Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Camp Week 1

This summer started big. Litterally. 28 campers, 13 counselors, 8 Jc's. Our numbers in previous years have been dismal, especially on the first camp of the summer. It was as if God opened the floodgates of heaven and rained Foster children down from heaven on us. We had enough kids on a waiting list for the first two sessions to fill a third 4-6th grade camp! Enough about numbers, because each one of those 28 campers has a name, face, life, personality and is just that a person. Due again to protection issues I can't post real names and pictures of campers, but I can tell you amazing stories of what God did in a few of those campers. One camper we had we'll call her Sherry, she had never heard about Christ or all that He had done for her. Her counselor was so excited to share with her about God's Love and how He loved her some much. She was amazed all week at the truth from the bible she was learning. There was a glow of joy and excitement about her all week because of it. It is amazing to think that a girl in Southern California can grow up and never hear the gospel. It's true, and she wasn't the first that we have ever run across. I think it's amazing that the Church in Southern California doesn't do more to reach kids in the system and kids in the poorer, drug ridden neighborhoods where hurting people are. The interesting thing about hurting people is they are just that, and they hurt others in the process, namely their kids alot of times. Those are the people that Jesus is reaching with or without the Christian Church. I am preaching instead of telling you all the amazing things that God did at camp the first week. Sorry. Back to the Glory of God.

Another example of God's amazing Grace at work at camp was a boy we'll call Tim. Tim comes from one of those neighborhoods we mentioned and his life even though he is only in 4th grade consists of fighting and crude jokes he learned from others where he lives. He had a hard time at camp, no joke. The Love of God hits hard and can freak kids out sometimes. He was one of those that got freaked out by it. I can tell you though, God's love is also like it says in the Bible, Kind. It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Through the kindness of God Tim gave his heart to Jesus later on in the week. Tim went home at the end of that week to that neighborhood with Jesus in his heart!!

There is no way for me to tell all the amazing stories, because I didn't even see them all. In fact the week seemed like a blurr of people. This was the largest camp that we have ever done at Camp Alandale. We try to keep it small for a reason and this camp although amazing was too big. I know that sounds wierd, but again we keep it small for the campers sake, for the individualized attention sake, for supervision sake. The best thing about a big camp is we serve a big God who reached each and every heart, including ours that camp. Thank You Jesus for your amazing Love and work in our lives!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Staff Training Week Reflections

I know this is coming a little late now that we are coming on Week 3 of the Summer, but I thought I would just let those of you who were praying know that our summer staff training was amazing. We bonded really well with our staff and there seemed to be a real spirit of unity. It was a lot of information for everyone to swallow and take in. That part of it we need to work on making better. It was amazing to hear everyones testimonies and how God brought them to camp for the summer. We even have one all the way from North Carolina. God is amazing and has shown us more of that balance of doing as much as we can and giving it all to Him. Ultimately there is always too much work, but we aren't trusting this summer to the hard work that we get to do, but to the God that never slumbers nor sleeps and is always keeping us in His arms. The first picture here is a picture of Jonathan and I mounting a cross behind our amphitheater. Also here is a picture of our Family at the Training week and a picture of our summer staff team. Please keep us all in your prayers as the Lord does His work in and through us at Camp Alandale.