Our first full day here has come and gone. We get a pretty early start here – not just because we have to, but because the birds and sun like to start on the early side (we’re two hours behind Tallahassee). But we all woke pretty refreshed after a full night’s rest.
We loaded the bus and headed out to Ruby Ranch. The “Double R” has an amazing story of God’s providence and faithfulness to a vision to see the Gospel penetrate a community. It is a work in progress as other teams have joined ours in investing in this ministry center.
We welcomed the kids from Las Parceles as they walked up the hill to the ranch for their first day of camp. We were met with many smiles and a few apprehensive faces. It was awesome to reconnect with many of the kids we hosted at camp last year. Our philosophy of missions is to continue to invest and build on the relationships we have, while looking for ways to make a deeper impact and further reach in the community.
After getting the kids into their teams, we were off and running. They rotated through 5 classes: arts/crafts, music, Bible, English and sports. Our students did a great job running each of their stations after some of the initial nervousness wore off. Many on our team are first-timers and didn’t quite know what to expect. Even with 2 months of prayer and training, the first day comes with a bit of uncertainty.
We finished our day by providing lunch for the kids and they one last bit of playtime before they had to head home. We then transitioned from camp mode to construction mode. We had a simple but labor intensive project ahead of us… moving tons of dirt!
After our team left last year, a Rancho (thatched roof hut) was built… a rather large one at that (and we were very thankful for the shade it provides from the hot sun!) But some work needed to be done to take down the sides of the dirt around it to make a level sidewalk and entrance. So with some pick axes, shovels and wheelbarrows in hand… we moved some dirt… and then some more dirt… and then, well, you get the picture. Some on our team are sporting some blisters to verify their hard work. But our team did great – working in unity and with encouraging attitudes. We also showed the team the water system that last year’s team completed and the chicken house (complete with chickens that were purchased with our team money after we left last year). It was great to see God’s faithfulness and the fruit of last year’s work. It reminds us that we are just building on a foundation that has been previously laid and how we want to build our lives on God’s foundation!
We came back filthy and hungry and enjoyed a great dinner together and then our team time. We’re ready for another full day tomorrow. Please be praying for our camp and also for the work God has for us!