Sunday, July 19, 2009

Total Immersion

*Although this is a week late due to island-wide internet problems, here is the entry from last week followed by the one from this week.

Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourself. Do what it says. ~ James 1:22

If I wasn’t reciting this verse in devotions with my campers I was singing it during praise and worship. This year’s camp theme is Immersion, and with James 1:22 as our theme verse we are asking our campers just what they are immersing their lives in.

This past week marked the first week of Camp Bahamas 2009. We had 60 some Bahamian teenagers start off camp for us. It was an exciting week as we introduced the new zip line, among other things. I am in charge of snorkeling for the summer, so even though I don’t have a phone or hot water, don’t feel too bad for me…my job requires that I snorkel for two hours every day. :)

Right now our staff is gearing up for Sunday when our new group of 93 campers arrives. This is the most campers Camp Bahamas has ever had in one week, so we are all very excited and anticipating what God has in store for next week.

And…Week Two:

I have been anticipating this week all summer long. Four of the girls that I stayed close with throughout the year came back this week. And after being hugged with such force it might as well be called a tackle, I was so blessed to be able to see God work in their lives for the second year in a row. God is doing big things in their lives and in the lives of so many of our other campers as well.

As I mentioned this week we had a record setting 93 campers. Wow! It was a really exciting week and a week filled with many trips to the local clinic. What has been affectionately named the “Camp Bahamas Plague” swept camp last week. Every single one of the 9 girls in my room and my co-counselor and I had it by the end of the week. It is so hard to see kids who want to be at camp be stuck in bed all week long. But God taught some important lessons through all of it. One of my campers who was sick and in bed all week long told me that she had been waiting all year for camp and was counting on it to get her back on track and excited about the Lord again, but then she got here and couldn’t do anything because she was so sick. She said that she learned that the only thing we can rely on is God, and she can’t rely on other things to fuel her passion. So as hard as it was to see so many of the kids sick, I know that God still worked in their big ways.

This week was fast paced and exciting, and it’s hard to believe that we only have three weeks left of camp. But another group of 60 some teenagers will come bursting through our doors tomorrow so we are excited to see what this new week has in store for us all.

Here is a link for the video that shows you a little bit of what my summer is like. There is a section with camp and a section with the mission teams. Hopefully this will give you a little bit better idea about what I do all summer long.

Prayer Requests:

- Camp next week and the 93 campers that are coming.

- Safety

- Health

- Focus

- That everything would stay up and running. We need our vehicles, boats, jet skis, and sound system to run camp and when they break we aren’t left with a lot of options.

- That God would bless Camp Bahamas financially.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Wise Man Chiseled Into Limestone Not Sand Rock…

As we worked on the camp property this week, three of us took on the task of landscaping around the newly constructed zip line. We decided that a gravel path outlined in BIG rocks would look really good. So we spent a good chunk of the morning moving these 100+ pound rocks into a truck, out of a truck, and rolling them into their spot on the path. After we had finished we thought we would continue using our creativity by chiseling different things into the huge rocks we had put along the path. We began our task and soon discovered that most of the rocks we had chosen were rocks made of hardened sand and as soon as we began chiseling big chunks would break off and ruin the design we had started. We continued to chisel and I even almost completed a cross but with the last hit of the hammer against the chisel a huge chunk flew off leaving me with nothing more than a big dent in a very big rock.
As we stood looking at our attempts at creativity I was reminded of Matthew 7 when Jesus talks about the wise and foolish men. Jesus says that the wise man builds his house upon the rock where the foundation is sturdy, but the foolish man builds his house upon the sand where the foundation can be washed away. The rocks that we put onto that path were heavy and most could only be rolled and not lifted, but yet when we began to chisel into them we found that underneath there was only sand. Judging by their outward appearance they were indestructible, but that was not the case beneath the surface.
It doesn’t matter what our actions are on the outside if we are not truly rooted and grounded in our faith and in the Word our foundation is shaky. If we know the good we are supposed to do and don’t do it we are foolish and live our lives on shaky foundations.

