Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No Pain, No Gain

It's hard to believe summer is already over! The morning I woke up in my own bed at home was a little weird, and I admit, a little hard. God made his faithfulness and love so apparent this summer and I loved every second I was gone. I met some pretty amazing people, had some cabins I wanted to take home with me and got to love on so many kids from 8-18 years old.

I'll start with a list I made after Berea so I wouldn't forget to let you all know. Here are some highlights/wicked cool things God did with us at Berea:
-This was my 3rd week with the Peck sisters-Alli and Jessie-who played guitar and keys with us (i only wish we'd been able to take them to LiLoLi with us!)
-Alli got to counsel Tuesday-Sat when one counselor got sick
-Berea's kick drum was my favorite.
-the campers thought we were rockstars, that was just fun
-We had a daily challenge as a team against any cabin interested which was so effective in getting to know the kids, even though we weren't counseling.
-We killed this one cabin three times in ultimate frisbee, but we all had fun doing it.
-there were several kids who got saved-during the worship set! (what? not at the invitation time? i know)
-I learned more names of these 230 girls than the previous week of 80 campers
-It challenged me as I was reading Judges to see Jesus even there.
-Got to help with Alli's cabin devos 2 nights
-They served wicked good salad bar every lunch and dinner
-Hilarious skits by their program team
-We were blessed with time to go into town and get Dunkin Donuts for the counselors (and I say "we" meaning Jodi, Patti and Kels, I actually just benefited from this, I didn't do it myself)
-Counselor meetings were great as we went through some proverbs
-We stayed in a sweet cabin overlooking the lake, we had a deck and easy-access to the waterfront.
-I kyaked with the rest of the team who swam "the black band": across the 1.3, (or 1.4, or 2, there was a dispute) mi lake.
-I got to follow-up with a camper I had 3 years ago, who was a lifeguard this summer (and our hook-ups to the lake whenever we wanted to swim)

Wednesday was our favorite highlight, so it's a little more in-depth:
We were all swimming while Jodi was talking to a camper on the beach. You have to have a buddy when you are in the water, so Kels was the buddy of a camper who didn't have one. Jessie and I decided to get out and were drying off on my rock (someone had etched in "BETH" years ago, so I call it mine), having a grand old time making funny acronyms for "beth," when a camper came up and asked if one of us would be her buddy. We looked at each other like, "who wants to go?" cause we'd just gotten out, and Jessie graciously went with the camper. I debated going back to the cabin and drying off, but I was having fun watching kids get blobbed right in front of me, and I hadn't had many opportunities to tan in this very rainy summer so I sat for a little bit. after just a few minutes, a camper, named Cassie, came up and asked to sit on the rock with me. I of course said she could, and we proceeded to talk for almost 2 hours about questions she had about the Bible, how to read it, where to read, etc. It was awesome.
I had to cut it short when Jessie came over and told me it was almost time for practice (music was our one job at camp). When we got to practice, someone mentioned how great the afternoon had been and all of us at once started to agree and tell the group of whom we'd talked to about what. It turned out that the kid Jodi talked to was the camper we'd heard about whose parents had been livid when they found out her uncle had signed her up for a Christian camp over the course of her conversation with her, she and some other campers led this girl to the Lord! Kelsey's was also able to talk to the girl whose buddy she'd been and that girl had a very similar situation to Jodi's and so that was encouraging for them. Alli had a good 1on1 with one of her campers and I got to talk to Cassie as a result of Jessie's willingness to buddy that other camper. so it was a really exciting band practice.

Leaving Berea as probably the hardest goodbye of the summer, because we'd gotten to know so many of the campers and counselors and the week had gone by at a perfect speed-it didn't drag on and it didn't fly by too fast to even think about. But it was hardest chiefly because it meant saying goodbye to the Pecks when their dad came to pick them up at Dunkin Donuts on our way to LiLoLi. Those girls are something else-more mature and in love with Jesus than I was at their ages (19 and 15) for sure, and just great company. I hate to pick favorites when anyone could read this, but aside from Verdugo (cause it's like home, and my cabin there was something awesome, and their food is still the best), Berea this year was it.

Li Lo Li

But we had to go. So we got to LiLoLi a little later than planned, due to Steve Peck's hold-up at the border (yay, more time with Alli and Jessie!). We breifly met the other counselors and then went straight to bed.
My first cabin at LiLoLi was SO stinkin cool. They were way fun, but also loved to sleep. We were in bed so early the first night that we completely missed the staff bringing around rootbeer floats! But me and my co-counselor Andrea were fine with that.
The theme was changed lives. Week 1 we talked about Peter and week 2, Paul.
Tuesday of the first week the speaker did a message on Hell-out at Ft. Seneca, in the dark with the fire going. I was little scared that it'd be all hype and scary, but not substantial. But I was wrong. He was very straightforward and stuck to the Bible on describing the kind of place Hell is and who ends up there. Before my cabin got thru the gate of the fort on our way back to the cabin, they were peppering us with questions and concerns; one just exclaimed "I need to get saved!" So the whole way back, we talked, Andrea with some and I with others from our cabin. One of my girls began a relationship with God that night, before we even got back to the cabin!
The rest of the 2 weeks were a blast, and I shan't bore you with but one or two more details: -Week 2 it rained so hard mon and tues that we were allowed to ride tubes down the overflowing creek-something that hadn't happened since Patti was a camper!
-My team the second week was close to winning till our most athletic guy got sick and had to go home-but we still stuck in 3rd, and they were great kids.
-I taught my cabin Bang and "He is Wonderful," my new favorite worship song.
-Mama and Papa Bear sent us a care package from Cali-with Verdugo CINNAMON ROLLS in it!!

Leaving LiLoLi wasn't as hard as leaving Berea, and I didn't really even feel the weight of the end of the summer until I was at home. I was excited to come home and see people and I had been with the team so long it didn't really feel like I was really going to be away from them, even though I was.

I have been blessed beyond what I could have imagined this summer, I thank you all for your prayers. Currently I am looking for a job, as I feel this is the wisest option for the moment, but keep praying, because I hope those Canadians will be part of my everyday life again.

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