Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Next Chapter

When I'm reading a book, I am all in (if I'm not all in by page three, then I toss it).  I fall in love with the characters, I form opinions (strong opinions) about the plot and I get totally lost and emotionally involved in the story!  I love opening the next chapter (especially after it has spent the day on my night stand).  New chapters bring new depth to the plot, new dimension to the characters, new twists and turns and new information.  I love to read novels.
Well, we are at a "next chapter" in our life and I am looking forward to it even more as I would a new chapter in the latest book I'm reading.

Twenty years ago Andy spent his first summer with KCO (Kanakuk Colorado).  Fifteen summers ago we spent our first summer out here in Durango at this location and the dream really came alive!  Six summers ago, we debuted at KIVU on the old KCO property and another part to the story began!  Five years ago we began the KIVU Gap Year and because of that life will never be the same!  It has been a wild ride that I wouldn't change for the world!

This summer will be our last summer here at this location and on August 1st we will close the gates of KIVU summer camp forever.  It is bittersweet to turn the pages the bring the end to this chapter, but it is SO EXCITING to know that there are so many more chapters to come (like a huge James Michener novel).  The gates of camp KIVU may be closing, but we are so excited for what the future of KIVU holds!

I had the opportunity to tell our staff about ten days ago and the tears streamed down my face freely and I was so caught off guard.  In all of my excitement for the next chapter, I hadn't taken time to mourn the chapter I'm finishing.  It was so great to get to be with the staff (many of whom have been campers and Gap Year students) and to tell stories and to cry with my KIVU family.  It was hard.  It was great.  It was a wonderful reminder of the fifteen years we've had out here in Bayfield and the lives that have been changed (mine included).  After we spent about an hour talking and crying and laughing and answering questions, I was again filled with hope and excitement about the future of KIVU--about the next KIVU chapter!

This year we have our largest Gap Year class to date and we are heading to new countries and new continents.  We cannot wait to see how the KIVU Gap Year continues to grow over the next several decades.  I'm so thankful that we can devote all of our time to the KIVU Gap Year, as this seems to be the future of reaching teens and young adults.

KIVU also has several other ideas burning--ideas for college kids, ideas for trips to the Middle East and the Holy Land and ideas for summer backpacking type of trips.  the book of KIVU is not anywhere close to being over even though this chapter is nearing its end.

So, stay tuned for the next chapter of the KIVU story. . . I cannot wait to turn the page!


Kimberly said...

Sounds exciting!
Looking forward to reading about the next chapter.

Stacey Jansen said...

Wow!!! Now that is some big news. Exciting and Very Sad at the same time. I wish the Braner Party of 7 all the best for a future full of God-filled adventures.

TrustTheJourney said...

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen. Quotations from Ralph Waldo Emerson