Day 81 – Saturday (late afternoon)

We made it to the main group. Surprise!!!  Honey we’re home!

I was expecting some kind of warm and welcoming party-like reception. Nope. Nada. Zip. It was like any other day in camp. People working, cooking, a couple of women mending some clothes. Matt’s team half asleep under an old dead tree around which they had strung up a couple of ponchos. And school in session. Well, to be honest it was more like story time. Lisa was reading a story to all of the kids under a shade tarp. I saw the SecFor but hey stayed out of sight as we approached. A few folks waved at us but that is about it other than Jim. Jim comes sauntering up like he was meeting us at a shopping mall.

He held out his hand to Brian saying “Welcome Brian, you remember me? I am Jim. I was there when we stumbled into your camp.” Brian nodded his head affirmative, Janet held all 6 kids close in, they were all looking around at everything like they were seeing New York Times Square for the very first time. I think they must have been in shock. Then I understood what Jim had done. If this was overwhelming to the Jones’ I can’t even imagine what would have happened if everyone would have coming rushing up and greeting them. They had to be eased into this. Jim, despite all his praying, is a good man who is fairly intelligent.

It took about an hour to get the Jones’ kids to unhook from their mom. With the help and encouragement of the other kids in camp, plus a meal, the Jones’ finally relaxed a little and joined the group to eat. After we ate Jim and I met with Brian and explained our plan and invited him to accept it. And we gave him an alternative. While we were doing that Jared comes strutting back into camp carrying his second antelope in one day. The cooks met him and relieved him of his burden while handing him a plate of antelope stew. Brian observed all of this and said yes to the first plan without hesitation.

It wasn’t long before the Jones kids were playing like kids again with our kids. All of the kids love Bear…and it is obvious that he loves being the center of their attention as well as playing. He also basks in his role of protector. Well, all of the kids were playing except the 12yo girl and the 8yo girl. Something tells me the older one is pregnant…and that she knows it. I bet Morgan takes up the cause pretty quick. I have no idea why the 8yo isn’t playing.

I simply can’t wrap my head around what they must have been going through these last couple of months. Worse yet, how do you ever recover from something like this? And why would this have to happen to kids? And how depraved can people get? And how soon does it hit us?

And, on top of everything else, I think it is going to be a long night. I asked Jim if he could put his internal security people on watch tonight. They could rotate any way they wish, but, please keep an eye on the Jones family. He agreed, he had been thinking the same thing. He said we should keep them in our prayers. There he goes with the praying thing again…but his time I had to fully agree with him. I am thinking we needed all the help we can get. Something is wrong.



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