What happens when you plan a camp based on 120 kids, online have 80 kids signed up, levitra but at the last minute 180 show up??? You wait an extra two hours for extra busses to arrive so everyone can go!! At least that’s what happened with the kids’ camp we just went to. The church we’ve been attending, La Gran Comision is in a poorer area of the city and these kids have never been to camp. Corey and I were honored to tag along and help out with the camp and Alex and Maggie got to go along for the ride. We had so much fun. Most of these kids had never been out of their barrio and the camp was about two hours away nestled in the mountains, wide open fields and even a pool – small, but a pool nevertheless. The kids were divided into 13 teams of 12, each with a leader and two helpers. They played games, did trust falls and all out had a blast! And of course, the most important, they had special time with God.

The last evening service was incredible. Over thirty were filled with the Spirit. One of the most touching moments was when Pastor Alex told the leaders that some of these kids will never experience the love of God from an adult outside of this camp. It’s sad, but true. The barrio is racked with drugs, violence and abuse. He told us to go around and start hugging the kids with real, heartfelt embraces. The children felt like they were melting in our arms. They were crying and holding on so tight. My heart was full, yet bursting in a thousand pieces all at the same time for the love yet the pain that I felt from these kids. It was hard to let go! Many of these kids don’t always come to church. One girl’s parents outright told her they were paying for her to go to camp to get her out of their hair for a few days. They didn’t drop her off or help her get on her way, just told her to go. The children who had parents in the church received letters and gifts sent from their parents that evening, a “mail call” of sorts. I watched this young girl who received nothing from them. Pastor Alex had written a letter to every child so that everyone would get something, but the sadness in her face told that what she really wanted was a gesture of love from her parents. However, what was amazing to watch was the way the girls in her group rallied around her and all gave part of their gifts, showered her with hugs and encouragement – truly children who understand showing the love of Christ.

The other moment I will never forget is when Pastor Alex had all of the leaders get down on their knees and asked the kids to pray for us. Their prayers were fervent, full of passion. One little girl leaned down and whispered in my ear, “You are exactly where God wants you to be. He called you here to Colombia for us.” The presence of the Spirit was so overwhelming. I have never felt so blessed!

I have amazing memories from church camp as a kid and I pray that these kids will cherish their first time to camp and the incredible encounter they had with God.
~Tona