Boy, do I have A LOT to blog about! :) This week was definitely one to remember. It was SO awesome. Here are some highlight stories:
We were making bracelets out of gimp and we were trying to teach some 7-year-olds how to do the simplest kind called "zipper." Most of them got it, but there was one girl who really just could not do it. She asked me for help, and I agreed, asking her if she knew how to do it already or if she wanted me to teach her. She told me she knew how it do it and she just wanted me to hold the string. Looking over her shoulder, I could see one of the other counsellors shaking her head in warning, telling me with her eyes:
"She can't do it."
I dove in anyways, because I had already agreed to help her, and I really wanted to see her succeed.
So we began. It unravelled on her lots of times, but finally we got a pattern going, and she was able to do it, with lots and lots of help from me. I was basically doing half of it for her, but she was doing it, and when she got it, her eyes just lit up with so much joy and she exclaimed to everyone who was around us:
"Look! I can do it! I did this all by myself!!!"
It was so awesome to see this small victory mean so much to her. And I realized in that moment that it's the small things that make the biggest difference. The bracelet wasn't the most gorgeous thing in the world, and it took us a good 20 minutes to finish. But she did it, she learned something new, and she was so happy.
Here's another one, a not so happy one, but one that matters too: There's a little boy at the camp, maybe 6 or 7 years old, and he's one of those kids who are troubled, and take it out in bad ways. Last week, he set toilet paper on fire in the bathroom. Stop laughing.
This week, he was playing with a bouncy ball and was not stopping when counsellors told him to, so they took it away from him. He decided he was gonna fight for the ball back, and got a tad violent. They had to call the manager to come and get him to stop.
But he didn't stop. He began to be violent with her, and so she called his mom and told her to come pick him up. While waiting for his mom, he began punching and just being very, very violent.
He was told that he was no longer allowed to attend camp for the rest of the summer because he was putting the other campers and counsellors in dangerous situations.
I heard this story second hand, from another counsellor who sat with him and the manager while they waited for his mother. The girl I heard the story from was close to tears.
I don't know what his boy's situation is at home. Obviously, not too great.
I prayed for him and his family, and I will continue to.
And don't worry, his family is not getting ditched by this organization. They are going to get the help they need, just not in the form of this day camp, because he was endangering the other campers.
I have hope that this family will be okay.
The next one's not a story, more like something that happened throughout the week. By Wednesday, our leader was sick and in bed. That's kinda okay, because we had four other leaders. But then on Thursday, two more leaders were sick and in bed. The one that was sick on Wednesday was better-ish, but we still only had half of her for the day. So we did Thursday with 2 . 5 leaders, and at least 2 of us fighting a cold.
We were worn out.
But God pulled us through. I don't know how, but Thursday was one of our best days ever. The only explanation is that it was definitely God, because there's not possible way it was us doing that work.
God just said: "Don't worry, My strength will get you through."
I'll end with a happy one: There's this little girl, 7 years old [I think all my stories have been about seven year olds! :P] and we asked who wanted to say grace before lunch. Her hand shot up and this is what her prayer sounded like:
Thank you for the sunshine today.
Thank you for our lunch.
Oh! And thank you for the counsellors who gave up their summer to come be with us, because if they didn't we wouldn't be able to have camp.
It was just SOOO cute and you could see her faith. "Faith like a child." Isn't that what Jesus said? Her prayer wasn't just "Thanks for lunch, Amen." You could see it: She was talking with God.
It was soooo awesome, and again, the little things.
So that's a small taste of my week. And really, people say this all the time, but it is just SO TRUE. I went into this week with the mentality of giving away my week, giving, serving, blessing others. But as much as I blessed others this week, I was blessed myself. I went to bed every night with a smile on my face and feeling filled to the brim. I gave it away, and God just filled me back up, with the kids' smiles, their crafts, their "I love you"'s and "Thank you"'s - everything filled me to the brim, and the prayer on my lips every night before I passed out was "God, you've blessed me so much. I am way too blessed. Thank you."
I tell God the "Way too blessed," phrase a lot, when I get material items, but I mean it most after I'm filled to the brim from serving others. I don't know if this is making any sense, but basically: Blessed and be blessed - No simpler way to say it. You feel the most happy, the most blessed, the most filled up, after serving others. And that can't be any truer.
Stay tuned for part 2... Because I'm going to the Philippines in FIVE DAYS!!! :D