Hey all!! Sorry it has been a couple days. We’ve been busy! Friday was our last full day of camp and it was packed!!! Unfortunately we had a bit of a shower in the morning. Erin said that she thought there were moths stuck in our windows all night. When we came outside, there were literally hundreds of wings all over the ground. Apparently we were hit by a swarm of flying ants. It was a little gross once we heard what they were. When we were walking to breakfast, there were girls that collected the ants off the ground. We have learned that these are actually a delicacy and they will cook them and eat them. Yum! After breakfast, we headed to worship. This morning I shared about the abundant purposes that God has for each of us. We talked about how we are each made unique from Psalms 139, God has purposes for good from Jeremiah 29:11 and then we looked at the life of Paul. Paul’s perspective in Romans 8:28 is great. God will work together all things for good, this coming from a man that persecuted the church. God turned what was bad and for destruction into the foundation of the church. I love that throughout the Bible, we see very human people that lead God’s people, murderers, adulterers, etc. We finished by looking at Ephesians 3:20-21, God can and will do abundantly more than you could hope or imagine.
It was still raining pretty good when I sent the teams to small groups and this morning we are supposed to be doing our camp olympics out on the field. I am praying that God would stop the rain while I am trying to come up with games we can play indoors. God is GOOD!!! The rains lifted about 15 minutes before small groups were due to end. I quickly gathered my supplies and set up for our field games. We did a 4 x100 relay race with 2 boys and 2 girls from each team. A futbol relay with each team member dribbling around cones. A frisbee relay with each team in a line alternating handing the frisbee over their head to the person behind or between their legs, then the last person had to run about 20 feet to an end line and then back to the beginning of the line. The ping pong relay, each team has a bowl and 3 small ping pong balls. They have to run to the balls, sit and use their feet to get the balls in the bowl ten go and tag the next in line. The last relayI think was my favorite. We did the laundry relay. Each team had a pair of big shorts and a big t-shirt that they had to run and put on then spin 5 times and then remove them and run and tag the next in line. The kids had a great time and the rain stayed away. Thank you Lord!!! Just before lunch we had a cheer off. Each team got the opportunity to do their team cheer a couple of times to each extra points. We had a great laugh at blue’s expense. They are the sailors, but somehow added a pirate theme and started making very strange noises. They were supposed to be the ‘aarrgh’ pirates make, but it came out a little funny.
Off to lunch and then we are supposed to do the consolation and championship of our 2 tournaments. Cathy, our netball expert, had to run into town this morning and hasn’t returned, so we started with volleyball. Orange and green played first for the championship. It was a really close match, but in the end orange won by 1 point. Then yellow and blue played for the consolation and blue pulled out the win. Cathy still hasn’t returned. Apparently it is raining pretty good in town and she was getting her hair and nails done for a wedding she is in tomorrow, so she can’t come in the rain. We decided to have teams practice for their dances tonight and we’ll do CPR early in hopes that she will get back.
CPR focuses on different types of pressures today, peer pressure, social pressure, media pressure and the internet. It is a good wrap up to all we have learned this week. The theme for the day was ‘if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything’. I pray that we have built a strong foundation of faith and information for these students to stand on this week.
Cathy still didn’t make it back in time to finish the netball tournament, so we will place them based on the round robin play. Teams have a few minutes to get their costumes together for the show tonight before dinner. This is our last dinner of camp…sad!
