Cousin Camp in the Northeast
Cousin Camp in the Southwest
Family is a wonderful thing! There is nothing on earth more important to me than family, which makes it all the more mindboggling that God allowed immediate family members plus my inlaws to be pruned from my family.
In recent years while living in the northeast, I was the encourager and organizer of an annual gathering of cousins, from the maternal side of my family, living within a few hundred miles, which we termed “Cousin Camp.” This spring, other maternal cousins, geographically close to Texas, gathered at my house. Though I was only the facilitator, not the planner, of this gathering, it qualifies as our first southwest Cousin Camp!
The instigators of this group are a missionary couple to England who asked to stay with me a couple of weeks while on furlough. A sibling plus nieces and their families from CA, AZ, and IN wanted to visit this couple along with more of their clan who already live in the DFW area including their mother/my aunt, who spent her life on the mission field in Germany, and the extended families of two other local siblings. I hosted eight family members in my three-bedroom bungalow. We were tight, but cozy, and it worked!
The bubbling conversation flowed from what was occurring in their lives and in those of other relatives not here, to our deep faith in how God is working in our lives. The missionary couple told a story at lunch one day about a car passing on a bridge and speeding toward a direct head-on collision with them. Miraculously, my cousin averted the crash by whipping into a narrow clearing between the bridge abutment and a hedgerow, then stopping short of a ravine. They were able to drive away. Another miracle is that the driver who caused the near-wreck came back to see if they were OK! They later had coffee together, formed a relationship, and were able to help this young man in his spiritual life. At this point in my life, I cling to Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” There is no doubt in my mind that God allowed this near mishap to happen for his purposes.
The wonders of God’s blessings are magnificent. Each day, it becomes clearer and clearer the path my immediate family member has taken was ordained by God. Even though sin has chopped away an entire branch of my family, it is all for a purpose which will ultimately (and has already) brought grace and joy to me plus glory to God.