If you're reading this, you're about to embark on a semi-long journey. It's been a while since my last blog entry and I've had a lot of thoughts and changes since then. Thoughts and changes about matters of the heart and thoughts and changes of the way we should look at the world everyday. Anyway, if you like to read, strap on your seatbelt and enjoy.
First I'd like to say that my new current favorite song is 'Glorified' by Jared Anderson. Wonderful lyrics for a wonderful God. Take my heart and let it be all for You and for Your glory. I like this because I think we can often get distracted with our selfishness and we forget about who we're meant to serve. And sometimes, it's just good to be reminded.
Starting July 4th, Cornerstone Youth Group and Living Hope Youth Group combined to venture to the north to run a church camp for kids from the cities. To be honest, I wasn't sure what at all to expect. I'm the kind of girl that usually just goes along for the ride and hopes to enjoy it. This ride though turned out to be the best ride of my summer by far. I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat.
The summary of the week was this:
Sunday: Leave church and drive to northern Wisconsin. Stay in cabins at the camp.
Monday: Plan the camp for the kiddies and bond with our group (most of us didn't know each other). This included a very sweaty fun rope course, swimming, chapel, and some games.
Tuesday: Pick up the kids from the cities and bring them to the camp. Eat lunch, go swimming, go to chapel, do some crafts, variety show, have some talk time, night hike and stargazing.
Wednesday: A full day of camp. Swimming, canoeing, scavenger hunt, crafts, chapel, talk time, cabin time, booferama and a campfire.
Thursday: Breakfast and chapel and time to send the kids home. Complete a service project of hauling wood and go swimming. Move everyone into the log house. Then, gather around the campfire for testimonies, which will become one of the best nights of the week.
Friday: Drive to the cities and have breakfast at Living Hope. Hang out and split up for girls and guys nights. Not sure exactly what the guys did., but the girls went to Applebees and did crafts for the boys along with some girl talk of course.
Saturday: Breakfast. Somali Mall. Science Musuem and Dead Sea Scrolls. Drive to the Millenium hotel. Dinner at Buca de Beppos. Do some swimming and a night walk and some more talking and hanging out with our new friends.
Sunday: Sad day. Time to leave. Church and then a ride back home.
So, after that long detailed summary comes the good stuff. The thoughts and changes. I was on program staff so my week was not as involved with the kids as the councelors, but I did definitely see God working in their lives. A lot of them liked chapel better than the variety show and wanted to sing more songs. They loved the stargazing. It was a neat opportunity for them (and for us) to see so many stars without the distractions of street lights and be able to be in the awe of God's creation.
Testimonies on Thursday night would have to be my favorite happening of the week. It was amazing to me the trust that was built between our groups so quickly and the love and comfort we were able to give to each other. Everyone opened up faster than most people normally would and everyone shared their walk with God and some struggles thus far. What I learned from this was the importance of support. If you think you're alone in something, I'm gonna say.. there's a 99.9% chance that you aren't. In some sort of way, someone can relate to you. And if we lean on those that are willing to let you lean and talk to them, I think we'll all find that life is a lot easier and a heck of a lot more fun.
I also had one on ones with each of the girls from the group which was also one of my favorite things. To me, it's so interesting to see the different levels of life that people are at but also be able to see that it always comes back to trusting God. Trusting God for love, trusting God for patience, trusting God for perseverance, and pretty much anything else you could think of. He's got it all figured out. And it's when we try to figure things out alone that life starts to get messy.
So at least, this week was a reminder to me to keep trusting God and praising God in everything. For the friends I meet and the experiences I have been blessed with.
There is no greater love.