Wow, click what a crazy two weeks this has been! There are a couple of updates to tell you about. I’ve posted a picture or two below, help but below the headings are links to full photo albums.

Alex and Maggie Survived Mu Kappa!

Full photo album ~ click here

Mu Kappa is a survival camp they were at Sunday through Thursday. They went with the bare minimum – a few outfits, a pillow and a bar of soap. They spent five days with the most basic of tools. Unfortunately this happens to be one of the hottest weeks of the year – the heat index sitting around 105* every day, which made their trip extra miserable. This camp isn’t necessarily about having a great time, though. The point is to prepare them for whatever they might face on the field and to show them that they have a lot of strength and skills necessary to take care of themselves but also to learn to work with others. There was no bathroom, just a palette with a hole below it. The river served as their shower. They slept in hammocks hung between trees with a small tarp to protect them from rain.

When they first left I expected them to have an adventure, but the heat really stirred things up. On Tuesday night we were taken out to the camp for parent’s night. When we arrived both kids were drenched in sweat. The minute Maggie saw me her lip started to quiver and she was on the verge of tears or crying the whole night. She told me she was having a very hard time at night. We were put through the same process they had been through – getting through border guards, customs agents, etc. We were able to visit their camp and see just how incredibly primitive it was. There was a nice service with the whole group and Bwana Chad, the MK director, talked about how each kid is a missionary with a purpose for where they’re going. We prayed as families and then suddenly it was time for us to leave. This is when things got really tough. Maggie began sobbing, begging us not to go. To make matters worse, her leader was sick and had to leave that night, too. Fortunately there are a couple of the older girls at camp who took her under their wing and helped her get back to camp, although she told me she ended up getting sick that particular night because she was so upset.

In the end, they survived. And actually, although being at camp was very tough, they were rescued a couple of times because of the heat index. They were able to leave camp and go to a movie and a waterpark the last two days when the heat was too dangerous to be out all day. The final treat was a trip to Branson to see a Chinese acrobat show, which they both said was amazing!

Alex and Maggie Graduated From the MK Program

Full Photo Album ~ Click here

After arriving home from Mu Kappa camp on Thursday afternoon they had a chance to grab lunch and shower before getting ready for the MK Graduation. They went on stage with the whole Bootcamp group and received a few items upon graduation. First, they received a trophy for their achievement. They also received an honor bead. All through the program they earn beads to mark what they’ve accomplished like eating strange foods, airplane rides, crawling through the cave, etc. The blue bead is the coveted bead that they earn for doing everything. Finally, they received a swiss army knife with ISMK engraved on it. (You should have seen Alex’s face light up when they announced they’d be receiving it!)

Alex Became A Teenager

Today is Alex’s birthday. He’s 13! It just seems impossible to believe that much time has passed since he was born, but it’s true. I’m looking forward to his teen years. We’ve seen his relationship with God deepen greatly this year and his maturity grow in great amounts. I’m excited to see him transition from boy to man over these next few years. I would be lying, though, if I said it didn’t make me a little sad to make this transition, but you can’t keep them little forever…or so they tell me! I’m still slightly taller than him and although he’s been stronger than me since he was about three, I count my height as the slightest edge. Soon he’ll spike above me and his voice will deepen but I pray that he will never stop wanting to have open conversations with me and will always be willing to hug his mommy!

~Tona