Monday, August 22, 2011

Built tough. Made to Last. Camp 2011

Last week I had the privilege to be a camp counselor to seven girls from KidZTown at the Garage, which is the kids program at the church that my husband and I are volunteering for. There are still many things that I am processing from last week, many of which are things that I learned about myself. It was a week filled with many learning experiences that stretched me further than I thought it would. I came away feeling as if I had been blessed twofold. These kids are amazing and full of such passion, ambition, and hunger for God and his love.

I went to camp not really knowing what to expect and prayed fervently for God to use me in ways that these girls would never forget. It is my prayer that they came away feeling very loved by God. One of the messages that God placed on my heart to communicate to these girls was how valuable they are. Since these girls (ages 8-12) are in the stage where they are defining their identity based on what they see and hear from others, God wanted them to hear from him how beautiful they are. Girls these days are bombarded by so many more messages of how they should look skinny, sexy, beautiful, and attractive to men. All it takes is one to listen to the most popular songs, the latest movies, commercials, and sometimes-even Disney to see that outward beauty, and sexual attraction is what matters most.

The theme for our cabin was that each of them were beautiful princesses of God and that they are each his beloved, a beautiful diamond. God wants them to see themselves in this way so that when others (including different sources of media) tell them otherwise, they can remain steadfast in his love and truth for them. I can recall one day, one of my cabin girls got mad at me when I told her how valuable she was and just how beautiful God thinks she is. She ran from me and yelled that she was ugly. It broke my heart, but yet it was something that I could relate to. I remember feeling ugly at a young age not fully understanding why, and I was usually too eager to believe what surrounding voices filled with lies told me about myself. I pray that the seeds of truth God told me to plant into their hearts and minds will grow beautiful Japanese cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Camp this year had the theme "Built tough. Made to Last" which talked about building a spiritual life with God that was growing strong everyday in everyway. It was amazing to worship God with these kids and see how the Holy Spirit was awakening new things within them. A different cabin girl was very hungry for more of God and his love. She sought him further every day and found her heart opening up in new ways to the Holy Spirit working in her life. This hunger and thirst was so encouraging to see in her! It is a prayer that all these kids would hunger such as this gal did and is continuing to do. Please be praying for them as they continue to hunger and thirst for more of God and how he would use them.

Throughout the week, I found myself amazed at how God was revealing himself and his will for my life (as well as my husband) throughout the different activities, cabin time, and chapel services. It was amazing because I was usually very busy keeping track of my cabin girls, "disciplining", directing, leading, singing, listening, and participating in the activities. I think I learned how to listen to the Holy Spirit's voice amidst what seemed like noisy, organized chaos. And it made my heart come alive more recognizing that even though I had come to camp to minister to these kids, that God was also ministering to me everyday. God's message for these girls was also for me. His love and heart for me, as well as others, continues to amaze me and make me speechless.

One of the other messages that God spoke to me about was having a mother's heart. In the process of preparing to be a Step Mom, I have been praying for God and his wisdom. I feel that this week of camp was a wonderful time of preparation for the beautiful stepdaughter that will soon be a part of my husband and my life. It was helpful to see God answering this prayer right in the middle of camp. It was encouraging to see how I was able to learn from each experience and see how the girls left camp somewhat or greatly changed. These girls taught me a lot and I hope that I in turn was able to teach them a lot about God and his love for them. I hope that I was able to write love letters from God upon their hearts that they will never forget.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Kara! Sounds like a great week on many counts. That message of God's value and opinion of young women is SO IMPORTANT- I am glad "your girls" got to hear it from you all week long.