Mid-Summer Update

Joanna After School 13Jan

He asked my wife, “Don’t you need to fill out the paperwork so you can get paid?”

Joanna said he had a puzzled look on his face when she answered, “No. I’m not getting paid. I’m just volunteering.”

For the past two weeks, my talented and faithful wife has been leading arts and crafts during the activity period of summer school. Monday – Thursday, three classes a day. And that doesn’t include all the outside time planning, purchasing, and preparing materials.

The first week, our three children went with her to help, but this past week they have been more involved with the science camp that I am helping to lead.

We definitely have been busy the past few weeks, with our fun summer programs.

What We’ve Done

Last month, I outlined our plans for the summer. We have steadily checked off the list: Art Camp, Football Camp, Science Camp, and a half-day Summer Camp at Allendale Baptist Church. And the aforementioned Summer School, which I didn’t even list.

Oh, and did I mention that Joanna also helped leading crafts at VBS for a week?

And in the midst of this, Joanna also took a quick trip to Greenville with our son Elijah and 4 of his friends from Allendale, to participate in Grace Church’s Elementary Camp at Look-Up Lodge. For all 5 of these children, it was their first time they took part in a sleep-away camp, and they all had a blast. Elijah had so much fun that he “didn’t have time to shower.”

When we outlined those summer plans, we asked for help — financial donations, hosts for teenagers at football camp, and volunteers to come to Allendale. And our spiritual community came through, big time. We had every need met. It reminded us that we are not in this alone, and that we are part of a bigger story of what the Lord is doing through the body of Christ.

What We’ve Missed

We have been busy, and we have been having fun. But the last three weeks has been very different for us compared to the past two summers. How? Because we mostly have been serving and leading apart from one another.

When I was at football camp in Greenville, Joanna and the kids were in Allendale, with the art camp. When I was doing the science camps, Joanna was at summer school, summer camp, and VBS. And then she was gone for a weekend in Greenville.

Now, I understand that most families are like this in the summer. Dad may still be working, and Mom may be, too. And their ministry may always be in separate areas. We’ve been spoiled, I guess. The five of us being together at after school programs and summer camps has definitely been The Best Part of My Job.

That’s why I’m looking forward to July. We will still be doing some separate things, but we’ll have a lot more time serving together, especially with summer camp and soccer camp.

Remember how Donna Summer sang, “She works hard for the money / So you better treat her right”? Well, Joanna deserves extra special treatment for working hard for no money. I think she at least deserves a date night, don’t you?

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4 responses to “Mid-Summer Update”

  1. Gwendolyn Walker says :

    Thats right Mr.Joey you better treat her right. Love yall

  2. Karen says :

    Many thanks to Joanna for all she does in Allendale. I know she doesn’t do it for the thanks or recognition, and that, in my opinion, makes her work even more special. Thank you for all that both of you do to serve in this community, and thanks to those who support you in your efforts to be here. Your family is really making a difference! (Also, please tell Hannah her tornado painting on display at the Salkahatchie Art Center is awesome!)

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