This is my good friend Thomas. At camp he patrols at night and protects us from any unwanted intruders. Camp is well guarded with gates and other guard post, but Thomas is our in camp protector. Since I don’t sleep sometimes, we see each other quite often. In fact, there has been plenty of times when Thomas was the last person I saw before bed besides Bronwyn and the first person I saw in the morning.
Thomas carries a bow and arrow he crafted himself and before I knew his name, I referred to him as Legolas the Elvin archer from Lord of the Rings. Thomas is one of the people that makes me wish I knew Swahili instead of just the few phrases I have memorized. He doesn’t speak much English although I think he understands me pretty well. I’m sure he has a fascinating story.
I already had a real soft spot for Thomas Legolas, but he went to an entire new level a few weeks ago. My last blog post I mentioned Lions Pride and at some point, I hope to do an entire post about it. It’s a challenge for our senior camp that requires them to complete some difficult tasks through the night and it’s a real honor to those who finish. One of our young ladies got out on one of the challenges and was very upset over it, she went behind one of our storage containers to read her bible and pray, however she didn’t tell anyone she was doing this so when she was unaccounted for a short time later it was a little stressful. She was an amazing young lady, so we knew she wasn’t up to anything bad we just weren’t sure exactly where she was. Without going into too much detail I spent most of the night searching almost everywhere at camp except, apparently, the one place she was. That’s where Thomas Legolas saved the day, well night. He was searching just as hard as me and found her where she had been for hours, behind the container reading her Bible and praying. I hugged him, thanked him and sent her to bed.
I am so thankful for so many of the amazing people that make my life and calling better and easier but in that moment there was none more important than Thomas was in that moment. It’s sometimes hard to know how to honor someone but in this instance I know I have the perfect way. On Friday nights we have what we call “Summit Fire” where we give counselors and staff a camp name, this Friday we plan to honor Thomas with a camp name. He will forever in BlueSky be referred to as “Shepherd” because he was finder of out lost sheep. Just like the man from Matthew 18:12 who left his 99 sheep to find the one Thomas spent his night searching for our lost sheep. I will be forever thankful to him.