Happy late Thanksgiving! I apologize for the lack of updating you with what has been going on in my life here. As I always say, its super busy around here! And when I do have time, sitting down to blog sounds like to much thinking. 😉
Thanksgiving week was a week full of fun. The kids had off all that week so we decided to cancel all our programs and do fun things with them during the week!
A couple of us interns had extra spending money so we decided to use that money and take some kids out for a fun day. So Kegan and I took a couple kids to the Wildlife Zoo for the day. It was so fun watching the kids get excited about the animals!
Feeding the giraffes.
Thanksgiving day was spent at the Reeds house. Everyone brought a dish and Stephanie set a nice table out in their back yard. It was a day filled with good friends, food, football, naps, food, games and then we ended the day with watching Elf in their back yard!
The Saturday after Thanksgiving was sweet Madison’s birthday. And also the Ohio state and Michigan game that we all made sure to watch! It was a good day to be a Ohio state fan!
Later that day, Carle, Lala, (one of our teens) and I went to the Phoenix flea market. That was so much fun! This flea market wasn’t one of those where people bring their old crap and try to see it. This flea market was a hipster style one.
The Sunday after, us interns made a fun day trip to Mexico! We headed out early in the morning and arrived there around 10:30 that morning. We walked the shops for a while so Carle could by some souvenirs. For lunch we decided to get some taco and take them to the beach. The rest of the day was spent at the beach, playing games, talking, and just enjoying each others company. Carle and Branden braved the cold water and jumped in! The day couldn’t be more perfect!
Christmas is right around the corner! And with that, there has been lots of decorating, party planning, and parties!
This past Saturday was our bike party. Normally we get to take about 5 kids to this party, but this year we were able to take 19 kids! When we invite them to this party, we don’t say anything about the bikes, that is the big surprise at the end!
This weekend there is another Christmas party! We are pairing up with another group and throwing a BIG party at the Garfield school. And when I mean big…I mean over a thousand people are expected at this party. Aim Right is having a after party at the church for just the kids after. We are going to have games and door prizes for them. I’m excited for it! Its sounds like a lot of fun! And then that evening Aim Right North is having their staff Christmas party. It will be a day of parties! And I’m not complaining!
With all this going on, I find myself forgetting what this season is all about. Its so much more then just the parties, food, and fun times. I read this the other day…
Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus. Neal A Maxwell
Do I have room for Jesus this holiday?
Do you have room for Jesus?
Because our busy schedule, I probably won’t be doing another update till I’m home. Im on my last stretch. 17 day countdown begins. Until then, peace be with you and see you on the other side!
Once there were two women who never knew each other,
One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours,
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.
To the mother I never met,
Sometimes I wish I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee and ask you some questions about the day you felt when you heard the news you where pregnant with a little girl. I can’t began to imagine…maybe excited? Scared? Nervous? Or perhaps sad because you knew that you would have to give me up one day. I would like to know how you and my birth dad met. What your names are. I would like to know if I had other siblings, a brother? A sister? Or maybe I was the only child? Do I have lots of cousins? Aunts? Uncles? I would like to know whos eyes I got, or smile. Yours or dads? Whos side of the family did I get my shortness from? I would like to know why you picked Gua Li Ming for my name…Did you name me after a grandparent? Does it have a special meaning? When is my real birthday?
I would like to ask you about the day you left me. The day you left me all wrapped up in a blanket at the police station. Why did you choose to leave me there? Was it because you knew that someone would find me? Do you ever wonder where I am? Do you ever wonder what I look like? If I’m short? If I take after you or my birth dad? Do you ever wonder if I’m safe?
I just want to say, thank you. Thank you for caring about me enough to leave me at the police station. It might of been one of the hardest things you had to do, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. The people at the police station took me to a orphanage and there they took care of me.
Across the ocean there was this white couple from a little town call Fair Play in South Carolina. They where told they couldn’t have kids of their own so they started with the adoption process. It was a along process with lots of money and prayers! During that time, God blessed them with a miracle. A little baby boy of their own! So now they weren’t only going to have one baby, but two! The waiting process was long..one day, they received something in the mail. It was papers and a picture of a little girl. They where told they finally had a match. I was almost three years old. I didn’t know if this family wanted me, because on my papers it said I was a little three year old who was special needs. Who would want a special needs baby? They said I had a heart conditions. But that didn’t stop this family. They choose me. ME. So after their little boy was born, they came for me! They told me it was quite an adventure! But God made everything work out perfect.
