I forgot my camera yesterday. And then I forgot my camera again this morning. A little lame to speak about camp and have no visual representation. Sorry!
Anyhow, I’m hoping to update quite often about camp and with prayer requests. Check in when you can.
Yesterday the Swedish team (10 people), 3 of us from FCE and 3 translators welcomed 11 kids from the state orphanage to the very first camp of the summer. Not only are they the first round of camps but they are the very first group to use the brand new retreat facilities that FCE has built in the small village of Chislaz. From my apartment, with 1 stop on the side of the road to deal with behavior issues with Caleb and Alex – ha ha, it takes 10 minutes to arrive to the entrance of the village. Another 5-7 minutes on extremely uneven, dirt roads to arrive to the retreat/camp site. I cannot begin to explain the amount of work that people have poured into building/creating this place. It’s not quite finished yet, actually. Yesterday my boss was in the bobcat, moving gravel, from when I arrived (at 11am) until I left (7:40pm). He had been going at it before I arrived and wasn’t even close to climbing out when I left. This, of course, is just 1 example of 1 person working night and day to get it ready. Others, like Jonte, have done the same as well as along with many of our family home parents and staff from the office!
Yesterday had a fun start. We arrived just before 11am to pick up the kids from the orphanage. One of them we couldn’t find. The two vans took off to camps while I drove around trying to find him in the village where the orphanage is located. He is quite mentally limited with a huge smile on his face at all times. He calls me Lady Gaga constantly. I call him Michael Jackson. You know, the usual. Anyhow, I couldn’t stop laughing as I drove around (with helpers in the back seat of course), searching the Monday market, searching each little back dirt road, searching by the train station. Finally, when we thought we’d have to leave without him – there he was, grinning ear to ear, just strolling down the street. So fun! Guess maybe you had to be there?
Camp had some rough moments yesterday. New place, smaller groups of kids. The kids didn’t know their boundaries, there was construction going on all around them, the team leading the camp was trying to adjust their schedule with the limitations, and additional blessings that this camp location has to offer. First time for anything is difficult. I mean, honestly, can you imagine your first day at any of the jobs you’ve had? Not so easy – pretty stressful – a lot of unknowns. Imagine that with an entire group of abandoned children who do not deal well with change. Yup, I think you get my point.
Regardless we are finding our footing! Yesterday morning I was reading Psalm 24 before leaving for camp. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…”
Jesus, these children are Yours. These team members from Sweden are Yours. Those of us from FCE, and the translators, are Yours. This camp facility, is Yours. Everything that happens here, is for You and Your glory and Your credit.
Please pray for us, and me, as we work to embrace this despite the changes and the transitioning of “camp” to work within this new facility!
On an unexpected blessing side of things, a staff member from Popesti was sent with us at the last moment. We were told no staff would be coming, nor did we have room for any staff to sleep. Honest! We couldn’t argue though, so she packed her things and came with us. She has been so willing to help with whatever she can and prepared the cabbage rolls for us last night. Huge help! And, she’s offered to make the super sugared fruit tea that the kids are used to drinking each morning. Again, huge help!
Yesterday one of the girls let me hug her without me asking her if it was okay. She didn’t push me away, or try to actually run away, when I showed her I’d like to hug her. I know this sounds simple. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, if you know me at all, then please believe me when I say this is a HUGE deal. Tears just poured out of my eyes when I realized what had happened. Healing, healing, healing is what that hug represents.