Andros Youth Camp – Days 3-4

AUGUST 14:

There was a huge storm in the night, but that cooled it off somewhat. (Mrs. Murphy nodded when I said it was better, and said, “Yes, it was cool!” Okay no… it wasn’t COOL. But it was probably 8-10 degrees cooler, and that was a lot better!) We had 40 kids, between those that came early and those that joined along the way, and we ran four full, separate stations. Cross the ocean was pretty chaotic, but otherwise it went really, really well. The kids were starting to really get into the songs and motions (digging holes, scattering seeds, stomping the devil’s face, and, the favorite, leaning forward and backward) and worship. Many were making huge progress in the sports, too. Mark, our basketball coach, was really surprised at the lack of experience with any organized sports, but they began to get better at following directions – although they were still unable to form a line! We had a group of 16-18 year olds join us, and that made for some fun soccer and basketball scrimmages. We’re keeping the little guys inside in the afternoons, which is going better. And they are all really starting to grab onto the theme and feel comfortable with us. Overall, a great day! Back at the ranch, we had another great dinner with Mrs. Murphy and made 76 more PB&J sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

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AUGUST 15:

The last day of stations! Wow! How did the week go so fast?? The kids were really great, although everyone is a little tired by this point, including our team. We introduced Project Friendship to the older kids, and many took thread home to make bracelets for Uganda. While we did more of the same today, we really enjoyed seeing the growth of the kids and especially in their comfort level with the us. There is a lot more laughter and joking around, and everyone participates in the stations now. The singing is great, and there is a LOT of leaning, digging, stomping and scattering of seeds. In short – it’s a blast!

It was also overcast all day, so a lot more pleasant in temperature. I spent the afternoon inside with the 4-6 year olds, and they defeated me. Totally. I ran out of ideas and was bribing them with candy. What can I say? It was the best I could do!

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Tomorrow is a half day of all fun stuff. We’re all tired, but really excited about the last day, most especially about the holi powder “run.” (It’s what they use in the Color Run.) We can’t believe it’s our last dinner with Mrs. Murphy… How did it go by so fast?? After a group photo, we headed back to make more PB&J sandwiches for our lunch. I know I’m sleeping really well by this point!

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Two weeks and counting!

I leave for Andros in 12 days, but the team gets there August 10, two weeks from tomorrow. I’m so excited! Our meeting went really well, and I think the team is really motivated to really show the love of Jesus to the kids every single day of the camp. I know we haven’t done anything in Andros before, so I don’t have any idea how it will go, but going through pictures from my last Uganda trip (Feb 2013) with a friend really brought the excitement to the forefront for me. We are starting what I believe will be a long-term relationship with these kids and on this island, and I’m really excited to see where God is going to take it. (If you want to help with this camp and with our trip to Uganda, please visit GoFundMe here!)

I know Andros and Uganda are very different in a lot of ways, so I’m trying very hard not to build up preconceived ideas about how it will go and how the kids will respond/react. The kids in Uganda (as well as all the ladies!) absolutely LOVE Project Friendship. It’s a touchstone for both sides. Will the kids in Uganda feel that? Will they understand the significance behind those colorful bands of thread? I don’t know, but I hope so. I hope they will get the love behind the project.

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I hope that the message, Are You Enough?, resonates with them. I hope that it plants seeds for the future, on this island that is so in need of hope. Our theme at the basketball camp in 2011 was Life is Fair, during which we compared God’s sense of fair to man’s. Hint: NOT THE SAME! Our goal is to listen to the Holy Spirit in order to meet the kids at their place of need, to plant seeds that will help them hear the Lord as they grow and mature. It’s all we can do – the rest is up to Him!

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Here are some photos from the basketball camp – please pray with me that the joy we see on these faces will be the same joy we will see in Andros in a little over two weeks!

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