We love camp!! Every one has been so different. We’ve done children’s camps and middle school camps, hospital but this camp was “youth”, which meant anyone between the ages of 13 and 25. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed out before we left. It’s a long story, but basically two days before camp I was given the task to prepare a sermon to fill up TWO HOURS for this 12 year age gap revolving around stewardship in work, dating, with your body, etc. etc. All sorts of doubt and frustration crept in. I had been looking so forward to this camp because we thought all we had to do was lead a group and hang out with the kids – pretty stress free and fun!! However, no matter how much I tried to get out of it, it was to no avail. I preached that first kick off service and, guess what, I got through it! Anyway, that was the drama that ensued leading up to camp, but camp itself was absolutely amazing. Corey and I have been out of youth ministry for the most part since being here in Colombia and I was very nervous as I looked at our group ranging from 10 year old Maggie through David, a 20 year old guy. God knows just how to work things out and we had an incredible group. Of course, being camp there was plenty of goofing off time, games, team challenges and very intense altar times. I left feeling so renewed in the Lord.

A lot of changes are coming up soon and we are preparing to leave the field in just a few weeks to finish our term working from LACC headquarters stateside. I’ll write a separate blog about those details later, but during this camp we had time to spend with kids we’ve been sharing our lives with for nearly two years now and some we just got to know over the weekend. The whole thought of leaving has been making me feel pretty sad, but I have to be honest, I felt a desperation of not wanting to leave throughout this weekend. I found myself asking God to extend our time. Several of the girls as we were leaving came to me in tears, literally hanging onto my shirt or my arms, and asked us not to go. There is such a swirl of emotions. I feel like we have established much here in the sense of relationships and that brings me joy, but then comes the immense sorrow of the reality that these kids don’t all have internet or telephones that make it easy to communicate once we leave which makes me face that some of them I may never see or contact again.

I’ve gotten away from the topic at hand. Ultimately camp was incredible. With the exception of the lack of sleep, I would have stayed a month rather than three days! But now I must go. Some of those beloved jovenes are on their way over now and I don’t want to waste a moment!

~Tona