Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Camp

Summer camp.  Sigh.
I think nearly every kid has happy memories of summer camp.  I remember swimming every afternoon, playing in the camp-wide ping-pong tournament, and belting out "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" loudly enough at 7:00 am that they finally relented and let us have breakfast. 

I also remember learning an enormous amount in class.
This summer I had the very great pleasure of being a camper at a "Family Bible Camp."  The camps I remember from childhood had a few exhausted young adults acting as counselors/activities directors and even fewer gentlemen and ladies who taught Bible classes. Here though, the kids and adults were evenly matched.  Not only were the tasks passed out more evenly, but the fellowship and adult Bible classes were amazing.

And I learned a lot.

Not just from the teacher (though Dave Stewart did a fabulous job), but also from the other students. I learned as much outside of class, talking with my sisters and brothers, as I did in class.  I learned about one sister's heart for reaching out to the prison population.  She's moving to our area, if the Lord is willing, and her vision will be shaping our community.  I learned about the challenges of educating and parenting third culture kids (that's what they call kids like mine that spent enough of their growing years living internationally that they don't feel a part of either culture) from a sister several more years into readjusting to life in America.  I learned about confession from an amazingly honest brother who admitted how jealous he feels of his friend's adventurous life. 

I also belly-laughed as he admitted that he feels like Rapunzel locked in her tower.  I don't know if it was the half-inch of hair, the over six foot frame, or the deep voice but it struck us all as funny. 

I remembered how awesome it is to see our sisters and brothers without their church faces on.  I got to see my kids (and not just the children of my body but the children of my heart) learn and grow.  They felt accepted not just by their peers but by the godly adults around them.

I saw the glory of Solomon reflected in wildflowers.  I saw the sun rise over the ridge, slowly turning the world pink.  I saw Venus and Jupiter against the growing dusk as we sang hymns around the campfire.

I don't know if your church has "camp" but if you are still debating about whether or not to take some time and volunteer or attend, about whether or not to send your kids, do!  It's what life is really supposed to be (minus the sunburns and bug bites!).  Laughter and tears.  Christian communion.  Family that stretches beyond biology.  
Learning and loving.

The next couple of weeks I'll be reflecting on some more specific lessons I learned.  Especially scriptures that came alive in a whole new way.  I hope you'll learn like I did from the insights of my classmates.


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