They said that they remember when they first saw me. They said I drove up in a limo and my nanny opened the door. And in her arms, there I was. The little girl they have been praying for a long time. Who everyone was praying for. I was tiny, I was dirty, and I was scared. (I was also eating food.) They fell in love.
I want you to know I am good. I am safe. I am happy. I am better then good. I have a family who loves me and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They taught me so many things. They taught me how to love, and that Jesus loves me. I have a brother who I am best friends with. I have a sister who is adopted too and because of that, we are close. I have some of the greatest friends in the world. I am 21 years old. I am currently living in Phoenix, Arizona working with children who need love like I did.
I would like to think that one day we will meet. If not here on this earth, up in heaven. If it wasn’t for that brave decision you made to leave me, I wouldn’t be here. Thank you.
I’m sitting here wearing all black, my hair is up in a messy bun, and my feet are propped up on the chair in front of me. I’m am sitting here typing away on my lap top, listing to the sounds of coffee being made, and the music playing in the back ground. I have a half eaten pumpkin muffin and hot green tea sitting next to my laptop. Once in a while I looks up and obverses the people around me. I see two girls on their laptops working on collage papers and a guy on his laptop and writing things down. But I sees more then just young people on their laptops working on school, I see beautiful stories behind them….
Yesterday I had a good talk with one of my really good friends that I got to know, love and work with over this past year. We talked about the person I was when I first came out here to the person I am now. I use to always think I needed people beside me all the time. Now, I need time alone to function right. The way I see people, instead of putting them into a box because of how they look. I like to get to know them and listen to their stories. And I know I’ve grown spiritually, I’m not saying I’m all holy and all..I know I just matured in that area and I know that God still has so much more to teach me!
This morning I got up early to escape and make some time for myself to just chill. I feel like life has been so busy and a little overwhelming.
After my family left, my cousin from Ohio came out to visit me for my birthday. She was here for a week. She hung out with me and helped with things around the mission that needed to be done. She got to help with our fall festival, which was awesome! One of the days we made a day trip to Rocky Point, Mexico with the Branden, Kegan and Lourdes. It was so much fun! We walked the streets and shopped a little in the little side shops. And then we went to the beach. That was my favorite part, Lourdes, Kegan and I jumped into the water with just the clothes we had. The water was the perfect temperature to swim in, we saw little black and yellow striped fish, caught a baby shrimp, and saw some sting rays. We also got to ride on banana boat. Then we ended the night by stopping on the side of the road to gaze at the beautiful stars. It was a good week! And it was fun having her out here.:)
My cousin left on Wednesday and on that Friday another friend came out. Emily, a friend from South Carolina came for the weekend. The plan was to originally take me home, but since I extended my stay, we took that time and went to L.A California for a short girls trip. Everything worked out perfect, we got to stay with some really nice girls who let us stay at their small apartment for the weekend. Emily and I saw a lot of things in the two full days we where there!
Mr Holmes Bakery was my favorite little place!
The last book store was probably the biggest book store I have ever been to!
Stopping in at the flower market was a must do!
Because I can’t take plants home with me on the airplane, I bought the guys a cactus!
Emily left this past Tuesday…and then my friend, Dani from South Carolina came on Wednesday..yeah, I have been blessed with lots of company this past month. I love having them come out and see what my life is really like out here. Dani has just been chilling with me while she is here. I have gotten to take her out to lots of my favorite places to eat, we went shopping today and tomorrow she will be going to the Wild life zoo with us and some kids. She will be heading out Tuesday evening to go back home. Till then, we will continue to party on! 🙂
It sounds like I have been parting a lot…I have been enjoying all the company I’ve been having. But having company hasn’t stopped my work. I still do everything and try to hang out with my friends. Though with the 3 other interns out here my load has lighten up some! And I’m so grateful for them!
