Week 10. . . Last week!

First off, sorry I have not written in the blog for a month; time has slipped through my fingers.  Sadly this is the last post for the intern weekly blogs because we just finished summer camp :( This summer has been so great! Challenging in many ways but so awesome! God has reminded me over and over again how involved he has been this summer! He provided safety on all of the trips (only by God's protection were there no injuries on any of our trips), he provided majority of our trips for free, he provided a gas gift card that covered all of our gas for the summer, he gave us awesome volunteers, he provided breakfast lunch and snack for free everyday, and so many other things! It has been really neat to realize how well all the interns worked together and how God gave us all different talents that were utilized this summer for camp! God has done so many amazing things this summer and I hope the summer blog has given you a glimpse of his work!

So some things that have happened in the past few weeks that I haven't blogged. . . 1)We took the older kids White Water Rafting with GOAT (Great Outdoor Adventure Trips which is a Christian nonprofit organization that takes underprivileged kids on outdoor trips for FREE!!!!) They took four of our older kids on the Nantahala River for rafting.  Only one of these kids had been rafting before and that is only because he had gone on a trip with GOAT previously.  The kids were really scared before they went rafting but they ended up having a blast! This organization is so cool because they allow kids to experience these outdoor activities that would not be able to participate in, and they share God with the kids.  At lunchtime they shared the story of Noah with our kids and used the rafting experience to make it real to the children.  2) A group called Teen Straight Talk came to our summer camp and gave a presentation about sex and its consequences outside of marriage.  This is also a Christian organization that teaches abstinence to local teens.  They explained to the kids that sex is created by God and is not bad in marriage, but once it goes outside of marriage there are real consequences.  The kids learned about STDs, pregnancies, and the emotional tolls of having sex outside of marriage. It was a great way to have conversations with our kids about sex- something they are overexposed to but probably have never had an adult talk to them about.  This opened up great discussions in the mentor groups the following week.  3) We had our annual yard sale for the Bel-Aire community.  Thousands of things were donated by local families, companies, and churches to bless the people in our community.  Everything was sold for 25 cents. . . yes everything, even tvs and couches.  Some families were able to things for their children for Christmas presents this winter.  It was a great opportunity for KB Charitable Trust to meet the needs of the people in the community and to build relationships.  Thank you to everyone who donated things for the yard sale and for those who participated in the yard sale. 

Last week of camp: Like I said summer flew by. I asked Malachai if he could believe how fast summer camp went by and he said "I wish I could build a time machine and go back to the beginning of summer so we could have camp all over again." On the last week of camp we took the kids to a swimming pool for the last field trip.  This pool had life jackets, which was perfect for our kids because a few of our kids don't know how to swim.  They had such a fun time in the water with each other and the leaders. 

The kids had their performance this week; it was amazing and I was so proud! The kids have worked all summer writing their own scripts and practicing for this performance.  Thursday was their night to shine.  To be honest, after rehearsals this week I thought the performance would be really rough because the kids had a hard time taking direction and they would not be quiet while other people practiced their scenes.  But it turned out great!  Brittany started out the play with a monologue she wrote about surviving middle school.  She was very nervous and by the time she made it on stage she was already crying because of her stage fright.  She made it through her monologue with Miss Cortney's help, but once she sat down she said she would not go back on stage.  She continued to cry so I took her out of the sanctuary and prayed with her. I prayed Philippians 4:6-7 over her asking God to take away her nervousness and give her a peace that surpasses all understanding.  She still was adamant that she would not go back on stage.  Somehow Miss Laura was able to convince her to go back on stage for her  next scene.  When I saw her  get up, I turned to Brie and Romeshia and told them to pray quietly that God would take away Brittany's nervousness.  Brittany was still crying through the first part of the scene but halfway through there was a dramatic change.  She projected her voice and performed far better than she ever had in rehearsals.  The audience was amazed and so happy for her! But the best part was when Brie turned to me and said "Miss Sarah, I think God helped Brittany. He took her nervousness away." I was overjoyed! God had helped Brittany in this situation and Brie recognized it! He was able to give himself glory through this situation! That one moment made this whole summer worth it- that one of the girls recognized God working instead of thinking it was a coincidence.  The kids had an amazing performance and were able to have a reception afterwards to celebrate and meet all the people who came to support them.  I want to give a special thanks to all the people from Radius Church who came to support our children! Many of you had never met them before, but you clapped for them during the performance, you gave each of the children a flower after the performance,  and you bought them bookbags filled with school supplies. Thank you so much! And thank you Miss Cortney and Miss Laura for spending over four hours a week with our children to help them create a play and perform it. Ya'll did so much more than that, you invested in inner-city kids.  You told them that they are important so are their lives/stories.  You gave them an opportunity to express their feelings about life to the people around them. Through your program kids like Brittany have gained confidence and they were all able to be proud of something they created! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your sacrifice has greatly benefited these kids and the love of Christ is displayed greatly in both of your lives!

Friday, the last day of camp, was very bittersweet.  All week the we had been preparing for Friday.  We gave each child at camp a superlative.  Some of the superlatives ranged from best dancer and best laugh to the most encouraging and most influential.  Attached to each award was a handwritten letter from one of the interns to encourage the children.  Each child was also going to receive a collage and a Christian rap CD.  Daniel also put together a movie full of pictures from the summer (which is posted on facebook on the Bel-Aire Community Fellowship page if  you want to check it out).  Each child was also going to receive a copy of this.  Needless to say, we were all super excited to give the kids all of these things! We showed the kids the movie and they loved it! One of the kids almost cried. And it was such a sweet time to build up the kids as we gave out each award.  After award time we all ate cake and had a time of sharing.  The kids were asked to share something they learned from summer camp or their favorite memories.  A handful of the kids shared and it was encouraging, but it was hard for the children to sit, listen, and be respectful to each other during this share time.  Some of the kids favorite memories were the camping trip and white water rafting.  Afterward we took the kids outside and had a water balloon fight.  As Daniel, Josh, and I passed out water balloons, Andy snuck under the deck with the hose.  After we started the fight, Andy ran out from under the deck with a war cry and began spraying all the kids with the hose.  For the next 20 minutes we had a water fight.  Later that evening we had a cookout for the kids and their parents to close out summer camp.  It was such a blessing to get to know each child this summer.  After spending 13 weeks with these children, it was so hard for me to leave these kids and not know when I will be able to see them again. Even though there were definitely hard times, I thoroughly enjoyed the time with the kids.  Please keep praying for the kids, that they will desire to have a relationship with God.  Pray that a church or a group of people will desire to become mentors for some of these children.  Now that the interns are gone, many of the kids will not have anyone investing time with them or sharing Christ with them.  It would be so amazing for some people to desire to meet with the kids one on one, get to know them, and function as a Godly mentor.  Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! God made this summer possible! He allowed us to make relationships with the kids.  He gave us the patience, energy, strength, endurance, and love that we needed each day for the kids.  But most importantly he provided a way that these kids (and everyone) can have a relationship with him- through the death of his perfect son.  He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise for this summer!