Can you believe it's been a year since our first summer camp as a church? Last year was quite the blast, and this year proved be pretty much the same. It was a different group- some from last year came and some didn't, plus we had a bunch of newbies. It was a different topic- last year we studied the book of Ephesians, and this year we did a workshop to help people think through their general, specific, and immediate calling as Christians. But it was at the same place in Lepsa, Romania- deep in the mountains and free from internet and cell phone service. Some were less thrilled about that than others. It was great to be at a familiar place, do some of the same activities, see some of the staff from last year, and generally start to feel like we have this "tradition" as a church family.
Some of the old favorites of trampoline, volleyball, horseback riding, hiking, and tie-dye were popular again this year:
And some new activities were hits, most notably the three-legged race and Scrabble:
I was quite blessed to spend lots of time with all the kiddos on the trip. We had Zeke (5), Marit (3), Silas (9 months) and Levi (1 month). Children definitely bring such joy!
And of course we had time together in teaching sessions and for praise and worship. Really. Wonderful.
Camp is a great opportunity for growth as a church community. We are together 24/7 for an entire week, so it's just such rich time for loving, serving, playing, laughing, worshipping, learning, and generally getting to know people more deeply. I saw many new relationships form and old relationships go deeper. I saw students encouraging one another, helping one another, bearing with one another, and challenging one another. I saw racial, cultural, and age divides bridged and witnessed increased unity in our church family. And above all I saw the Lord at work in the hearts and minds of every individual, shaping and molding them more into the image of Christ. I am thankful for this time, and am already counting down the days until next year's camp!