The show tonight is going to be quite a treat. I have invited my friend Emma and the staff from the school that are here to come. The crew from HELP came, so we had them assist us as our judges. The teams each took their turn, blue and green each had a small drama before their dance, one of the good samaritan and the other did the conversion of Paul. Everyone did an amazing job!! I love to see the creativity and enjoyment. Erin and Stacey jumped in with their teams and did a wonderful job!! Stacey is able to move her hips better than most americans i’ve brought 🙂 Impressive!!! In the end the green team wins the dance competition!! Everyone enjoys a picture slideshow of the week while we prepare to do the final scores for the week’s competition. The slideshow is so much fun!! The kids love seeing themselves and we got some great shots. The kids are laughing and yelling. Love it!!! We did the reveal of the competition and orange came in first with blue coming in second. We don’t do specific 3, 4, 5th anymore cuz it hurts too bad. The kids here are very competitive. Everyone gets a glow in the dark bracelet and a special bracelet made by my niece Chloe, she and her friends made bracelets for each team on her rainbow loom. It was pretty amazing!! And Emma brought sodas for everyone to enjoy. Remember those flying ants…the kitchen staff fried them up for the kids to enjoy with the party tonight. Thankfully they were all eaten before I made it out there. We had a huge bonfire waiting for the kids. They are all out there singing and dancing, native and primitive are the 2 words that describe what this looks like. Halima is Alan’s little sister. She is here for the first time and she shared with us that she has never had fun in her life. Tonight she is leading the party at the fire with the hugest smile on her face. It’s amazing to see what happens in a week!!! Praise God!!
Saturday I head to the kitchen around 8 to prep breakfast and I learn that the kids were up until 2 enjoying. Many of the kids are still tucked in their beds. Erin goes through and wakes up the girls, while a few of us work on breakfast. It takes a while but finally everyone comes and sits for breakfast. It is so sad that this is our last day. You can see it in the kids’ faces. They already look sad. I’m hugging as many of them as I can.
We had a lot of time this morning for the kids to pack and clean up before we have our final time of worship. This morning Brian is sharing the last piece of our story of God, the promise of eternity. The kids are a bit tired, but he does a wonderful job. He gets the kids involved answering questions. As he finishes up, I go up to serve communion. This is a great time to teach the about communion and tie together the different things we have learned through the week. Erin, Stacey, Alan and I serve. It is a joy to serve these young ones. I was able to share with them about how much joy it brings me to sit and listen to them worship, because it gives me a glimpse of what heaven will be like.
After finishing our ‘church’ service, some of the staff do a bit of a magic show. I don’t really understand what is going on cuz I’m doing some other stuff. They got Erin to come and pick a color and when I walked up, all I heard from her was ‘how do they do it?’ trying to get the trick to their trick. They wouldn’t tell her. We have about an hour before lunch. We gather all the kids for a huge camp photo. Then we send the kids to clean up all the trash around camp while I work on packing up all of our supplies. Kids are going around having friends and counselors sign their t-shirts, their bandanas and their picture frames. It is really sweet!! Several girls came up and had me read something they wrote on their frames. Comments about how great the week is and how thankful they are for me. Precious!!!
Lunch time and we are all getting sad. The first bus pulls up just after we sat down to eat. Bummer!! I invited them to come in and eat with us. I was able to have a good conversation with the headmaster of the school. This is the school that has the problem reported to me after CPR. The headmaster is thankful for my honestly and frankness with her and I told her that I would be following up with her and the kids to make sure it is taken care of.
The first crew of kids load up the bus and we say our goodbyes. The staff joke around with the kids pretending to drive the bus. Alan and Silas actually push the bus and run with them for about a quarter mile. Another van comes and another group of kids pile in. And Alan and Silas give them a push start. The last group of kids live in this village, so their headmaster comes and collects them on foot. I have hugged probably 55 out of the 65 kids as they have left. I love camp, but it is always accompanied with tough goodbyes.
Erin, Stacey and I are pretty much packed up. We have sorted things for home and things that stay here. The staff is all packed up too, so now we are just hanging out until our driver comes. It isn’t long before he does. It takes 2 loads, but we get all the staff and all our supplies to where they need to go.
Thank you Lord for an amazing week!! Praise you for the work of your Holy Spirit alive and active in the lives of each camper. God I pray that you will be with each camper as they settle back into their lives and start back to school next week. Lord continue your work in them that they may live into fuller potential and greater purposes!!
Thanks to you for holding us up in prayer as we work with these kids. Your prayers have been felt and are very much appreciated!!! You are an active part of our team!!