Today was a bittersweet day as it settled in on us that it was our last day of camp. Even though we are pretty certain that we will continue to see the kids as we work at the Ranch, it’s been an awesome camp so far. Our team has done a great job leading their areas and we finally have hit a good place in our relationships with the campers that makes it hard for camp to near it’s end.
While camp was started, 200 stone blocks were being unloaded for our construction project (we are always really grateful that we don’t have to do the unloading)! So there was a lot of activity at the Ranch today!
As I mentioned, the relationship building has been evident in so many areas. The down time, sports/rec, hanging out in the Rancho and in their engagement in the teaching. Today, I tackled a tough subject and that is physical intimacy in relationships. This is a culture that doesn’t embrace marriage as God’s design as most families don’t have a father in the home and some homes have children by multiple fathers. But the campers were engaged with the topic and seemed to really listen. I asked some of our Nica translators if anyone ever talked to them about things like this before and they said, “No. You are probably the first person talking to them about this and being honest in your presentation. Most will learn from friends or some form of media.”
I don’t expect attitudes and behaviors to change overnight, but we are planting seeds of the Gospel. We are striving to teach them to care enough about their future to ask the question of “What is the wise thing to do?” in every area of their life.
After our chapel time, we cranked up the water slide. This slide is a blast and a huge hit with the campers. It was so neat to see the teenagers shed their “image” a bit just to have fun like a kid.
While the slide was running, some of us were working to bring the finishing design to the zip line. This project was much tougher than we anticipated and not having access to all the tools we would need – or having a Home Depot down the street has made it a challenge. We tightened and released tension multiple times before we got it “right” or more like what we thought was right.
Someone had to be the first to test the design and so I volunteered for the test dummy inaugural flight. After a decent run, we inspected the hardware to see that God had His hand of protection over us. What we thought was a very strong eyebolt – pulled open and almost released during the run. So we removed it and found our cable coil to be a more secure design. Then it was trial run number two (before installing the braking system) which proved to be not the wisest decision (haven’t I been preaching on that?). I discovered many of the laws of the universe always work. Namely without a break – the trolley will stop on the u-bolts, but the person will not. I went flying through the air only to discover the laws of gravity also at play. But God’s hand of protection was over us yet again and I was able to walk away with no major injuries. And of course, the video will likely become an internet sensation when it gets posted. So we’ve got a little more work before the zip line is ready for action tomorrow at our community day party!
God has been showing up in so many ways and we are learned to see Him in the small and celebrate Him in the ‘all’! We rejoice as the Gospel is going out and at the same time, the Gospel is shaping our hearts and challenging our lives as we serve together. Be sure to catch more photos on our Facebook page!
PS – We were excited to surprise Austin with a late birthday cake and celebration tonight!