Sleep patterns are back to normal and brain function has finally returned. It’s good to be back. 🙂
Last week was spent at church camp: 6 adult sponsors, 2 teenagers, 40 girls (2nd-6th graders), 1 cabin, and 3 showers. We were the largest church group attending and our cabin was filled to capacity – a body in every bunk, overflowing suitcases scattered on the floor, blankets hung between bunks like forts, towels and swimsuits strewn throughout. Chatter was incessant, giggles were abundant, and thankfully, tears were few. Silence graced us only as we slept, not counting the rustling of the plastic mattress covers with every move or the occasional snores that escaped the lips of exhausted campers.
Days packed with scheduled activities, it was easy to get lost in the logistics of simply getting each child where they needed to be appropriately clothed, name tag on, and with the necessary supplies. Constantly counting heads and practicing names, we led them from one thing to the next while answering the endless questions and assuring them that the snack shack would surely open at the appointed time. There were a few complaints when there was no time for wardrobe changes, a few screams as the wasps had us running as fast as we could, and a few trips to the nurse for the scratches and scrapes, and of course, the stings. But they were troopers!
We watched as the myriad of personalities and temperaments blended as a whole with no one left out. Older girls cared for the younger, veteran campers encouraged the first-timers, and strangers became friends. Oh, there were a few squabbles along the way, but these were easily resolved. I am reminded that this is how God expects His children to behave and I don’t want to miss this lesson.
Swallowing hard to hold back the tears at lights out, fears were faced and conquered. Strapping on life vests and hanging from the zip line with white-knuckled grips, mountains were moved. Quiet moments when the faith of a child chose to believe, a life was changed.
Some of the girls we’ve known for years, others we met for the first time on Monday. Many attend church regularly, and others rarely go. We know some have broken homes, absent fathers, or difficult circumstances. We are not psychologists or trained professionals in areas of counseling for these matters, but we are their leaders and teachers and we love them, and for one week we can take them away from all that for fun and games and Jesus.
Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17
It was a wonderful week.