I actually ended up going back to Bethany Camp for the campfire last night, so I couldn't post yesterday. I'm just going to do a quick re-cap of both days, although it's dreadfully difficult!
I wrote this first part yesterday.
Reporting live from Bethany Camp in country-town, Iowa.
Today was a GREAT day! I know I only get to see the campers a little bit, but they are sure a joy. Today we talked about testimony, because missionaries give an account both of the redemption story and of their own personal redemption. I shared a bit about my experience in Poland teaching English at a family camp. I talked about the overall redemption story and the awesome wonder that God also wants to be personal - that we each have a personal story as well. I shared a bit of my story then asked a counselor to share his. Then the campers split up into pairs to answer some questions about their stories - who is Jesus to them? close, distant, friend, stranger?
I was so encouraged by the conversations - again very thankful for the amazing staff. I got to hear some of the campers share their testimonies later on at the campfire and praise God for His hand in their lives!
Today I felt both delight and burden. This week has been more than I hoped, but also entirely draining. I meant to do so many other things during my time in Iowa, but I time escaped me. This morning during missionary time I nearly lost it. I was sharing that missionaries are broken people - no more put together than you or me. I never once met a perfect person in Poland, nor anywhere else on the mission field. Never once. I shared Psalm 32 as a bold reminder of the freedom and refuge offered us as believers. The world will deal some hard blows - but He is our hiding place.
It's hard to sum up this day - especially since I feel so emotionally invested. I guess I was most moved when I asked if any believers wanted to be commissioned - sent into their areas as missionaries. About half the campers came forward and the counselors laid hands and prayed for them - that they would go out with boldness and proclaim Christ. Not a hundred speeches could be as effective as those kids being faithful to the call. Amen and praise God.
Here are some pictures I gathered from the week. Enjoy!