Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Girly Camps

  The girls’ camps were all great successes! All of the girls were 14 and older and stayed for 2 nights in our home (Girls Transition house).  During these camps Josh was doing boys’ camps in the mountains or at the Boys Transition house.  
Girls Camp week 1.
Girls Camp week 2.
Girls camp week 3.
Girls camp week 4.
  We talked about having characteristics of an Olympic champion…having courage, integrity, making wise decisions in all relationships, and how to have a relationship with God.  It was very interesting to see how the different age groups responded.  They would either not discuss anything or say everything that was on their mind about each topic.  It was especially interesting to hear their views on what they would do in tough situations.  During my talk on integrity, I gave a few different scenarios; someone cheating on a test, someone stealing candy from a store, gossiping about a friend, etc.  After I gave the situation I would ask questions like, how would you feel? What would you do?  If you had integrity what should you do?  It was difficult to hear them say that they would eat a bag of the stolen candy before taking the other bags back to the store, or that they would cheat on a test right along with the other person to pass.  It is difficult to hear these responses as we are trying to directly influence their lives.  We want them to make the correct decisions to improve their lives, self-esteem and their relationships.   
Me talking about integrity.
  It is hard to think what I would say or do in these types of situations if I did not have the influence of my parents in my life when I was growing up.  How do you think you would be different without the direct influence of parents or grandparents in your life as you were growing up?  Would you believe in the same things?  Would you have dealt with the same struggles? 
  This is why it is so important that we do not forget why we are here and to not lose sight of God’s direction.  It can be so easy for us all to look to ourselves and think too much on why things are not going our way or to look to ourselves for answers throughout our daily lives.  We are each one piece of a big mission here in Romania with these kids!  You have a part in this as well.  Through your prayers and partnership with us we are able to be better used by God and directly influence these kids’ lives as examples for them.  They also learn more about how God intends us to be and how to live for His glory. 
  We played several games, made crafts, did girly things such as painted nails and did hair as well.  

  We also watched the movies Courageous and Soul Surfer.  They were perfect movies that went perfectly with our lessons.  And of course, we had a campfire, made S’Mores and had a time of sharing testimonies.  This was another very interesting moment for me.  We had a few team members share their testimonies and a staff member at the last girls’ camp.  This staff member herself grew up in the orphanage but accepted Jesus into her heart later in life and is now a great example for the girls and boys in the orphanages.  During her testimony, she said something that caught my attention.  She said, “I am happy that I grew up in the orphanage”.  As soon as she said this, several girls from the camp said, “me too, me too”.  As I was sitting there listening to her struggles and the things she endured, I thought why?  Why is she happy she didn’t have a choice and had to endure these things as a kid and why is she happy that because of growing up in the orphanage she still encounters discrimination today?  But she went on to say that if she was not in the orphanage, she wouldn’t know where she would be, if she would have food or not, if she would even be alive.  She also said that while she was in the orphanage she learned about God and how to have courage and integrity in her relationships.  This is the truth for these kids; Jesus Christ.  
  Orthodox is the main religion in Romania.  It is based on rituals and doing what the priest says is good.  Also, many Romanians and our kids think that to get to heaven you have to do good deeds.  Some of the kids do go to Orthodox churches but they do not learn about having a personal relationship with God and how to look to Him for comfort, redemption and strength.  Summer camp was an intentional time of teaching our kids about how to have a personal relationship with God and how to live for Him.  We did have several girls that had questions, wanted to look up Bible verses and wanted to discuss this more with us.  It gets us fired up for our lessons throughout the year and in knowing how to better help encourage them each day.
  This summer could not have happened without you.  Thank you so much for your commitment and encouragement!  It lifts us up when we receive messages and notes from you.  : )  We look forward to sharing more with you from our experiences both high and low, especially as we celebrate our one year mark in September.

*Prayer Requests:
   - Please pray for the girls.  That after hearing the lessons and feeling the Spirit through our discussions, that they will give into Jesus' calling for their lives.  I pray that we as staff will be sensitive to what they need encouraged with and what they need to hear to bring them closer in relation to God.
   - Please also pray for the girls and boys that are being interviewed for our transition programs.  Pray also for Josh and I that we will be ready to take on the responsibilities of being "house parents" for the girls transition house. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, fantastic! Summer camp played a huge role in my Christian growth as a kid. I am so happy to hear you're providing that opportunity for the kids there.