Dear Faith Partners,
Friday and Saturday at Mountain T.O.P. were very emotional. The physical strain from the work week combined with all the fellowship and faith we had shared led to many tear-filled eyes as we prepared to leave the mountain. Many groups spent Friday morning on half-day yardwork projects or finishing their two-day projects. These were quickly knocked out and many groups went out to celebrate the end of a good week and exchange presents with their YRGs in the county. There were many YRGs that ended up in the Mountain Goat Market, a local sandwich/gift shop. The food was good and spirits were high. This lightheartedness continued when we returned to camp and played through free time and scarfed down dinner.
After Dinner was the closing campfire which was dominated by St. Barnabas. We sang Amazing Grace, chanted Slocomb's mighty prayer, and acted out one of my favorite boy scout skits involving an Italian and a blind horse. Then the Fish Hook worship began. Rumored to be tear-jerking, this final worship was both powerful and saddening. It truly marked that camp was coming to a close. Many of the St. Barnabas youth spoke at this worship and moved everyone.
We woke up extra early the next morning to pack our vans and have breakfast. Many hugs and weepy goodbyes were exchanged before singing the Mountain T.O.P. song one last time. I expected the ride home to be a quiet and restful one, however we stopped for second breakfast at Bojangles Chicken N' Biscuits. This was only to prepare us for lunch at the famed El Cazador Mexican restaurant. All the youth who had been to the mountain in years prior to this trip were pumped to return to the restaurant along I-75 heading back to Cincinnati. These were the most devastated when we arrived to find it had burn down. A replacement Mexican joint was quickly found and the rest of the ride home was quiet.
With our mission complete I am joyful to announce that the St. Barnabas youth were all leaders on the mountain and our adults received many compliments on them. This life-changing week would not have been possible without all of your support. Thank you so much for this opportunity and God Bless.