Today the whole camp headed out to the back field we’ve been using for outdoor games to play a Swedish game, called Brännboll. Seriously, it was the most fun I’ve had in I don’t even know how long. It’s a baseball type game but, in the Swedes’ opinion, “much simpler.” I could have played for hours on end….was so bummed that we only played for the hour or so the entire game took to play. So fun. Oh my! And the great part is that anyone with any type of skill set can play it. So our very special needs 20 year old woman, “F”, could do it. And, Caleb, at 7 years could do it. And, the best part being, that with the range in ages and abilities they still played perfectly well together with 25 year old guys! Props to the Swedish team for bringing a perfect game for this group of kids.
And, we kind of needed it, an afternoon of just full out laughing and fun/games after the intense morning we had. After the morning session the girls and guys separated, as usual, to speak separately about the morning theme and, well, whatever else was on their hearts.
“God is not with us at the orphanage. I never feel His presence there. Only at camp. Each summer we come to camp and here I feel God. I feel His presence. There, nothing. God is not there. It’s so hard there. We come to camp and God is so here and we make changes. Then we get back to the orphanage and everything goes back to crap again.”
I think that those leading the session were overwhelmed with how to answer these questions. Inwardly I was hoping that they would share from their own lives and be completely honest. Thankfully the Spirit was prompting them to do just that. Because of this, the conversation went on … for how long, actually, I don’t even know. A really long time for sure!
I wanted to cry, jump up and grab some of these teenage guys from the orphanage in the biggest hug ever, or just grab their shoulders – look them straight in their eyes and, somehow, express to them the PLANS and the FUTURE that God has for them. How can they understand this? Will they ever understand this?
Psalm 138:8…shared parts of this verse with them, couldn’t remember the whole deal on the spot.
“The Lord WILL fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever- do not abandon the works of Your hands.”
But it’s true, you know? It really is.