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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Junior Bible Camp

Hello from Fairmount, Indiana. Now that I have finished my world traveling this summer, I am counseling at Junior Bible Camp for one week. This is my sixth or seventh year counseling at this camp, and it's both extremely exhausting and very rewarding. I vividly remember two years ago when three of my campers gave their hearts to Jesus for the first time, and it has been so exciting to see them back at camp this week, and also last summer.

The camp is for boys and girls who have finished 1st grade through those who have finished 5th, so some have been here for five years now. While I rarely remember their names (with the exception of Bailey, who hugs so tight that I can feel pressure on my organs; the very precious and very polite cousins Alayna and Gracie; Amanda and Katelyn, who were two of the three saved in my cabin two years ago; and a few select others,) many many campers remember, and can tell apart, my twin sister (Jessie) and I. This morning Caylyn showed me a framed picture of Jessie and I. Another girl said she requested to be in her cabin, but she was placed in another because ours is full. A third girl came up to me during the afternoon rally and said, "You and your sister are so beautiful that I've been watching you all morning." Only Caylyn was somewhat familiar.

I may not be the counselor that buys them lots of goodies and let's them have party nights in each other's rooms, but I give them the love and attention they deserve. I try my very hardest to make that love unconditional, although sometimes my exhaustion and their exhaustion (and the result of) gets the better of me.

In previous years my campers have told me many stories about their lives. I have heard things like,
"I live with my grandparents because my parents don't want me."
"My parents yell and fight a lot, and when they are done yelling at each other, they yell at me."
"When I'm 16 I'm moving out because all my older brothers and sisters did."

I don't know where these girls are coming from, but I know that for some, Jesus isn't a sweet name of Love, it's only spoken in anger or frustration. Please pray for me that I will be filled with unconditional love this week - especially when the girls are tired, grumpy, and dirty - and that as I lead them in evening devotions, they will feel an invitation to christlikeness.

Pray for Chole, Zoie, Jessica, Emma, Allie, Areonna, Shea, Olivia, Elaina, Emma H, Amara, Alayna, Kaci, and Saddie.

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