We were a bit apprehensive as we stepped off the bus at Ruby Ranch this morning. We passed some of the kids on the drive in and others were already gathering at the gate. It was a nervous excitement as this was our first day of camp and our first ever teenage camp!
They started to trickle in slowly and then had some latecomers. We were expecting an even number for our division to two groups, but we ended up with an overwhelming number of teen boys and just a handful of teen girls. Not what we were expecting, but all a part of God’s plan.
It was so amazing when I asked how many of them had been with us at a previous Ruby Ranch camp to see a good amount of hands. But even more amazing to see how many had been with us to Campo Algeria – which was our overnight camp and the last one we did there nearly 4 years ago. How cool to have kids that have been connected to us through the years. We’ve literally watched many of these kids grow up and we get to keep building on these relationships.
Camp got off to a bit of a slow and most certainly late start… but hey, it’s Nica time so we made best of the adjustments. Our students did a great job leading there respected areas: Bible, sports, adventure (boys), ballet (girls), English and sports. The teens didn’t act too cool for school and jumped right in to participate. This was an answer to prayer.
After the stations and lunch, we did our chapel time. I was hoping to have it more interactive, but they were reticent to answer any questions or engage in discussion. But I still got to talk about problems teens face and center the talk on relationships. We looked first at the importance of a relationship with God, but then focused on how to have good, Godly friends (walking with the wise) and not a group that leads you the wrong direction. We’re praying that these initial gospel seeds will bear fruit!
It’s always encouraging when the kids don’t want to leave camp, so we didn’t make them. Many on our team kept right on playing… baseball, soccer, on the playground or just hanging out while others got a start on the zip line. This meant dropping in massive poles and mixing our first batches of concrete! The team worked very hard all the way around today.
We returned with a little time to catch a dip in the pool before dinner. And then after dinner we were able to celebrate Austin’s birthday! Team time was next as we are looking at how we grow in our faith. It’s been a challenging study where we are all striving to grow to be more like Jesus!
Tomorrow we are back at it for camp and also more construction. Please continue to pray for our team. And if you are looking for more pictures… especially of the worn out team members, sleeping on the bus ride home, then head over to our Mission Nicaragua Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wsm.mission.nicaragua/