Camp CUMCITO – Week 2 – PreTeen1
At Pre-Teen camp, our purpose statement is: To guide campers through rites of passage as they grapple with their personal ownership of decisions (sin, forgiveness, salvation, character, behavior, etc.) and their understanding of how God values people, affecting the value we place on others and ourselves and affecting our interpersonal interaction. (Appropriate male/female relationships, etc.)
One way we address that is by having a special chapel session where we separate the boys and girls for gender-specific conversations.
Mr. Brett, the teacher for the week, gathered the boys at the front of the chapel and talked to them about the lies they hear about what it means to be a man, and how Jesus shows us what love looks like through His sacrificial love. They don’t have to be the man, but they can rely on Jesus and show His sacrificial love to the people around them.
Miss Angie, one of our chapel assistants, sat in a circle with the girls in another room, and they talked about how they are a valuable masterpiece that God has created. She encouraged the girls to protect God’s masterpiece by not allowing boys to get smudges and fingerprints all over His painting. To know that a boyfriend won’t make them feel loved and valuable, but that they are loved and valued by God.
The Tot Lot purpose statement is: Under God’s authority, to weave the truth and love of Christ into all camper experiences so that each child has wonderful memories – spiritually, physically, mentally, socially, or materially – and attaches all to Jesus Christ.
In the evenings at Tot Lot, after the tots shower and brush their teeth, they go to Twilight Hour. During Twilight Hour, they are learning about the Good Shepherd through the adventures of Snowflake, the lamb puppet. The children called Snowflake’s name and “baa”ed with him when he wandered away and got lost. They were so happy to hear that the Good Shepherd searched for and found His lost lamb. They are learning that God, the Good Shepherd, will help them to obey and be good boys and girls.
At the end of the story, the tots sing a Goodnight Song, and then each Big Sibling prays with his or her children, in groups of three or four. After their prayer, they go to the dorms to get tucked into bed, often with a staff member singing a quiet song to help them fall asleep.
Intern Life according to Lexi Lobdell
(City Camp Intern at City Union Mission)
There are a lot of presumptions about the city. Growing up in the good ol’ Johnson county, I heard about all of them. If you go there, you will get mugged. Homeless people are all dangerous druggies. Everything we need is in Overland park, why would we leave? My friends in high school would joke about getting shot whenever we played a school downtown. Spending as little time as possible there, trying to get back to the shiny bubble that we lived in.We would talk about G-d and how great he is, volunteer at a camp or a soup kitchen a couple times a year. I would get that #blessed feeling then return to the land of new cars and worrying about what outfit you’ll wear tomorrow. The bubble is nice, comfortable. I had everything I needed but never felt like I belonged.
Even through this bubble, I felt a pull towards the city. An extreme peace in knowing that God is there. And this is where he wants me. I had heard about the internship and had friends that had done it, but I wasn’t planning on doing it. My friends mom encouraged me to apply, and I just felt God’s hand through all of it. Just the way everything fell into place was amazing.
From my first day at the mission, I felt like I truly belonged. Here were people from Korea, Texas, Iowa- all around. Coming together to show God’s love to the students around the mission. This common goal fostered strong relationships. After a rough day I knew I was coming home to friends who were on the same boat. There was constantly someone there to encourage me, and point me back to Christ.
Sure there were hard situations. Living with 10 other girls is not easy. Having 80 kids in one building is not easy. You go back to your room tired and cranky and done with the world. But through the difficulty and weariness, God shines through. When you were 500% done dealing with one of the students, ready to throw in the towel and believing that there is no hope, they ask a question about Jesus. They apologize without being asked to. Little things that refocus your eyes on what God is doing through the program.
Living amongst the clients also gave me a perspective on what they go through. I developed several meaningful relationships with adults, who showed me how God changed their life and how the mission is helping them draw closer to him.
Each day a little bit of the prejudice chipped away. Instead of a statistic, I started seeing individuals with stories and who needed Jesus’ love. Sure the city can be dangerous. But I see it now as raw, bare and real. Showing not the shiny exterior that’s rotting underneath, but baring all its ugliness and secrets for all to see. Within the ugliness that people focus on however, there is beauty. There is a God greater than us all working within individual’s lives. His love shining through for us to see, if we look.
Life’s Most Important Question:
“Am I Prepared For Eternity?”?