PHOTO: Dr. Hamilton and fellow YTI professor Dr. Bill Fowler hard at work assembling shelves for YTI’s temporary library.
Raymond Duncan once said, “A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp.” While I did attend more than my share of church camps in my youth, I would like to think my parents were not “packing up their troubles.” Then again, maybe they were.
In many respects, this summer has felt much like summer camp on steroids. In early May, my family and I flew to Bozeman, Montana so my adult children could acquaint themselves with the area that was soon to be their parents’ home. With one 18-month exception, my family and I have always lived in Texas. As crazy as it sounds, my wife and I were going to pack up most of our belongings, leave our adult children, and relocate to Bozeman, Montana so I could be the Provost and Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at a “startup” seminary called the Yellowstone Theological Institute.
To say that the summer has been a whirlwind of craziness would be a drastic understatement. We’ve packed, loaded, moved, unloaded, unpacked, and tried to acclimate to a new environment and a new culture. In many respects, I have been at church camp all summer. The only difference is that there is no plan to “go home,” as this is now our home.
The only way we could have managed to pull off such a feat, is to remember that God called us to this place for such a time as this (Esther 4:14, NIV). God has assembled a diverse group of educated and informed people to help fulfill YTI’s intent, which is to educate and equip people for Christian service, encourage Christians to engage interfaith, intercultural, and inter-academic dialogue, and to strengthen relationships between people and God, people in community, and humankind to creation.
This may well be the best summer camp, ever!