Caleb has a book called “And the rain came down.” Or, something similar to that. That could also be a title for camp this week since it has been gray, rainy and super muddy this entire week. Seems, from what I’ve seen, everyone’s spirits are matching the weather in a way. Praying that this weekend the sun will come out again and everyone will be rested enough to begin Monday’s group of campers with joy on the outside and inside! That sounds cheesy – I don’t mean it to. Oh well, most of you who read this know me well enough to get what I’m trying to say 🙂
Now, bonus to the rainy – cold-ish weather: the hot, thermal pool is very enjoyable! In fact, we don’t want to get out of it because otherwise we freeze our rears off. They put new water into it today and there were actually parts of the pool I couldn’t be in because the water was that hot. And, I got double dunked today. Or, how would you call it? I got picked up and thrown under then, while under and trying to come up, I got pushed back to the bottom again. Had I known that this was coming I would have taken a bigger breath for the first dunk. So, I kind of freaked out for a 2nd under the water and pushed “T”, who was holding me down the 2nd time, off from me as hard as I could. I hate that feeling when you can’t get to the top in time. Was fun playing with these guys in the pool today. They don’t have sisters, they don’t know how to act around girls/women. Females to them, when they are at the orphanage, are just for sexual whatever. Being at camp, and out of that environment – and away from their girlfriends, they become these little boys. I love it! They are kind, thoughtful, open and respectful. And, they’re pretty good at dunking 🙂 Felt really good this afternoon to feel like a sister to them…
The theme for this week is “Ascultare” (Listening). The kids have been challenged on looking in people’s eyes when listening to them, as well as listening to how others feel and, telling God how they are feeling. I think this theme has really resonated with this particular group of teens. The times I’ve been in the girls’ group I have been so impressed with their response and willingness to practice what they are being taught about. I worry about these kids, a lot. Or maybe worry isn’t the right word? They sit on my heart – does that make more sense? The girls in this camp are pretty limited but also high functioning, except one who is the most challenged of all the kids at the orphanage. It’s an interesting combination. Since Monday the thoughts of where will they end up, how much more can they develop, who will be beside them as they grow older, will they hold a job, can they maintain an apartment…what will happen to them?? It just consumes my thoughts and my heart. These teens this week won’t be a part of the orphanage for many more years. Some have 1 more year, others 2. When they are done then, in a way, we also have to be done – to an extent – with them as well. Others have taken their places and it’s impossible to keep track of them all. You know how it is. So, in a way that differs from the past 2 groups of kids at camp, these kids have been in my thoughts quite a bit. Fast forward to this morning… it was a craptacular morning. (Yes, that is a Winters family vocab word and yes, I did just use it in front of you all. Yes, I’m tired.)
Caleb thought it would be great to be super disrespectful while getting ready this morning, then we headed downstairs to find out that my car battery was dead….and on the morning went. I won’t list everything. It was just lame. I arrived at camp towards the end of the small group time and I was tired, frustrated and feeling that I was pretty much just done with camp (and we’re not even halfway through yet!!). Maybe a bit dramatic but frustration and exhaustion can make that too easy for me to go there. I came into the girls’ group and they were so happy I had come. Smiles and words of encouragement starting pouring out of their mouths and then “We have to pray for Kelsey! We have to pray for Kelsey!”
What? Where did that come from?
“I want to pray for her! No, me! I want to pray for her! Okay, we both do!”
Then, the most severely disabled girl – who barely speaks – says (I didn’t hear her, but Madelen did…she was sitting next to her.) “I’m so glad to see you, Kelsey.”
Oh my. Never, ever did I expect that I would arrive to camp this morning and be ministered to BY these girls. As they prayed for me I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up…
It was as if God was saying “Kelsey, they’re going to be okay. Don’t worry so much for them. I’m in control. Look how they responded to you this morning. They’ll be okay, they’ll be okay.”
What a role reversal this morning was. Extremely humbling. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that ever… They prayed for me. Whew.
I know I said I’d share about yesterday but the thing is this…it was an extremely long day, we had to take someone back to the orphanage and I’m not sure I could even share the situation through typing so well. So, let’s just leave yesterday and focus on praying for the kids tomorrow as they finish their last day of camp and leave. Since these teens are so close to this team I have a feeling the goodbyes will not be easy. Thank you so much for caring for these kids alongside all of us here!