Last Sunday, Carle Troyer from Holmes county, Ohio came out. She’s a artistic, sweet, and loves plants as much as I do. She has only been here for a week, but I can tell that she will do great with the girls here. Its so nice to know that when I leave, I’m leaving a girl intern here to take over my girls group. This past Thursday she joined my teen girls bible study. We made it a fun night by going somewhere and painting pottery. It was a good time for Carle to get to know the girls some and it was due for a fun girls night!
Our Monday night bible study also know as Fusion Night, at Aim Right North has grown and keeps growing. This past week we had 30 teens in our little building. With that many kids (mostly boys) sometimes it feels like we are doing more crowd control then getting to know them. Or maybe that’s just me since its harder for a girl to relate to these guys.
Here are some random pictures of a couple fall activities we’ve been up to..
Kegan and I took a group of teens hiking up Squaw Peak on Sunday evening…
It may not look or feel like fall around here but it doesn’t mean we cant do fally things.:)
These last couple of weeks the thought of leaving has been on my mind a lot. I honestly don’t know how I’m gonna handle it when I step on that airplane. Right now, my heart is just breaking. It feels just like it did when I left home to come here. Good byes have always been really hard for me. But I guess things must come to a end so a new chapter of life can start. And who knows…God might bring me back here one day!
A couple things to keep in prayer…
As the holidays are coming up it gets pretty busy around here, so just pray that we remember the reasons for the seasons…
For my last month here just be a good one.
And for my health. Lately, I haven’t been feeling good..so I’m going to the doctor whenever I can get in. Its not fun to not have energy to make it through the day with our busy schedule here. So hopefully we can figure it out!
She looked back at her little house one more time and whispered goodbye. She tried everything to hold back the tears in her eyes because she knew that at that point in life, it wasn’t going to be the same ever again. The night before she had said goodbye to the people she had drawn so closely to in the past year. Her heart felt like it was going to fall into a million pieces. She put her headphones in and tried to drown out her feelings. This was it. This was the beginning of her life changing adventure…….
That girl was me. It was October 24th, 2015 a year ago today. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I thought, I was sure I had made the wrong choice about coming out to Arizona. Yeah, I was excited to go on a adventure, but that day when we drove out of our drive way, that’s when it became real. I knew my friends would change. I knew that I would miss events. I knew life would move on. I knew life would change. But little did I know, it is how God would change me.
Sometimes I just sit and laugh at myself when I look back at that very day. There I was, worried about how life was going to change. I’m sure God was up there laughing at me and saying “silly girl, why aren’t you trusting me? I got it all under control and I know what I’m doing with you.” I would never go back to change anything. You have no idea how grateful I am that I had the opportunity to come out here for a year. God has taught me so much…so much more then I would of learned if I would of stayed in my little comfort zone in South Carolina.
How has my life changed in this one year??
First off, being out here has changed the meaning of Mexican food in a whole other way…I have had some real authentic Mexican food…and..lets just say, my life has changed forever. I don’t know if I can ever go to a “American Mexican Restaurant” ever again.
I like to read. Do I have the time? No, not really, but I try to whenever I can.
85* degrees is almost jacket weather for me. I have turned into a wimp.
I enjoy alone time now. Back in the day, I hated the thought of being at home when everyone else was out and about. Don’t get me wrong. I still love hanging out with people and doing fun things. But I have appreciated having time to myself.
I have become a plant lover. You can call me the crazy plant lady. 🙂
I know how to drive in city traffic. Just don’t ask the kids…They will tell you different. They haven’t died yet, so that’s always a good sign.
I have a whole new wardrobe…Its kind of hard to stay way from those half off days at Goodwill!
How I look at people, the broken, the gays, and the unlovable people. God loves all of them and I want to too. I was so quick at judging them, but now I try to take the time to understand what’s in their hearts.
There is so much more that has changed about me. But its so hard to explain it unless you have gone through it. Does that make sense? Maybe one day we can sit down with some coffee and have a good talk. 🙂
Life has been busy for me here! I know I said that in the last post, but it never slows down! I can’t believe we are almost done with October. I have only 2 short months here. Bring on the tissues!
Two weeks ago my dear family came out for a weekend to visit me. It was a good time. It was so fun to have them here and to show them what I do.
