Wow! The first week of FOCUS was quite eventful. Each day contained something extraordinary. In fact, I could write a specific thing for every day. But being in the time crunch that I am, this would be impossible. Thus I will relate only one of the major projects we have done.

{pit} The beginning of the seemingly endless projectDirectly after breakfast on Wednesday morning, most of the students and leaders went back to work on a project we had started the afternoon before. It was one tough job. Our mission was to completely clear out an area approximately 40×40 feet which was totally over run by waist-high weeds and young trees. The area was once a sewage drying field having not been used for years. But now that it was needed, it had to be cleared. Everything had to come out, even the roots and top layer of sod.

{pit} The sod came up easiest by rolling it up{pit} Andrew stopping for a quick water breakDespite 90 degree temperatures and direct sunlight, we plowed into the job wholeheartedly. Both Green and Blue teams worked with diligence, endurance, and thoroughness to accomplish the seemingly impossible task. Sunburn, blisters, scrapes, dirty conditions, and achy muscles did not deter our steady work.

{pit} Beginning work on the third of four rowsBut as in all difficult projects, there were many “soft choices” made. The old nature was hard at work as well. To put all our heart into it was a constant struggle. This was an important test for the students to see if they would succumb to their selfishness or if they would demonstrate true endurance. It was also a test for me as a leader because it was my responsibility to set the example and keep my men working.

{pit} The fruit of endurance!

But as a result of rejecting our own selfish desires, we were able to accomplish our task early that afternoon. An estimated two day job took slightly more than one! I am reminded that the same endurance we are to demonstrate physicaly, we must apply spiritually. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”


  1. Robert June 17, 2007 at 8:32 pm #

    What an accomplishment after just two days! Send our hearty congratulations to your Focus team, James! Good endurance. Was this at South Campus?

  2. Donald June 18, 2007 at 8:15 am #

    Well, James, with progress being made on the orchard and the shed I can say I know some of what you felt like but it hasn’t reached 90 for a few days! Send my congratulations to the team too. “Let us not be weary in well-doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not”!

  3. Esther June 18, 2007 at 5:53 pm #

    Wow, guys! Keep it up. “In all labor there is profit” – Prov. 14:23a

  4. Joshua June 20, 2007 at 3:49 am #

    Just last night at dinner we were discussing what a task that must of been James. I doubt there were many gas operated tools present either. May you continue to be a steadfast support to your young men. I don’t think I will ever forget the challenge to make hard choices, especially when they are for secret disciplines!

  5. James June 21, 2007 at 4:19 am #

    Yes, I forgot to say we have been working at the South Campus just outside of Indianapolis. It is really nice to be working out in the country.

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