Andros Youth Camp – Days 1-2

AUGUST 12:

Day 1 of camp! We arrived at 7:30, to make sure that we could get everything set up. We had a meeting at breakfast, just trying to get our priorities in order. I shared what I journaled earlier in the morning: that we were to be God’s hands and feet, eyes and ears, heart and tongue. We were to reflect His glory for the kids to see, to model our theme of “Are you enough?” Everyone was in a great frame of mind!

Turned out the basketball court is about 1/4 mile away, but since there’s NO traffic (the few cars there are swerve all over the road to avoid potholes, but at least they can’t go fast!), walking isn’t a problem. Soccer is at the primary school in between the church and basketball court. We pull the van up to the basketball hoop to replace the net, the check out the soccer “field” (a field of mown grass that will be our field for the week). We unload everything, get our supplies organized, and prepare a registration area. Pastor Barr has to pick up most of the kids, so we wait…

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IMG_8373 IMG_8366 IMG_8364 IMG_8315 IMG_8220 IMG_8195 IMG_8194 IMG_8193We only had a dozen kids on day 1. Pastor Barr was very upset, but we weren’t — God had the kids there who needed to be there, and it was a great group. We added a few as the day went on, and kids who didn’t want to participate in things in the morning were loosening up by the afternoon. It poured rain in the morning and was overcast until lunch time, which was great as it stayed cooler (not cool, but cool-ER!). We weren’t supposed to have kids under 7… We had 6 that were 6 and under. Those younger kids were supposed to leave at noon… They didn’t leave until 3:30. So we had to make adjustments to the stations and schedule. We all played Cross the Ocean after lunch and that was a huge hit!

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The day went really well! We were all well pleased when we got back to Mrs. Beneby’s. And, of course, dinner at Murphy’s was great.

AUGUST 13:

I’m from Central Florida. I know hot. But I’ve never, ever been as hot as Tuesday. Ever. With no rain to cool it off, we just suffered through it, drinking about 15 gallons of water, plus the kids using the pumps at the basketball court and school. But today we had another dozen, and kept adding all day, so we ended with about 28. The kids had a great time, and really began loosening up, engaging in the sports and games, and having fun with the stuff inside. They are, however, completely incapable of forming a line. Totally. And the kids under 10 were… okay, let’s be honest. They were pretty unruly. We determined we really needed an adult with Natalie (15) and Nathan (18) at soccer for them to get anything done. Fortunately, my Androsian friend Denise was there, and she was very helpful!

We cut out hands today with the smaller kids, making them form a heart. On the left side of the hands, they wrote prayers for themselves. On the right side, prayers for their family or friends. Three of the six kids whose prayers I wrote prayed that their family would have enough food… That’s just heartbreaking.

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Several of us had headaches on Tuesday, and it was so hot we just took it easy after we got back to Beneby’s. Dinner was great, but it was a mellow night – and a lot of prayers for it to be a lot less hot!!

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May 10 – Partying with the youngsters

Today we held a party for our basketball camp kids (although half the kids weren’t at the basketball camp, and many who were weren’t there!). It was GREAT! These are such great kids, and the Fathers House kids came down with us, plus Jack came and brought two other basketball players. We gave away lots and lots of great – and greatly needed – stuff: tee shirts, ground nut paste (like peanut butter), bread, washing bars, a kilo of sugar, friendship bracelets, candy, hugs… The meal provided by Nesco was fabulous, and we ended up serving 79 instead of our estimated 58, bringing our total for the week to 126 people fed a great, nutritious lunch (including meat, which they rarely get). It was kind of like the loaves and fishes – I told them to serve to whoever came, and somehow we had enough food for them all with a good amount left over!

It was easier to just put the pictures up for you – enjoy!

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TOMORROW!

One of our sponsored kids at Arise Africa, Marvin.

We leave tomorrow! I can’t wait! (Well, it’s always bittersweet, since my husband doesn’t come, but overall… I can’t wait!)

So one big project has come up, and I am SO very excited about it. Here’s the scoop:

Sunday night I couldn’t sleep, and I was thinking/praying about the trip. I thought that it would be really great to do something practical for the ladies of Nawezakana and the basketball camp kids, and felt the Lord suggesting that we give them food at the parties to take home with them. Yes! Excellent!

Nawezakana

So I emailed Emily the next morning and asked her for suggestions (mine were sugar, or beans, rice and oil, or something like that). She suggested we give the ladies a kilo each of posho (kind of a cornmeal mush that’s a staple), beans and a liter of oil; and the kids a kilo of sugar and a bar of washing soap. So I emailed Emma, the man who can solve all problems (and provides all our transport), and asked him what we needed to do to get it. He suggested we add rice to the ladies’ gifts, and  a loaf of bread to the kids’, so we’re doing that too. Bottom line is we’ll leave a couple of hours early to purchase and load up the goods on Tues and Thur mornings, and we’ll be able to bless 70 people and their families with good nutritious food.

Camp!

I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t even tell you how excited, or totally why. We’ve helped with food and rent and clothes and medical expenses before. But we’ve never actually purchased food items and given them to our wonderful friends, and for some reason this act of giving actual gifts, not just the money to purchase them… To go to the market and buy things, load the car, unload the car, stack it up, hand it out… I am just excited beyond all reasonable sense!

We are still doing all the other things from the last posts, and all that is really exciting, too. So please pray for all of it!  Thanks so much for your support!

Zeke with our great Camp volunteers – we’ll see them next week!