Summer 2010 has gotten off to a great start! The kids are eager, excited, and busy ... and somehow there are a thousand things to do that no one can quite remember how we did it last year, lol.
This was Kazmari's (*name changed) first time at Camp Beechpoint. Each night at fireside we give kids an opportunity to stay behind and talk with a leader. The fireside lesson includes an invitation to receive Christ, and through the years I've seen God work mightly during this time of stillness. Something about a camp fire is ... enchanting enough to strip away pretense and distraction. Hundreds of children have responded to the voice of God sitting around the fireside at Camp Beechpoint.
When Kazmari stayed behind I asked him what he wanted to talk about. With big tears rolling down his cheeks he said, "I've just never heard about God like this. I'm starting to think this might be serious." As we sat I told him the message of God's love for him, of Jesus' sacrifice to pay for his sin, of God's offer of forgiveness to all who believe. As we talked about sin and forgiveness, Kazmari wept into his hands. He told me that he was thinking about something really bad that had happened, something too bad to tell me, something that he knew Jesus couldn't forgive.
Sometimes its hard to imagine what our children have seen and the burdens that they bear. (One child came to camp this week with the pain of 3 family members' drug-related deaths just the week before.) As I told Kazmari that God is powerful enough to forgive anything, I prayed God would use me to make his love clear. And as he prayed to God, I prayed - rejoicing in his new faith. After he prayed I said, "What just happened?" and he said "God forgave me because I believed that he could pay for my sin and I asked him to forgive me. He said yes to forgiving me because he loves me." We spent about 20 minutes together after fireside, and he cried the whole time.
When we told his mother about the decision that Kazmari had made this week she said, "Praise God! Now I wish I had sent his father to camp too!" Pray for Kazmari, that he will be a light for God in his family that cannot be ignored.
This summer the boys have been busy playing a game called Kung Fu. You start like this:
And then everyone assumes their beginning stance, like this:
The point of the game is move in such a way that no other player is able to touch your hands. Play goes around the circle. When someone moves to touch your hand you are allowed one defensive move to avoid being touched. Then you get one offensive move where you try to touch another player. It's a lot of fun, especially for the boys. :-)
We've been having some some heavy rain and mild flooding (i love thunder!). Anything that's fun is sure to be even more fun in the water, like this:
Another new addition to camp is our GaGa Pit. It's Israeli dodgeball, a fast-paced game with any number of players where you are out if the ball touches you below the waist. Players are only only allowed to hit the ball with their hands, the ball must not go outside of the fence, and you can only touch the ball once without it touching the fence or another player. It looks something like this:
This match is down to the final 2, but matches start with as many as 40 people in the pit together. And again, anything that much fun is sure to be better in the water:
And one bonus photo:
De'Ja and Justice and Callie