So, I got my children back last night. I think they were all on the brink of tears, even though we live here. I think they were insanely tired, and really sad that their experience is over. Y'all. I'm a fan. I certainly have an advantage over other parents who are SCARED TO DEATH to send their children to camp because I practically interviewed all of the counselors over the last few weeks. For every meal we have the privilege of dining with these incredible young people. So, I've talked with them and told jokes and laughed and even cried a little. I trust them. I was glad that my children got to spend a week with them. I'm sad that they can't spend a week with every. single. one. of. them. Because they are just that incredible. Let me tell you what they have to agree to in order to come here and learn about Jesus.
First of all, this is a position that they are "sponsored" for. The training staff is just that...trained. They have some of the most incredible tools at their fingertips and will spend at least 100 hours studying the Word. This is not a paid position. They are not making any money being here. And, they keep. coming. back. They WANT to be here. They GET to be here. They get it. Jesus is worth investing in.
Second they have standards. Have you ever seen a full group of 20 somethings with their shirts tucked in and belts on? The girls wear clothing that covers all the stuff that needs to be covered and the guys wear shirts and ties to church. It's NOT legalistic, it's refreshing. All of the girls have said how much they have enjoyed the standard. They said that they are far more comfortable and glad that they don't have to worry with their clothes. They agree to this. They buy clothes to come here.
They have a schedule. Their days are scripted with work that needs to be done. They have bedtimes and chores and they SMILE. They love being at Marannook, which means God's Resting Place.
They turn in their electronics. They have their phones at certain times during the summer and have a place to make calls when they have time. Many of them didn't want their phones back. They are glad to be unplugged. Because they have all found that unplugging from one thing means they can plug into the Main Thing...the Lord.
They spend HOURS making daily action plans, or DAP's, so that every minute that they have with these children is planned and points to Jesus. They wrote their own tract to share the Gospel in an age appropriate manner. They came up with their idea, based on Romans, and colored and laminated and presented these treasures to their sweet campers. They work really hard. Really.
Why would I tell you these things about the counselors? I feel like these days this is a lot for some young people. The fact that these folks are willing to submit to these reasonable, but uncommon requests speaks volumes about their willingness to seek the Lord while He may be found. They are giddy with excitement when it's time for campers and last night one counselors who had 5 little guys said, "I miss them already. I had to walk over here alone." They want to share the Gospel. By the time they get campers they have spent so much time with the Lord that they are excited to tell these children the Great News. They have been captivated by His love. It makes Marannook what it is. A place where we know God and make Him known through the vehicle of camping.
So, my children said that they wanted to read 1 and 2nd Samuel because they loved hearing "the rest of the story" of David and Goliath. I thought I taught my children. We read and discuss, but we don't typically spend an entire week on a few chapters. I asked Anson what he'd like to "take home" and he said, "Private Worship." Really? Well, probably because the waterslide into the lake isn't an option! Every thing that they did pointed to Jesus as our Savior. For an example, they had a mud fight with water and mud (how else would we get mud...it conveniently rained for 3 days...so that got us some mud!) and they wore trash bags. The mud represented sin and the trash bags were to prove that no matter how hard we try, we cannot keep ourselves clean. We need Jesus to cleanse our sins. They had AAA time which Anson loved. That's "analogy and application time" where you try to see how your activity connects to the Gospel. Anson said it was like a puzzle to see how it fits. They saw, this week, that it all fits. It is all Jesus.
So, I need to read a book to them all and enjoy this quiet, but I just wanted to let you all know what camp was like. I was hoping to update more often, but there is really a lot that goes into this sort of awesomeness...and I only play a small role. (Well, small if you think groceries that come on a truck is small! :) ) I know that this blog is a place where I write what I'm learning and how I see the Lord in all things, but I thank you for letting me take a little bit of time to tell you what THEY are learning and how Marannook is coming alongside us and fitting them for the kingdom.
More to come on how Marannook has been fitting ME for the kingdom....
Oh, if you are on Facebook (or like me know someone with a password that you can use) you can find Marannook on facebook and see pictures from the week. If you know a Wessner, you'll see their sweet faces! Not my face, though...I was making sure those faces had food to eat! And boy do campers eat!!!