They got to help with our Fall Festival at Aim Right North on Friday night. I was put in charge of that, so they got to see everything that needed to be done behind closed doors. We had games, cotton candy machine, face painting, and prizes!
My family also made a trip to Mexico on Saturday with some of my moms cousins that live out here. And this time I had my passport with me! 😉
A couple weeks ago we had taken a group of Aim Right North kids to a thing called Feed My Starving Children. If you ever have the opportunity to do that, I suggest to do it! You go and package food for people in other countries. So it was really cool to see these young kids go and give their time to help someone else.
October 8th, Kegan Yoder from Ohio joined our team as a intern. So he has been a lot of fun getting to know. He has only been here for a couple weeks, but he has just jumped into things and it feels like he has been here longer.
This past week over my birthday Kegan and Brendan took time and made me dinner for my birthday and then after we had gone to down town Scottsdale to walk some of the art galleries. So having them both here has been great! I love hanging out with them…mostly because they make food. 😉 shhhhh don’t tell them that! (just kidding guys…I really do like hanging out with you guys)
Speaking of my birthday. I remember last year I was sure that this years birthday was going to be awful because none of my friends where going to be there to celebrate..But it was one of the best birthdays ever. I had received flowers, gift cards to some of my favorite coffee shops, food made for me… and I spent it with 70 kids and friends that became family to me. I am so blessed!
I still work at Open Door fellowship on Tuesday mornings. Sometimes I’m surprised that I even live though those morning. I have 15 four and five year olds, but sometimes it feels like I have 100! All I can say is that I could use a lot more prayer for patients!!
Tomorrow my cousin Scarla is coming for the week. So it should be a full busy week for us! I don’t know what its going to hold, but I know there will be lots of adventures! I know on Saturday her, I, the guys and some of the other staff are going to head to Mexico for the day. So that should be fun!
Something that has been really on my mind lately is, all the time I have spent with the kids and teens, will I be remembered? In 20 years, where are the teens that I went hiking with the other day be at from now? Life will move on out here after I leave. People will change. Have I done enough to help change their future?
My dear child, you were no mistake. A mistake is something that is wrong. There is nothing wrong about you. For I have made you perfectly in my image.
My dear child, you were not a surprise. You were the most delightful, incredible gift I gave to your family.
My dear child, you were planned. Your life was in my hands all along. I have a plan for your life.
You were always part of my plans.
My dear child, you were no mistake.
This past week was a special day that my family and I often forget about ever year it comes around. *I guess if we forget about it then its not really that special, but it should be.* This year I really thought about what event took place on that day. We like to call it Gotcha Day, its the day my parents first saw me, held me, kissed me, and gave me a real home. I don’t remember it, but I remember them talking about that day when that care giver got out of the car with me. It was love at first sight. *honestly I thought I looked like a boy with my chopped hair cut and fat cheeks..* I finally belonged somewhere. I finally had someone who loved me. I finally had a home.
You sometimes hear about kids who have been adopted struggle with it. I never have. Sure I have thought about who my parents could of been, which one do I take after, or did I have any other siblings. But I liked being different. I liked being Chinese. I liked telling people my story…. well..I guess I lied a little, I can go back and see that there were a couple times when I did struggle with it..but more of the person I was. Not for being adopted.
I know I was put in this family for a reason. God had picked out my family for me. He gave me a strong father who provides for his family, he taught me how to go out and serve others, how to work hard for what I want, and how to save money…*well I’m still learning that one.* He gave me a mother who has a servants heart, she cooks me GREAT food, and she taught me how to clean like a real Amish person when its cleaning season. God gave me a brother who is just two years younger than me and we where the bestest friends growing up. And a spunky little sister who makes me laugh…and to share clothes with.
God gave me friends that I can go get coffee with and have long talks with
God gave me a godly home to grow up in.
God gave me a family that loved me.
He gave me a desire to work with kids. A desire to love people. He made me the right size, he gave me a loud voice, he made me a little spunky.
This was not a mistake.
My life was no mistake.
I was no mistake.
