Camp Barnabas: Day 5
Another big Barnabas hello friends!
Picking up where our last update left off: last night we had a Mad Scientist theme party! We all dressed up in lab coats, goggles, big white hair, and glasses, and went around to about 10 stations that each had a different science experiment for campers to do. There was also a huge cardboard box that had been painted to look like a talking computer; one of the camp staffers hid inside with an amp and a microphone, and when the campers pushed a “button” they could ask a question and the “computer” would answer in a robotic voice. They thought it was SO cool, and the questions they asked were hilarious! It was a blast watching their bewilderment doing all of the awesome science tricks and experiments set up for them.
The prestigious JEFF award went to Jax Nicholson’s cabin last night! The JEFF theme of the day was enthusiasm, and their cabin definitely showed it in many ways. They took two huge sticks and made a cross out of them, then decorated a white t-shirt and put it on the sticks to make a person, and carried it around all day shouting their cabin chants. So it was no surprise when they won JEFF for the day!
Another of my favorite moments from last night was watching Devante “Biggie” Ridley with his camper Greg at Wrap-Up. Greg is one of the most difficult campers here this week, with one of the highest levels of need. Greg is very heavy and has an injured foot, so it is super painful for him to walk around camp. As a result, he is angry around the clock and never wants to go anywhere. Biggie has an extremely hard time convincing him to walk to each activity that they are supposed to go to, and when he does finally drag him up, he’ll only walk about 30 feet before plopping down on the ground again. On top of all of that, Greg is mean to Biggie basically all day long, figuring out all of the things that hurt or drive Biggie crazy and doing them constantly. Needless to say, Biggie has had a crazy hard week with Greg, and has asked for us to pray for him every day that he can make it through the week. Last night at Wrap-Up, though, I looked over on the bleachers and Greg was sitting in front of Biggie leaning back on him with his head on his leg, and Biggie was rubbing his back sweetly to comfort him. This went on for about 10 minutes, and it was one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen. Watching Biggie put aside his frustration and care for his camper in such a loving way was an amazing representation of the work our missionaries are doing this week.
Lots of our group members wanted to share a message in today’s update! Here is Bethany Cox:
This week has been absolutely amazing. It is so wonderful getting to watch these campers, especially during worship. The love they have for the Lord is so inspiring, and even more so because they express it in their own special ways. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to come this week, and am looking forward to a great rest of the week.
Betsy Fisher also wanted to share:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG I have been reminded of this scripture several times this week. I have watched our students make this verse real for me and their campers. They have spent this week caring for someone else’s needs. They stay within an arm’s length of their camper at all times. If their camper is slow they are walking slow; if their camper wants to sit and watch people and not engage, they sit right there with them. Our students’ entire focus is on someone else. This whole week has been about them offering their lives to someone the world says is “less than” in some way. It is HARD, but I see the Spirit of God in each one of them. Yes, there is frustration and irritation, but God is transforming them and I am blessed to watch them grow and hear where they are recognizing God’s work. I am forever changed for the good by this trip.
Jillian Johnson shared a little about her week as well:
This week has been an eye opening for me. I have been working in a guy cabin, and I have to say, it has been pretty awesome working with them. The other missionaries in my cabin are so cool. Most of them are from Texas, and it has been really cool getting to know them. My camper is really awesome. His name is Aidan and he has autism and down syndrome. He is also non-verbal, so this whole trip it has been hard to understand what he wants or needs. He only likes his fruit snacks and his iPad to watch The Wiggles. It is his first year at camp also, so it is a first experience for both of us. I can’t wait to tell y’all more when we get back!
Sam King, one of our Barnstormers, shared this:
This has been an incredible experience for me and it’s been so amazing watching all the campers bond with the missionaries and with each other. I have loved meeting all the other Barnstormers and watching God work through them.
Our group is hot, sweaty, exhausted, and overflowing with love and thanksgiving for what God is doing this week. As always, keep us in your prayers. We need them to boost us through to Saturday!