I just got back today from a children's church camp. Whewww! As always, camp is very tiring.... Late nights will do that, but so will pouring your heart and soul into the life of others!
True to form, I went as a "tie-dye lady". Not true to form, I did almost zero tie-dying!
* Monday, I helped rescue a damsel in distress.
* Tuesday, I took care of a sick counselor.
* Wednesday, I had to be gone from camp for the day.
* Thursday, I paid the price for saying some fateful words to the camp director—"Wouldn't it be fun if....!" I suggested a "fun idea" for a camp afterglow and got put in charge of it! Oh, and took care of another sick counselor.
* Thursday night, I did some impromptu counseling. My friend, Marilyn, "set me up" with a camper who was having some interpersonal issues. She sorta figured the camper in question needed a "mom" to talk to.
Maybe I should have gone as a "camp mama"!
The highlight of the week, for me anyway, happened Wednesday night—and I wasn't even there! As I mentioned, I had to be gone from camp on Wednesday, which meant I didn't get back until the campers were heading off to their cabins for the night. The next morning on the way to breakfast, one of the campers (we'll call him "Buddy") smiled and waved at me. That wouldn't have been too unusual, except Buddy and I had had a confrontation and he tended to eye me warily, or avoid me altogether.
A while later, as I was eating breakfast with some other staff, I noticed that Buddy kept kind of hanging around. I looked closer at him—he looked DIFFERENT! I was sure I knew why! A few minutes later, my suspicions were confirmed. Buddy looked around at us, smiled, and said, "Last night I put Jesus in my heart!" I KNEW IT!!!!
I said, "I thought so, Buddy! When I first saw you this morning, I could see it in your eyes. You look different!"
Pray for "Buddy". I don't know a lot about his life away from camp, but I don't think it's easy. He went home today, to...whatever. He's been a "midweek kid", coming to kid's club at church, but I don't think on Sundays. He and I have an agreement, though. He's planning to come Sunday morning with the grownup friends who bring him on Wednesday. Between Sunday School and church, we're meeting at a certain place in the hall and I'm introducing him to the youth pastor. (Buddy's going into 6th grade and qualifies for the youth group.) I think Pastor Mike is someone that Buddy can really identify with.
* the "church kids" will accept and welcome him
* the joy of the Lord will sustain him as he transitions back home
* he will be rested and motivated enough to get up on Sunday morning
* there will be a connection between Buddy and Pastor Mike
* Buddy will grow in "wisdom, and stature, and favor with God and man"
Camp Mama (aka "Church Mama") signing off!