The other day, I had a really good conversation with one of my teen girls, we where talking about her family and things that go on at her house. And to hear how some of her family talks to her broke my heart. But what made my heart brake more was to hear her tell me “Aleisha, I hate my family, God put me in this family by mistakes, I can’t do anything right. I was a mistake.” We talk a little about how much God loves us and how in Psalms, God tells us that he created our inmost being and he knit us together in our mothers womb…. and God knows what he is doing with her life and that she wasn’t a mistake. I can’t even image what that would be like to live with a family who treats you like you aren’t worth anything. And the really sad part is that, 99% of our kids out here feel like that. And sometimes I wish I could take that place. But I just have to pray that they will realize that God loves them, and created them for a purpose.
Sorry I haven’t been very good at keeping y’all updated with what’s going on out here. Life has been so busy for me! There are some days that I leave at 9 in the morning and don’t get back home till 10 at night. But its a good busy!
We have started all our regular programs out here. Teen bible study, kids club, teen girls bible study, community night, and we started this new thing called Rec center. Rec center is where we open up our rec Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for a couple hours right after school. So the kids come and they can buy their favorite after school snack, hot Cheetos, hot pocket, and a Pepsi. I will often have a little craft for them to do and we also have a couple game systems set up. Which the kids love! We also help with home work if they need help. Its pretty much a hang out place to have fun!!
Baby sitting at ODF has started up again. This term I am a leader in the room. It doesn’t take much preparation, I just have to plan a craft for them. This year we have 16 four and five year olds. There are days that I feel good when I walk out and there are days like this past Tuesday when I question why did I even sign up for it again?! The kids can be so crazy!
This term I am in charge of putting kids club lessons and stuff together till I leave. At first that seemed like a huge job. But now that we just made it through a month, I really enjoy it. In October we have 2 fall festivals to plan for. I’m pretty excited about it! I LOVE FALL.
A couple weeks ago, the Aim Right staff had a camping retreat in….well somewhere in Arizona…anyway, it was a nice relaxing weekend. We ate, played games, ate, went to the lake, ate, sat by the fire, and well ate. It was a good time. I made me realize how much I missed the quieter life.
Last Saturday, Enric and I took a group of teens (my teen girls and some guys) to Castle and Coasters. Its a little amusement park close by. They where doing a fundraiser and if you bring 10 can goods per person that you could get in for free. So we showed up with 110 cans of corn, tomato sauce, and soups. It was so much fun! It was my first time ever riding roller coasters…I felt like I was going to die the first time but then I kept going back. Its defiantly something I should do more often! 😉
Branden Hershberger joined our team at the end of August. So its been fun getting to know him. And another guy intern comes out in a week! Its so nice to have someone there to help me with the work. It brings back memories of when I first came out here. Almost a year ago that was me. I can’t believe how fast it has gone!
In two weeks my mom and dad and sister are coming out for a weekend. So I’m pretty pumped for that! They will get to help with one of our fall festivals. Then after they leave my cousin is coming out for a week! She doesn’t know what she’s getting herself into! 😉 I’m pretty excited! And we plan to take a day trip to Mexico and this time I get to use my passport.;) And after she goes home, one of my friends from south Carolina is coming and we are going to spend the weekend in A.L! There are so many exciting things coming up!!
Have you heard about the crazy clown stuff? I know that there are some in South Carolina and Kentucky. They found some out here and they tell us not to go outside after dark or anything like that… On Monday, one of the high schools that most of our teens go to, had a shooting threat by one of these clowns. These kids are living in a consent fear. They have caught 3 of the clowns, but there are more out there. This world has gone crazy!
I was watching a video on facebook the other day, it was a girl who could sing so beautiful. But down below, people where commenting and what they where saying about her was so mean.
The point to these two stories is…How did people become like this? Why are people so mean and hateful?
Is it because no one loved them? Because no one cared for them? And thinking about that always makes the reason why I’m out here more important. We are here to love and to teach them to love. We are here to care. We are here to show them that there is a God out there that loves them. I often think, how many opportunity’s do we pass up to talk or to show Gods love to them? I know I have passed up many…
Three weeks ago I was packing my three suit cases with all my little room decorations and extra dresser clothes. My goal was to eliminate as much stuff so when I head home in November I will be able to stuff the rest of my things in 4 suit cases. Because this girl has no desire to go on a long road trip back home. Once was enough for me!
