A Man Walked into a Bar


Elsie and I sat in the big room off a bar with four men and two women around a table; some with liquor glasses. The chairman came out of the bar with his glass. He was a prominent business man bent on saving a decaying kids’ camp forested by magnificent pines from a developer.  He convened the meeting.

The camp was founded to honor the first Eagle Scout of the area to die in World War Two. It served the community for years then lagged. The American Sunday School missionary stepped in, giving the camp a Christian focus. When the missionary died and no successor stepped up, the camp languished and finally closed, its buildings decaying. The vacant property caught the eye of a developer and began the process of taking ownership.

Leaning of this, the businessman, with broad connections and a heart for the community, turned his lawyer loose, who dug out the legal papers. The businessman recruited a board and called an organizational meeting.

Knowing nothing about camping, he contacted Christian Camping International. Knowing Elsie and I lived in the area, they put the businessman in touch with us. We knew none of the people around the table but learned they represented different Catholic and Protestant churches. A stimulating discussion ranged from finance to volunteers to potential users.

We talked for an hour or more then the business man summarized and whisky glass in hand said: We can put together a fine, safe facility and fill the summer schedule, but ultimately we rely on the Holy Spirit to change the hearts of kids. The group adjourned: some to the bar, others outside for a smoke. The business man gave us a hundred bucks.

We drove home aglow, grateful to the Holy Spirit for giving us a small role in renewing another life-changing outdoor ministry, whisky and all.

Old Grandpa Lloyd