It is so strange to think that something we train for months for can go by in just a few short days! We’ve been here at camp in the mountains for 4 days now, and I just can’t believe that it is almost over. The start of camp is always an experience of mixed feelings for me because it’s so exciting to be meeting so many new people, yet scary because it is hard sometimes to connect with others that do not speak your own language.
Each day has had its challenges for me, yet I am continually encouraged by my teammates Drew, Kirane, and Kolton to go to Jesus when I am struggling. A night or two ago the 4 of us came together with the sudden realization that we could not continue with this camp without praying together and sharing in our struggles. Those few short minutes spent in prayer instantly washed away 3 whole days of stress, and once we were done I just couldn’t believe that we had taken so long to make the conscious realization that we need Jesus so much and that we have to talk to him about everything.
This camp has been so unlike anything that I expected it to be, and yet it is strangely wonderful and faith-stretching for me. I guess if it takes some tough experiences to help me remember how much I need Jesus, then I’m okay with that. Let’s be honest: who really loves to go through hard things? But the crazy thing about it is that God uses them to shape who I am and who I’m becoming.
So, tomorrow, late in the evening, we leave camp to return to Martin, and it will be such a bittersweet departure. We are going to leave before the official end of camp on Saturday morning so that we can be with the rest of our team from New Heights for the Goulash Festival, and I am so glad that we get to take part in that, but I know it will be hard to leave these wonderful students we’ve come to know and love. I love it when God uses funny moments like when Janka and Mishka played Chubby Bunny with their crepes at ‘4th meal’ tonight, or when I failed miserably at a game my girls were teaching me, to bring us closer together and build deeper connections with each other. I always knew God had a sense of humor, but boy, has he shown it to us during this week at camp!
If you will, please be praying for our final day here. Pray that we make the most of what little time we have left to plant seeds in our students’ hearts and to love them unreasonably. Finally, I ask that you pray for our own hearts; that we will be gracious and patient with each other as we prepare for an amazing finish to this camp!
Slovakia, my friends, is a wonderful place to be.