Now for the youth group (our heart) at camp.
Here we all are before the adventure began:
Can you find me? Ha! I blend in real nicely!
We took 25 yutes and 5 “adults”
So we left on Sunday afternoon. We planned to stop in Mississippi for the night so we could sleep in and drive to camp and check in on time. Otherwise, we would have had to leave at 3:00 in the MORNING if we left on Monday.
Jacob had planned ahead like a good youth pastor does and made reservations at a Super 8 in Jackson, MS. FABULOUS! We finally arrived to Jackson at about 9:00PM. As we turned off the interstate the scenery changed. We were seeing lots of grass, nice buildings, and lit streets. Now we saw bars on every window, LOTS of cops, and ABC stores on every corner. We spotted our hotel – o dear… We turned in. Prostitutes were standing on the corner and people were hanging out on the rails of the hotel drinking beers. We drove up in church vans and everyone stopped and starred. It was like we were in a zoo cage. I could just hear people thinking WHY WOULD YOU BRING KIDS TO THIS PART OF TOWN? Haha! Jacob gave of strict instructions, keys to the rooms, and we unloaded. We scattered to the various rooms, but as each group opened their room door a green fury of cigarette smoke piled out!!! GROSS!! Some of our girls were allergic to the smoke and couldn’t ever go into the room – sounded like dogs barking with all the coughing! Girls were FREAKING out. (Guys were fine… they don’t care). The rooms were disgusting and… not safe! Jacob was getting a little antsy and frustrated with all the complaining. In a victorious moment, he made a decision – WE WERE LEAVING!!! We were there for all of 30 minutes. The other leaders even offered to pay for other hotel rooms if we would just GET OUT!! I wish I had a picture to show you how incredibly sketchy this place was but this was the one time in my life that I DIDN’T TAKE A PHOTO!! I know right. Just imagine the place that you always lock your doors, close your eyes, and pray as you pass – that’s where we were! ha! It’s funny now! We finally arrived at a safe, more expensive, COMFY Hampton Inn on the other side of town! Ahh… REST!
Now… for the important stuff that actually happened at CAMP:
We did rec!
She got hit in the face 🙂
They were excited!
Some people didn’t especially like the water games – notice the semi-dry hair!! 🙂
Our Speaker of the Word = TONY MERIDA!!
I love him! He is great!
He wrote the book Orphanology and I knew I just had to tell him that I love him… so I did. The first day of camp I YELLED across campus at him and his son from Ukraine to tell him that I loved him and his book! He gave me the thumbs up! 🙂
Later… I really did meet him. Haleigh and I went to the Q&A session with him and the worship leader. I talked with him them after. Right before my turn to say hi I turned to Haleigh and said “watch, I’m going to tell him about how my husband and I plan to adopt. He’s going to look at me and say YOU’RE MARRIED?” and that is EXACTLY what happened! Ha! He thought I was 16! O glorious! But I talked to him about adoption and the book and the heart of God for orphans. I loved it! 🙂
Our Singer of the Word = KRISTIAN STANFILL (and Haleigh)
He was FABULOUS! He loves Jesus and it shows!
He led us in true worship and it was good.
Haleigh got to meet him!! It was a great day! We had to stand in line with all the 12 year old girls who were in love with Kristian too! 🙂 We were fine with that. He’s like the older, more mature Justin Beiber of Christian music. I know, it’s a stretch.
He remembered me as the interpreter from Passion! Exciting for me. That opened the door for me to talk about the Deaf community and Passion 2012!! It was such a God thing! LOVED IT!
CHURCH GROUP TIME!
This is where Jesus met us INTIMATELY and POWERFULLY!
Again, I can’t explain the GOODness and FAITHfulness of God! AHH!! It just makes me want to fly!
This was a time to stop, to share, to rejoice, to cry, and to discover Christ!
Leaders were made here. Truth was shared. Struggles were given to the Lord. Forgiveness was found. Freedom. Openness. PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED!
I know I will share more later, but one of the most powerful thing happened the second night.
There is a boy in the group who Jacob and I have loved from the beginning. We have been praying for him to know Christ for about a year now. He is just a fantastic boy – funny, clever, nice, etc.
That night… HE FOUND JESUS! O the joy!!
He is CHANGED! He is a NEW PERSON!!!!
He shared this during church time and I can’t explain to you the praise and awe we all felt!
I feel apart!! I cried like a crazy woman! I tried not to sob out… I couldn’t stop it!
I cried every time I thought about it and am still teary now! My God is incredible. He is faithful. He wanted this guy for so long. He belongs to Christ now and it is so good!
There is so much more, but my fingers are tired and I know you are ready for this to be over. So it is.
I love our group and God wants to use them in MIGHTY ways. Here are a few more pictures to make you laugh:
Jacob and Mitchel – the twins! ha!
The leaders!!! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!
The group – coming home different people!