The camp that I and 10 island students attended last week was like a miracle becoming reality. Earlier this year we were offered 10 free scholarships to a Word of Life (WOL) camp near Kampala. But the logistics of organizing something and my being gone on furlough, pushed out the possibility until this month.
First was the task of choosing who among the nearly 100 students at the school could go. With counsel from the school's headmaster and discussion among those of us in the child sponsorship program, God laid 10 names on our hearts. New and struggling Christians, zealous student leaders, believers who lack depth in their walk, a Muslim and a Catholic - these made up my group. Amazingly enough, all agreed to go and received permission from their parents or guardians. For almost all, this would be their first-ever camp experience.
The second miracle is that they all showed up at the meeting place in Jinja - within an hour or so of the set time (not bad for Ugandans!). Fred, who came from an island beyond Lingira that morning, told how his boat was "strangely" early, and with a knowing smile said he was praying. It must have been his prayers that pushed the unaware boatmen to reach Jinja early. Several others also came by boat - in a storm. Agnes trudged through the rain from Kampala and arrived soaked to the skin. However, they all managed to find me at the meeting place - a gas station - even though I had given the wrong directions. I marveled and praised God that He made sure all of us were in the right place at the right time.
After a ride of several hours (including traveling on a very bumpy road) we arrived - in a beautiful camp, set atop a hillside, overlooking rolling hills and facing the western sky and amazing sunsets. These photos just don't do the scenery justice.
The week was full - morning to night with worship times, Bible teaching, devotional and discussion sessions, many fun and interesting activities, meals, sharing, etc.
David, the main speaker, shared on the "I AMs" of Christ several mornings at camp. They were thought-provoking and very applicable messages.
Amanda, a fellow Global Outreach missionary, was an amazing camp counselor - very attentive and very encouraging to the campers.
Lucy (Ruth) led in our worship times - singing a mix of English and Luganda songs to our Saviour!
Five nights of the camp had themes - "Primary (Elementary) Night," "Professional Night," "Go Green Night," "Wild West Night," and "Christmas Night." We were encouraged to dress accordingly and make presentations in songs, skits, poems, etc. to earn points for our respective teams. To try and be a good team member and encourage the other campers, I got a bit crazy (sheepish grin). Okay, crazy for me, anyway.
Yes, that is me with half of my face painted green. I also wore a green hat and shirt.
More "green" girls.
Our competition on the "green" night was against the boys and I can say we had an overwhelming victory. Even my simple poem of:
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I am all green,
What's wrong with you?"
...was (strangely) a big hit. :)
Yes, that is a shepherd with a squeegee, third from left.
In my Christmas get-up - a red shirt, my green "hat," and my green wrap-around skirt (using my sheets!).
Chris, from the island, participating in "Professional Night's" fun "debate" to answer the question: "Which is better - doctors or lawyers?"
Mornings and afternoons included some outdoor activities, like the "Crazy Olympics":
Throwing small basketballs into tires - easy, right? Nope.
Working with your five team members to move together to move the slide forward - challenging.
Spinning five times around with your head planted on the end of a baseball bat has a dizzying effect - literally. Afterward, I stumbled around and then fell over!
Skipping to a victory...
One of my girls, Sarah, center, with her two counselors, Jackie and Ketra.
Word of Life also has primary and secondary schools at the same site, thus the swings for the "little" kids, though my girls also enjoyed them. From left, Zubeda, Sarah and Veronica.
Organizing for the group photo. Notice Agnes, far right, affectionately holding her mango. I think she ate a dozen or more that morning!
The island gang! Back row, from left: Fred, Atieno, Sarah, Veronica, Robert and Jackie; front row, Abed, Chris, Zubeda, me and Agnes.
I know each of "my" kids left camp having gained so much and having been challenged and changed in some way. Please join me in prayer that the seeds that were planted at camp will grow and bring forth fruit for eternity!