It was a fairly cool morning despite it being August, so it was refreshing to spend some time at “home”.

It had been a couple months since my last 2nd Saturday out at Restoration Village and the Children’s Advocacy Center, so I was anxious to sink my hands into the soil and do some good honest work.

Spending the day at Restoration Village is always a special treat for many reasons…

First, it’s where I get to work and serve and not have to be responsible for coordinating and preparing.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those things; however, because we’ve been going out there for so long everyone knows where everything is and what needs to be done.  So, please excuse my selfishness.

Second, I always get the biggest hug and smile from David Engle (Exec Director of Restoration Village), so much so that I’m tempted to drive back out tomorrow just for that.  I know we are “safe” there and I truly enjoy the time sitting on a step somewhere listening to one of my heroes.  A man (along with his beautiful wife Beverly) who has given his life in the service of others who need a place to heal.

David’s years of experience are always a steady guide for me and for the rest of the Cobblestone team.  We started going out there before the idea of Cobblestone was even thought of, so he knows where we started and is there to make sure we stay on track.

Third, it reminds me.  It reminds me why we do what we do.  Unfortunately, when I arrived at 8:30 this morning, the parking lot at the Children’s Advocacy Center was a little too full.  On a Saturday morning, that means that there was a child in there who was needing help from evils we can not even imagine.  However, to know that they have made it to the CAC, I know love, hope and healing will triumph.

I took a few pictures of the new memorial garden where statues are being placed for each child that has been killed in Benton County from abuse.  It’s not easy to walk around that small circle of names.  It’s not easy because it doesn’t make sense.  My question to David on this morning was similar to many mornings before, “how does this happen?”.  After 40 years, he still doesn’t have answers, but that hasn’t stopped he and Beverly from doing everything they can to prevent it and restore those that are broken.

It was a sweet time to be with my family, and our friends from the very beginning.  I may never know how to explain it, but that place has something that I can not explain within my understanding on this side of eternity.

We’ll be out there again next month to support the 5K race, so we hope you can make it.  And, if you can find some time in the coming months to sink your hands into the dirt next to mine, I’ll share some stories about this place of refuge.  However, I know David will be there also, and everyone should have the chance to meet him and let him show you around.  You’ll never be the same.

Great day…can’t wait until next time.