The first story I thought of was how God brought happiness into a moment of extreme sadness on the last day of Camp Life. My group and I were sitting at our daily picnic table when the call to start loading buses blasted on the speaker. My little Wise, the smallest boy in our group (I am now officially his sponsor!) started crying. Of course, I started crying as well. There we were holding each other bawling crying knowing that we were going to be leaving each other for a year in just a few minutes. What happened next was something that God had planned for my partner to say. She started laughing and said, “everyone else thinks y’all had a fight and that is why you’re crying”.
Even though this is such a simple statement it brought a big smile to my face. As I think more and more about this story I realize that’s what God did that week for all my kids as he did for me at that moment. He brought them happiness in a time of desperate need and sadness, and I’m forever grateful for my partner’s words along with God’s Word to bring smiles when his children need them most.
The second story is something that happened during and after my first blessing time. Peter, one of my older boys who has very good English, quickly volunteered to be the first child in my group to do a blessing time. Since it was my first year at Camp Life and my very first blessing time, I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly realized how broken and vulnerable these children are. Peter has experienced three deaths in his family and lives with his older brother. I was crying through his blessing time because it had hit me really hard that such a happy kid was having to experience such a heartbreak.
When asked what he wants me to ask God when I pray for him, Peter said to pray he and his brother get food. Then it really hit me how kind these children are. Every single snack, no matter an orange or apple or an extra piece of bread, Peter would offer me half of whatever he had left. The little boy who is starving, asking God for food, was offering me half of his meals. If I learned anything from this trip it’s that God’s children are the kindest and strongest people in the world.