Sarah: Sorry if you have been checking the blog frequently and there hasn't been a new update. Things have gotten really busy with summer camp and the blog slipped all of our minds. The second week of camp was great! For daily devotions we have been doing the "I ams" of Jesus. For example "I am the light of the world," "I am the bread of life," "I am the living water" and so on. Some of these "I ams" are hard for the children to grasp, but we have been praying for the Spirit to give the children understanding and to speak through us.
It has been so encouraging to see the change in some of the children already! One boy that keeps coming to my mind is Emory. He is in the devotion group that Daniel and I lead (we have divided the children up into teams for devotions.) When we started devotions he was not that interested, but through out the past two weeks he has really become curious about God. He is always wanting to read the bible to his team during devotion time, he always has questions, and he is usually one of the first kids to volunteer to pray and share his prayer requests. Not only has he changed in our devotion time, but his behavior has changed too! There were many times when Emory would become frustrated and almost hyperventilate and let out a scream. But over the past two weeks, I have noticed that Emory does not do that nearly as much. He is encouraging other children frequently during sports and to improve their behavior. It is so encouraging to see God work in the lives of these children and it is such an answer to prayer!
Our big trip for the week was going camping to Table Rock. 14 children signed up to go camping (our camp has grown to 22 kids, and we decided that we cannot add anymore right now). God was faithful to provide tents, camping chairs, food, and college chaperones. Even though God is faithful and trustworthy, the day before we went camping, I went into freak-out mode. I began to think through the responsibility that was placed on us for taking the kids away overnight. I allowed my mind to run wild with fear. I was afraid that we could get in a wreck on the way to the mountains or that someone would get hurt hiking, swimming, or around the fire probably ending with a trip to the hospital. And I was even more worried because we did not have as many chaperones as we had hoped for, and there were no "adults" other than 5 college students. Andy reminded me that I needed to pray and surrender my worries to God (Phil 4:6-7) and that God would take care of us, be with us, and would not give us more than we could handle. It is so easy to focus on our circumstances and become easily discouraged and worried when the Lord desires for us to trust in Him and look to Him for help because all things are possible with Him! The camping trip ended up being an amazing bonding time with the children! When we got to the camping site, some of the children helped set up the tents. Then we went hiking on the green trial at Table Rock, which is a 1.9 mile hike. The kids really enjoyed it, even though many were tired! Some of the kids slid down part of the rocks in the water with Andy and Daniel leading the way (they loved it!) Then we went to the lake and swam. After that we headed back to our camping site and began to cook dinner. Quickly, we realized that we forgot to lay out the hamburger meat, so we were not going to eat hamburgers for dinner. Resourceful Daniel decided that we were going to make this camping stew for the children. A mixture of hobo dinner (potatoes cooked in the campfire in aluminum foil), browned hamburger meat, and lots of cheese. We told the children that it was a traditional camping dinner and they loved it! One of the kids was like "Miss Sarah, can I get the recipe for this?" Then we let the children roast hot dogs and smores. Shortly after we attempted to get everyone in bed. Of course the girls stayed up whispering (loudly) and giggling and some of the boys woke the rest of us up later in the night calling for Mr. Andy or Mr. Daniel. The next morning we made eggs, bacon, and biscuits for breakfast, packed up our stuff, and went back to Greenville. It was a great time for us to enjoy with the kids, and I know the children absolutely loved the camping experience! I personally feel closer to the children after the trip. You can look at pictures from our camping trip and other summer camp pictures on the Bel-Aire Community Fellowship page on facebook. Thank you for all your prayers and support to make this trip and this summer possible!