Jambo! Hello! We are having a great time in Wairaka at camp. Monday morning the kids arrived in shifts from the 3 schools that we are hosting. And of course as it always goes, we have more kids arrive than were expected, but God was so faithful! He knew exactly how many kids would be coming and provided just enough beds. Praise Him!! As the kids arrived, they went through ‘registration’ where they were put on a team and received their supplies for camp, toiletries, books, pens, water bottles and a t-shirt for tie dye. In between rushes of new campers, we would play out in the field. Many played futbol (soccer) others played netball and others volleyball. These are very active young people!! They are all running and enjoying themselves very much and camp hasn’t quite begun!!
Once all had arrived, we had a brief orientation and then had the teams meet for the first time. This is when I let the staff know which teams they would be leading and I got a few sore looks as I split up former teammates. We will have 5 teams this camp, red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The teams have gone out to play games that will help them get to know each other’s names and a little about them. I try my hardest to split up friends and those from the same groups, so they will meet new people and have a richer experience. After some fun in their teams, we collected everyone for lunch!! Yum!!
I am always amazed at the shear volume of food these kids consume! I am always being teased about the little food I eat. TOday’s joke was a play on my love for Mountain Dew. Gingo, one of the counselors called his mountain of food his mountain dew. And since I love mountain dew so much will I climb this mountain of food.
This camp we are changing things up a bit. Usually we do a futbol tournament, but these get a bit intense sometimes. This camp, we will be having a volleyball and a netball tournament. Hopefully we will have less injuries and more will be able to participate. Since volleyball is a newer sport to Uganda, this afternoon after lunch Erin ran a clinic to teach them the basics. It was fun watching them learn and really get it. The tournament will begin tomorrow.
After the clinic, we did tie dye. I love this! Every kid gets to create something unique and beautiful that is also very practical. It will be their team jersey for the week.
Raph, Steven and Pauline are back with us teaching CPR, Creating Positive Relationships, our holistic health education piece. After camp in January I met with all of my staff groups and talked about how we could improve upon what we’re doing. The main thing we discussed with the CPR folks was timing. It is intended to be done in hour long sessions and every camp we seemed to be adding 15 minutes. January each session was almost 2 hours, so I asked them to work on their timing and prioritizing the teachings. I arrived to the CPR lesson late because eI was finishing up with the tie dye and as I entered they asked me to come to the front. I was so confused when they told me they were already finished. Well done team!! They finished the first lesson in 1 hour!!! I love that my team is so teachable!! Because they finished early, we dismissed the kids for some free time to do some wash and play.
Dinner time!!! Can we eat anymore?!?! These kids can!! We had matooke, rice and fish tonight. Stacey said the fish was good once she figured out how to eat it 🙂 The matooke is boiled plantains, a staple here. A bit of an acquired taste. She said it was ok, but not her favorite. I am spending my dinners with the Ugandan staff who will be speaking that each evening. Tonight I was able to hang out with Gingo. We talked about the message and if he had any questions about what he will be teaching. Then we just got to hang out. This just kind of came up as I asked the staff to teach the gospel message, but I think I may make it a regular part of my leadership, to have meals with individual staff. We were able to just hang out and talk about life. It can be a great time of discipleship!! Thank you Jesus for helping me be flexible, so that we can all grow!!
Worship this evening was lead by Cathy and then Gingo did an awesome job teaching us all about creation and then the fall of man. I have encouraged all of the staff to try and incorporate parts of their own stories into whatever they are teaching. Gingo shared with ways that he has struggled with sin and times that he has experienced the closeness of God like when God walked with Adam in the garden of Eden. Awesome!!
Tonight’s night activities is a new one. I was able to find glow in the dark horseshoes, so we met up outside on the field and the teams were each give 12 rings that they had to get around their pole. It was definitely challenging, but the kids got into it and figured it out. The first round yellow were victorious and the second round Blue won!! As they finished each camper got to take one of the rings as a bracelet as a prize. I know I’m tired and ready for a good nights sleep. Tomorrow will be full and tons of fun!!!
Thank you for your prayers for the kids. I have been impressed with the kids from our newest partner. They have been very willing to jump in and talk and get involved. They haven’t been timid at all. Everyone seems to be getting along well too. Please pray for Shivon. She has some health issue that causes her to get very weak and light-headed. Pray for safety for her as we are very active and playful at camp. Pray for our staff as they prepare to share parts of their testimony and the Word. Please also pray for Stacey as she sees and learns more and more. I think it has been overwhelming for her to hear the tough stories of these kids’ lives. Pray that she would be able to hear and trust that God is in control of all of their stories. It is difficult to discern and have wisdom in the midst of such devastation and poverty.