Camp Hope Week One: Teen Camp

To be fully transparent, it has been quite a while since I have felt this emotionally and physically exhausted at the same time. It has been go go go since the 89 teenagers drove up on Wednesday afternoon and it was nothing short of incredible.

When I found out I was going to have 13 year old girls the day before camp started, I was terrified. I remember what it was like being 13 and when I factored in the situations that these girls were coming from, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them.

But boy did God prove all of my doubts to be wrong. Though I may not have been able to relate to their situations fully, the Lord gave me the words I needed to speak (in LATVIAN!!!) at the right times and I felt his spirit flowing through me as I dealt with different situations and had conversations with these girls about silly things, their lives, their relationship with the Lord, and so much more.

These seven girls made more of an impact on my life than they probably will ever know. I’ve almost fully picked my Latvian back up in speaking with them and translating all week for them, and that in and of itself is a HUGE blessing. But regardless, spending 4 days with them and learning about them and their lives has taught me humility, love, and so so much more.

The Lord definitely wanted to teach me a lesson on trusting in him this week, because though it didn’t come without it’s own set of challenges, I LOVED being a leader to these seven 13 year old girls. All the fears I had about having to be with these girls for a week, was covered by the love the Lord gave me for these girls. It hurts knowing the situations they are having to go home to, but my prayer is that they go with renewed strength to fight the battles they are each dealing with at home. These girls stole my heart and I pray that the Lord will use them in a mighty way as they go back home.

Today we start kids camp! We had just barely 24 hours between camps and we are all running on caffeine. I will have a group of 11 and 12 year old girls from Monday through Friday, and I am so excited to be able to spend a week loving on them and getting to know them.

But exhaustion after a week of youth camp is getting to the best of us. We do have a lot of new staff coming in, so that will bring a lot of new energy, but I pray that we have strength to keep going as we build into the lives of these children.

Psalms 126 is my prayer today for our team. The Lord has done great things this past week and he will continue to work through this next week.

When the Lord restored the fortune to Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue, with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

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