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Reputation of Hope

04.15.20
by Steve Cochrane
in Americas, Camp, Stories
"Based on the identity of a good name in Christ we can offer sweet hope and peace when it is desperately needed."

     As everyone knows, if you’ve ever been to Echo Ranch Bible Camp from what we affectionately call the Lower 48, Seattle is your layover spot.  We all get to know the Seattle airport too well – it’s just a thing we have in common. I didn’t see any familiar faces at the gate on one particular flight, but right after I sat down in my chair, a mom with three young kids piled her stroller, carry-ons, and two other bags onto a couple of chairs across from me. The kids wanted food and a bathroom break and they made these needs fairly clear to all. Her oldest son, about 9 years old, was instructed to “man the bags” so that they weren’t left unattended while mom and the two youngest scrambled off.
     The little man was cool with this assignment at first, but after a few minutes, I noticed that he was leaving his seat to look down the open area of the terminal; he was looking nervous. He began chatting to himself more and more with increased unease in his face. His trips to look down the terminal area got longer and farther. I started to get nervous for the little guy and felt I should step in and do something before he ran off altogether. This is always a delicate situation, given I’m a stranger and kids shouldn’t be talking to the “likes of me." What would mom say when she got back?!
     However, I had a ticket in -- I was wearing an Echo Ranch vest. I hoped it would work, and it did! Within a minute our Colt camper was sitting next to me, talking about camp and the zip line and horses and food and the chapel songs. He kept an eye out for his mom, but his anxiety went down and he felt assured that things would be okay -- after all, he had spent 4 whole days at camp with us without his mom!
     We know how this story ends. Mom didn’t abandon her son, and I made a friend. However, this story has had me thinking about the craziness of our days, and the fears and insecurities so many have. As Christians, we can begin to fear and worry and feel abandoned, or we can use the ticket God has given us to speak peace into people’s lives. I hope for you and your church, like at Echo Ranch, so much of what we do. Echo Ranch, so much of what we do is built on a long reputation of sharing God’s love and kindness. Based on the identity of a good name in Christ we can offer sweet hope and peace when it is desperately needed.

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