I am sitting in my chair, after having about 10 hours of sleep. My bones are tired, my muscles ache, I still have that worn out feeling, but my heart is smiling because GOD IS GOOD.
I had a great week of camp. I could complain about the mix ups with our rooms in the beginning, the 4 flights of stairs I had to climb everyday to my room because they turned the elevators off, the electricity going off for a couple hours while we are getting ready for the day, the long lines of the dining hall or the heat at recreation time, but I won't. Those things happened and there were a few whines here and there, after all I am only human, an definitely out of shape. But truthfully, I know that every camp will have its physical hangups. But I also think there is a reason... how can we truly "deny ourselves" if we are wrapped up in comfort.
Or at least that is what I kept telling myself as I was trying hard to set an example and not fuss when I couldn't blow dry my hair or had to climb the "mountain of stairs" to my room.
The food was good. That is always a plus for camp. They even had fried okra and mashed potatoes one night. As it happened it was the night after I had to teach. I felt I was being rewarded...I like my fried okra and tators.
Recreation was actually pretty good. The leaders didn't have to participate in the actual games, we just helped referee and cheer. It was hot and I sweated buckets, but there were many fun moments too. The last day was "water" day and I took one for the home team and got wet...not that I really had a choice about getting wet, I just wasn't holding a camera.
Worship was AWESOME. I've said it before, but I will say it again...watching hundreds of kids worship is beautiful. Whether they danced in the aisles, lifted their hands, or sat in their seats with tears streaming down their cheeks, you could see God working on the hearts of all that were there and it was incredible. We didn't have any saved from our church, but I think most of our kids had already made decisions for Christ. However, our group had many who realized that they may call themselves followers of Christ but they hadn't been doing much of the following part and wanted to change that. We always have a church time following worship and the testimonies of the kids hearts always touched me. Especially when a young person you never usually hear from, speaks up and empties her heart for all to see. God was at work this week. He spoke and many listened. My prayer is that they will continue to hold close to the commitments they made and not let them fall to the side when they get back to their busy lives... I pray that our group will change.
Small group. It was the thorn in my flesh, but it was also one of my favorite parts of camp. Teaching that first day scared me to death. However, I did it and I survived and I actually think it went well. You would have to ask one of the kids to know for sure, but I don't think it really matters. By the time the second teaching opportunity came around, I wasn't even nervous, yet shared my heart and even cried at one moment while giving a part of my testimony. We had an unusual group: 4 from our church, 4 from Louisiana and 4 from Mississippi. We called our group the ARKLAMISS. (kind of sounds like a drink). One church had all their kids on my form listed as graduates when actually they had just finished the 8th grade. Crazy since the rest of the kids were high school age, but it worked out in the end. It was an oddball group. There were so many personalities and we found ourselves laughing through. I knew that God had done his work in our small group time, when during our last moments we had together, we were having sentence prayer and two or three of the kids thanked God for each person in the group and how they loved their new friends and will remember this experience. God is good.
As for me... He touched my heart in a special way this week. He gave me the strength to get out of the boat and then blessed my efforts. He allowed me, a weak and what I would consider an unusable vessel, to be poured into and in return be able to pour myself into others. He allowed me to use my fears for good and show others that you receive such a blessing when you say "yes" to God. He gave me true "rest" amidst a busy week.
Thank you for your prayers. God answered.
I am thankful for a great week of camp. As always God changed lives because our focus all day was on Him. If only we had such focus in our day to day lives...how incredible would the world be then?