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Tabara Day 3

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Okay, first, before the camp update.  You have got to try this recipe.  Maybe it’ll freak you out by the ingredients.  DON’T LET IT!  Make them, then give them to someone who has NO idea what you made them with.  You’ll do some serious shocking after they’ve eaten and loved them.  I needed a gluten free, lactose free brownie recipe but I didn’t have any gluten free flours/gluten free flour options – or so I thought until I found this recipe.  And, side note, I used kidney beans.  Added 1tsp of BP and 1tsp of BS.  Dusting of powdered sugar on top.  Perfection!  



My hair is now 3 shades blonder and my face 2 shades redder than when I arrived this morning.  The sun is way intense at our camp spot.  And, having access to the local thermal pools means a lot of time in the water.  I slathered on the sunscreen on both Caleb and I, I swear Mom and Dad!, but still ended up with a very rosy face.

Had a few rough spots through the night, but I wasn’t there.  Just heard about everything when I arrived.  These children struggle with such severe emotional and psychological issues due to being abandoned and, a childhood in an institution.  I go between absolute JOY being around them to the next minute absolute heartbreak at the life they have been forced into.

Hope, there is such hope though.  Even in the midst of such trouble and problems.  Today, for instance, the skit and following testimony afterwards opened up so many of the boys at camp to share freely about their pasts.  The skit was the prodigal son.  It was done with quite of bit of humor which, actually, in my opinion was done in a way that kept their attention rather than distract them.  The narrator began by asking certain kids to be the different parts, along with some of the other Swedish team members.  The combination of leaders and kids, plus a very hairy gross beard prop, was the perfect way for this group of kids to hear the message of the prodigal son.  Now, bear with me, I cannot post photos of the kids on a public deal without drastically changing them.  But I DO want you to “see” camp a bit.  So, please deal with the fact that in my exhaustion I have found microsoft paint to be extremely hilarious tonight!  This is “C.”  He was the Father in the skit.  Note “very hairy gross beard prop.”  Did you note that?  Thank you.


This is “Z.”  Z was one of the friends who got all of the prodigal son’s money as he threw it away on everything and everyone.  Didn’t have to do microsoft paint.  Dang it.  I know it’s a side photo but you can still see grin on his face.  He LOVED being in the skit.  The sweatshirt he has on?  I gave it to him for his birthday.  He hasn’t taken it off ONCE since he got it.  I think he’s too afraid that it’ll be stolen.  Another teen from the orphanage, not at this camp, told me on Sunday (when I told him that the shirt he wore every time I saw him, which I gave him for his birthday last year, must really be his favorite) that he has only washed it ONCE since receiving it over a year ago.  “Why?” (me).  “Because if I send it down to laundry it’ll get stolen for sure.  But it’s not dirty or anything Kelsey, I mean, look at it.”


Here’s most of the cast, including the pig, during the prodigal son’s livin’ at the pig farm scene.  The pig gave a ride to one of the rich friends just a few moments later.  What nice pig…  Ooo, picture cut outs this time.

After the laughter died down one of the Swedish team members gave a testimony about his own relationship with his earthly Father.  The kids were silent, other than the occasion whisper of “Did that really happen to him?  Is this a true story?”  When someone comes into the kids’ lives with an experience that matches their own they don’t know how to react.  It puts them in a position to open up to share about their own lives, be vulnerable (dangerous territory for them) and to realize that they are not the only victims in this world.  Yes, their lives sucks.  Yes, horrible things have happened to them.  Yes, it is NOT fair and it was WRONG.

But, they are not the only ones.  And, their lives must move on – healing must take place.   This testimony forced them to feel sorrow for this person a.k.a. take the focus off from themselves – it forced them to confront the experiences they’ve had that so relate to what this person went through – and it forces then, or rather challenges is the better word, to see how this person has moved on in their life and how could they maybe consider doing the same?

I’ve been joining the boys’ small group discussion time after the morning skits/testimonies.  This morning’s put me out of commission.  These tough teen boys, some younger – some older, sharing the heart break of what their own earthly fathers have done to them.  Stories of abuse, alcoholism went on for a good chunk of time.  I am so thankful for this testimony today and thankful for how it opened up doors of trust for some of these boys to share this morning.  And, it made me so much more grateful for my own Mom and Dad I have to say!

Please pray that we would somehow make it through tomorrow.  It’s the last day of this 1st camp.  We ran into some crazy emotional outbursts this afternoon, with really hurtful words.  They seemed to appear out of nowhere, except for one.  One of the teenage girls was REALLY TICKED with me.  Over tortilla chips.  Yup, that’s right! Ha!  Anyhow she decided to take it out on one of the more mentally challenged teenage girls.  The girl came to the kitchen door, where I was helping getting the french fries fried for the evening meal, crying so hard.  “She threatened me with having to go back to the orphanage.  She told me I had to go back today.”  She sobbed these sentences.

I quickly told “D”, this girl, that “M” was not the boss, nor did “M” have a key to any car.  So there was no way that she was going back today.  “We’re all going back tomorrow…together.”  It took awhile for the tears to stop.  Those 2 sentences that “M” threatened her with brought such sorrow upon her…  Can you imagine?


Thank you for your prayers as we pack up this group of kids/teens and bring them back to the orphanage tomorrow.  Friday morning we pick up group #2!















3 responses »

  1. So brilliant to read about the day to day goings on at camp…kind of makes me feel like / or at least able to imagine I’m there 🙂 i miss it so much. your doing amazing. hope tomorrow goes just as well. xxxx

  2. You are doing an amazing job. I found camp so hard and after just one day I was ready to give up so I am in awe. You are there to do something so special and you have been blessed with patience and grace. I’m praying for you.

  3. You are awesome Kels! Love you! And I’ve had black bean brownies once before – not bad considering I don’t really like brownies. 🙂


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