Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A slew of stories from Saranac

So...where do I even begin?

I am so glad this week that the assignment team harped on the fact that we are not above having our lives changed by God while at a young life camp with high school friends. I think at times I have gone into camp with the mindset that my only goal for the week is to serve my girls and where THEY are at with the Lord. This past week I was so blessed to have God screaming my name in a thousand different directions. Calling me to stop trying to be self-sustaining and seeking glory for myself.

I will start by saying that the program rocked, and not in the sense that it was the funniest thing I had ever seen (though it did not lack in humor), but because of the quality. You could tell from the audience that they loved each other. It was evident to our high school friends and also so clear how hard they worked on each and every detail. We got to send like 10 of our Mariemont kids up front to be a part of different aspects of program. That coupled with the placement of leaders into the program throughout the week set us up better than ever before. Whether it was entertainment night, the opera, or role play...we as leaders were really served by the assign team in the ways that they made us a part of the program to open up doors with our high school kids. I pray that the Lord keeps this assign team together because they showed us and our campers so much in how the loved one another.

I had girls in my cabin who were so up for everything. I got to go barefoot skiing, attempt barrel rolls on the tube, whiz through the ropes course in under and hour, and play knockout for about 2 hours every day. They were not the sit in the cabin and sleep type of crowd, although we did spend a FAIR amount of time making friendship bracelets with string and beads. Possibly the greatest blessing of the week was when the girls in my cabin served me beyond their understanding. I hate cabin cleanup, and yes, I know everyone hates cabin cleanup...but it brings out the worst in me. So I was ELATED (sarcasm) to hear that ours would be postponed as it was because the trip leader evaluation meeting was the final morning of camp, at 8 am...right when cabin cleanup should start. So, I made sure the girls had things packed the night before and I relied on Amy and Ally to get things "started" since they had plenty of experience. I expected to come back to find girls still dragging their luggage out of our cabin, step one of the whole process. I ended up being in the trip leader meeting for an hour and walking back to the cabin, slowly asking God for patience and love in the midst of misery. I am dramatic. When I opened the cabin door it sparkled. It was SPOTLESS! Without any of my help, whining, pushing, and nagging they had finished the whole process without me. Are you kidding? Talk about senior leadership. We had an hour to spend hanging out as a cabin at the point, just talking and rehashing the week. Thank you God...thank you, thank you, thank you.

For the first time since I have been leading, we went to camp with other schools from our region. This was great in so many ways. From a leader perspective it was such a blessing to have other people pulling for you, people who REALLY know what you are dealing with because they even know some of your kids. Leader meetings felt like fellowship and I felt so blessed to be part of a much bigger team of warriors. I received constant encouragement and affirmation that only helped to give me energy...and God knows I needed that. From a camper point of view, we had students making friends with tons of peers from their rival high school in Cincinnati, as well as some huge schools in Columbus. They made friends, caught visions, and made so many contacts for college with people who shared the same experience as them. None of us felt like we were fighting the fight alone...and seeing other warriors, high school students and leaders alike, just helped me to feel that much more bold in my faith.

It was such an honor to see friends of mine from Columbus love on their friends. It is such a testament to their relationships with the Lord. I had the opportunity to see Crock and Chilcoat take leadership of their teams and yet still be fighting on the level of everyone else. Awesome, awesome stuff.

It was hard to leave there. It really marks the end of my 4 years in the Buckeye Region in more ways than one. Like I said yesterday, so many emotions of the past 3 years are wrapped up in my perception of Saranac, and I felt Satan pulling me in a lot of directions while I was there. God was so merciful every time I was brought to my knees. The climax of all of this was Cece getting sick. On day three, 5 of us woke up at 6 to go barefoot skiing, one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. That evening, Cece started feeling sick during cabin time. I went to be ASAP once we were done and work at 1245 to her puking. Amy was up as well. After about 10 minutes I got the radio from the leader's lounge to get a hold of the EMT. She came over and sat with the two of us for an hour before Cece felt well enough to get some sleep. We all thought we were in the clear until an hour later I can hear her puking again. I call the EMT and she comes back over to our cabin. Anna and I sit with Cece, while Amy lies awake in her bed, until 4 am, just helpless to the pain that she is in.

I feel so bad that Anna is hanging around so I tell her that she is welcome to go, that I can stay up with Cece. She was amazing. She refuses to leave me alone and blesses me so much at a time when I knew I would lose it. Man, wow God. Thats it for now. More to come.

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