You can never fully prepare yourself for the last day of camp in many ways. First of all, the excitement, fun and activities (namely the waterslide) are like sensory overload. We arrived and prepped for all the activities of today and then shortly after, the kids arrived. Nearly every camper we had this week came back to participate in our big camp finale.
We start with a rigorous hike – but worth every step – up to Chapel Hill. This place is special to all our camps as we always finish camp there, but is personally special to me as I was fortunate to be a part of the vision and preparation process to see Chapel Hill transform from an overgrown mountain, to an outdoor chapel with an amazing view. On a clear day you can see the Pacific. Chapel Hill is surrounded by lush rolling hills, a volcano in the distance, some pretty intense sun and breezes at times.
But there is no greater joy for me than to have the opportunity to stand at the foot of the giant cross and preach the Gospel. We had been praying all morning that God would move in the hearts and lives of these campers from El Caimito. And we are grateful to report that he did. Only heaven will truly reveal how today impacted these campers for eternity, but we were privileged to personally hear of some that responded in faith to the Gospel this morning. So we are praising God for those added to the Kingdom today.
From there, the fun began with team competitions, tug of war, playground time, lunch and pinatas. We purchased three huge pinatas and filled them with candy. And in a scene that would likely never happen in the US, campers were blindfolded and swinging a big stick wildly through the air.
Today, we also gave out the backpacks that we purchased. These had the Bibles (see yesterday’s post) and school supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste, a devotional about Jesus and a toy. Watching the kids receive their backpacks and open them up was like Christmas morning. One of the boys pulled out his Bible and held it and gave it a kiss before looking at what else was inside. We are so honored to make this a part of our camps and pray they are blessed by what they received.
Next was the new and improved waterslide. A line quickly formed and next thing you know they were zipping down the slide. Excitement for some and panic for others… but all in all a great time. We even invited some of our previous campers from Las Parcelas to join us for the waterslide time. So there were probably close to 80+ kids enjoying our community day.
But like all good things, camp had to come to and end. That’s the other part of the last day that you can never fully prepare for. It’s amazing how quickly and deeply we are able to build relationships. I was able to give a simple blessing over the kids and then we loaded them on the bus. With some tears in our eyes we chased the bus out in true Nica fashion.
The bright spot is that we will see some of them. Some will likely show up at the Ranch next week as we work, but if not, we do drive through El Caimito every time we head to and leave the Ranch.
But would you join me in praying for our campers? We are praying for those who found new life in Christ today – that they would grow in their faith and live for His glory. And we’re praying that the seeds that were planted in all of our campers would continue to produce good spiritual fruit. Thanks for covering us and these campers in prayer!