This is just one of the many things God has been teaching me since I’ve been in the Bahamas. These are lessons that I’m praying will help me as I attempt to invest of the lives of hundreds of Bahamian teenagers in just two short weeks.

This Week…
Without a team this week we’ve had the opportunity to do a variety of things that wouldn’t have gotten done with a team here. On Wednesday and Thursday we traveled up and down the island of Eleuthera promoting camp by hanging posters in windows, handing out fliers, and talking to people we saw on the street. We spent some time finishing up some things at the camp property as well as putting some finishing touches on the zip line and the paintball field before camp starts. It has been a good week to rest and prepare for camp which is fast approaching.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


What a week! The team of 50 from an Orlando Youth Group left this morning at 6:45 and we will most definitely miss them. They were a great group that got a lot done on the camp property. While they were here they did the electric and plumbing in all six cabins along with other interior work. They also constructed covers for the cest pits, platforms for the water heaters, and a foundation for the building that will contain the generator. They got many things done that puts us A LOT closer to finally having camp on the camp property. Along with the work they did on the camp property they also did some community outreach in the form of a carnival. Last night they had a carnival at the local park with games, music, prizes and a three-on-three basketball tournament. It was a really great opportunity for them to get involved in the community and good publicity for Camp Bahamas.

Along with the cabin construction the two line zip line was completed on Thursday! Eight of us rode it on Thursday, and I can say from personal experience that it is AWESOME! I think the campers will really enjoy it, if they can work up the courage to go down it. J It is 300 feet long and stretches from one hill to another on the property, reaching a height of about 40 feet. We are all really excited about it!

We won’t have another team until next week so this week will be a week of resting and more work on the property. It is hard to believe that it is already June 13th and that camp is only three weeks away!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm allergic to what?!

When I was getting ready to leave for the Bahamas I was excited that I wouldn't have to deal with my allergies anymore. Well apparently the dust, mold, cottonwood and pollen of the midwest aren't the only things I'm allergic to. After indulging at least 3 mangoes a day for the first 4 days I was here my face broke out in an itchy rash and blisters. After a diagnosis from my pre-med friend and much Google searching my allergy was confirmed. But wouldn't be a trip to the Bahamas if I wasn't extremely itchy at some point. :)

Our first mission team arrives on Saturday. We, the full time staff, have been the first mission team. We have been getting things ready for the first mission team to arrive and installing a zip line at the camp property.

This week will be a challenging one, but a very productive week in camp construction and we are all very excited.

Pray for:
Healing of my allergic reaction
For God to use the mission team to reach the community here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I began my day in "Home Alone" fashion. Being wakened by a telephone call rather than the alarm clock that I had intended to hear a hour before. So after much rushing of showering, packing, and goodbyes we sped to the airport making it to Kansas City in record time. And thus began my day of travel.

Needless to say I made it safely to Nassau where I'm staying with my aunt and uncle until I take the ferry to Eleuthera tomorrow morning. I got to meet with 6 of my campers and friends this evening. It was such a blessing to see them and to just get to hang out with them. I have missed them all so much. I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time.

After tonight who knows what the internet situation will be like, but I just wanted to confirm a safe arrival.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm Off

Well my flight leaves bright and early Tuesday morning. 6:00am from Kansas City. I will arrive in Nassau around 3:00pm where I will be meeting another counselor at the airport. We will stay the night in Nassau before heading over to Eleuthera on the ferry the next morning. While we're in Nassau we will get a chance to meet up with some of our campers from last summer.

I'm very excited about this summer! I'm looking forward to continuing the relationships I formed last summer and to seeing what God has in store both for me and for Camp Bahamas.

I will try to blog every week, but the internet can be pretty unreliable on the island, so I won't make any promises.

Thanks for all your prayers and support!