the counselors skin it and a bunch of the kids helped tack the skin to a board that was about four feet long. They put the board with the skin over the door to the chapel where it would be out of the way and could quickly dry in the hot WY sun. Then they put the body in the crock pot and cooked it. It really did smell pretty good in a few hours. We could have eaten it but Matt said it would be kind of tough and stringy. It would be like clams with string. He said it would be fine if you were starving but if not, stick with camp food. So see, there is something worse than camp food. Actually, the food at Rim Rock was excellent. It was not the usual macaroni and cheese followed by grilled cheese sandwiches followed by cheese and macaroni with a meal of spaghetti somewhere in between. These kids ate good and so did we.

“The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life.” Psalm 121:7

One thought added to “To The Ends Of The Earth”

  1. Pat Burroughs Says:

    Finally got around to reading this! So glad you weren’t hurt! Our son Jim was bitten by a very small copperhead on July 4, 2008, and it was a terrible experience. It took about a year for his foot and toes to get back to normal. Must have been nerve damage. I know now why they say a small snake might inflict more damage than a large one. The juveniles don’t yet know how to control the amount of venom they inject, so they put everything they’ve got into a bite.

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