A strange encounter while brushing my teeth!
Merry Friday by Parris Bailey

“The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Ps.16:6

Frank and I have a lot of good memories back at our Bible School in the 70’s. When our school begin to face financial difficulties, the director of the school found a way to raise money and to “equip and train” the students. It appears he was able to ‘kill two birds with one stone” by forming a tree reforestation team that would have to live in tents way up in the mountains for months at a time. On paper the idea looked pretty good. I guess you could say God has a funny way to make sure you happen to be just where He wants you. Frank and I became the likely candidates that would be on these reforestation teams. Yes, we lived in tents for months at a time with our first son, Jeremy either in Washington or Oregon. The perfect temperature to plant trees was always between 38-45 degrees with rain. Once a week, I would be able to go down in the town, take a shower, wash our clothes and get the team’s groceries for the week. The menu was rocket science- oatmeal for breakfast, 3 sandwiches for lunch (the guys called a pj, “painted bread”) and “tuna glom” for dinner. If it wasn’t tuna it would be ground meat or chicken with a lot and I mean a lot of pasta.
Although Frank had the harder job of planting these little “seedlings” into the worst environment possible, I would many times find myself freezing back at camp and fighting depression. Yes, we were cold. I do remember the absolute beauty we were surrounded in and I would spend moments by the river with my little son, contemplating our future. Deep within I know that God was building in us character and courage.
One particular night I went with my kerosene lamp down to the bubbling brook to brush my teeth. While brushing I began to see fish gather all around me. Within minutes I called out to the team to come see and before you know it, we had caught, with our hands, dozens of fresh salmon. We had the best grilled salmon ever! All of us went to sleep with full bellies only to find in the morning that it was spawning season and it was against the law to catch them. I still laugh at our ignorance!
A lot of people would leave the school after their stint up in the mountains. One trip I had breakfast duty which meant waking up early to turn on the oatmeal water. It was always a little eerie to walk in the pitch black of night with your lantern to the food tent. This particular morning after having a bad rain all night, as I made my way to the food tent I heard a unusual roaring from the river. The nearer I got I realized that instead of the usual 100 ft drop the water was level to our camp. By daybreak we had broken camp and left immediately taking different routes because of roads that were washed out.
Each step of our lives, God has been there. The lines have fallen out beautifully. I can only pray that as you look back at the bad, that you always can see the silver lining.


  1. That scripture is one of my favorites……….love the way you wove all this together as you walked down memory lane. God is so faithful~

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