Last week the camp team at BlueSky had the opportunity to run camp for a group of homeschoolers. As we began to plan for the camp, we decided that we could bust out our “Called by Name” curriculum one more time and teach through Isaiah 43: 1b-2 while sharing our Called by Name stories and stories of others who were called by name in the Bible. We would also be running games, teaching songs, making arts and crafts, all while getting to spend time with students and sharing Christ’s love. We met a few times and made our plans and set the course for what we hoped would be an impactful week. When we first arrived, I was thrilled to see some good Kenyan friends I didn’t know would be there who would have campers in our program, friends we had made at the African Christian Camping conference last year in Tanzania. We were also excited by the number of campers we would be working with, and as the morning continued that number continued to grow.
Since we knew we would be working with fairly large numbers we enlisted the help of several of our BlueSky team that had worked camp. It was such a joy to be working in that setting again with some of the amazing people God had put in our lives. We knew when we first came that we would need to be developing Kenyan staff so that when we had camps outside of summer, we would have a pool of well-equipped people we could call on for things just like this. Our team was outstanding and honestly at the end of the camp when one of them asked what I would do differently my only real response was that I would have given them more responsibility because they handled it so well.
Since we had a large age range, six-year-old all the way to teens, we split into age groups for most games and all the small group Bible Study. Bronwyn took the youngest group, I took the oldest, and the rest we divided among the rest of the team. I loved being able to pour into the teens, at camp in the summer I don’t get to do one on one or even small groups nearly as much as I would like to. I typically do most of the large group teaching, but I miss the intimacy of small groups. I especially enjoyed spending time with one young man who was having his first real camp experience. He was shy, especially at first, and nervous to be around so many kids. He lived at home with his mom who home schooled him so his experiences with groups this size was new. He quickly became my go to guy when it was time to set up and tear down from games and I had the opportunity to eat several meals with him. In talking with him I learned he had changed his name a few years back because his real name got him picked on. Over the course of the camp he shared more and more of his story and could see how God was clearly working in his life, even if he couldn’t see it. These sorts of conversations are exactly why we do what we do, and I am hopeful that I will be able to see him again.
The camp team has a meeting in a few hours about anther camp soon and we are heavily into planning for Summer Camp. Please keep Bronwyn, I and the entire team in your prayers.