Everything was stuffed and packed in all the little pockets and cracks of the two suit cases and I was headed to South Carolina early August 6th. Whenever I went home to visit, which has only been one other time, I was so excited to go home and see friends and family. But this time it felt different. I felt as if I was now leaving my home and I’m going to visit a new place. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see my family and friends but it just felt so odd. Do you know what I mean?? Maybe that feeling was something you only can understand if you experience it yourself. Maybe it was because it was so early, or maybe it was because I didn’t eat anything and I was starving, but I cried a couple tears on the plane when we where taking off. 😉 Leaving was a lot harder then I thought.
My family greets me at the gate. It was so good to see my family standing there with their arms open wide. They where so glad I was home, that the first thing they had me do when we got home was go pick green beans out of the garden and mow our lawn. I’m just going to say…there’s a part of me that forgot how to work. Because when I was out there to push mow our lawn, I thought I was going to die.
Its amazing what a year in the city does to you. You forget all the bugs that come with the southern country summers, the fresh veggies from the garden are tons better then the ones I get at Frys, and that you have to mow your lawn every week. 🙂
Three weeks back at home sounded like a very long time at first. But like every other time, that time flew by so fast!!
I spent two of those weekends with my family, which was really nice…(well to be honest, at first I was annoyed that my family filled my weekends with stuff, but now I’m glad they did.) The first weekend we went to Bryson City, North Carolina to go camping. It was a great time! We cooked our meals over the fire, sat around the fire and had good conversations in the evenings with the family, and faught the bugs.(or maybe that was just me) Saturday we had spent most of the day tubing down Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountains. If you have never done that, I really recommend it! Its cheap, something the whole family loves, and there’s nothing like floating down the rive at your own pace and contemplating about life.
cooking over the fire takes way to long…
Kris “I should be the next top chef!
There where coffee dates and lake days during the week with friends when I was at home.
One day a good friend of ours from Ohio hung out with us for the day. I took him hiking to Brasstown falls and introduced him to boiled peanuts! Which he loved.
Another day, a couple of my friends and I borrowed kayaks and went out to the lake for the afternoon. We took our lunch that we got from the little bakery in town and had a picnic on one of the little island that we found, it had a couple of rope swings on the island..it was perfect. It was one of those days that you felt like you where living in a whole other world.
The other weekend we went to Bethel camp for their yearly auction. And my good friend Emily came with us. It was a really nice, relaxing weekend for us..we just kind of sat around and drank coffee and ate chocolate covered blueberries. And laughed a LOT!
It was nice to be home and spend time with Kris before he heads to reach this Friday. He will be there till Thanksgiving and then get to come home for a little then he will leave again till summer. This was the last time I will be able to see him till next summer. So next week and until I get home, Anna will be the only child. If you think about my dear poor mother in the next couple of weeks..maybe send her a text of encouragement. Because saying goodbye to two of your kids in one week is pretty hard.
When the three weeks where up I told my family and friends I was ready to get back. I felt like if I stayed any longer then I would need to get a job! I hopped on the plane this morning and arrived in Phoenix this morning. All day I have been fighting a little homesickness. I didn’t understand. It was hard leaving here and then it was hard leaving there…
I feel like I’m stuck in the middle.
I always thought “HOME” was a place where you grew up and where your family is. Its partly that, but home is a feeling. Its wherever your heart is. Someone told me tonight..”.Its hard to walk away from anything when you put your whole heart into it.” I guess I should look at it as a good thing that there are people in both places that I care and love so much that it hurts to leave them.
It was nice to take a break and take time refreshing for these next 4 months. I was filling out my calendar today after I got back. And wow…the time will go so fast,
In the next two weeks things will be in full swing. Monday night teen bible study, baby sitting at ODF on Tuesdays, Kids club Wednesday nights, bible study with my girls Thursday, and community night on Friday night. House cleaning, Aim Right yard sales, volunteering at the pregnancy center, staff meetings, and mobile pantry will also be filling in the gaps. Sounds like a lot, but the good new is that there are three interns coming out!! One is arriving on Monday and the other two will be coming in October and November. I will no longer be the only intern!
When I was home, I was asked to stay longer..I prayed about it and talked to my family about it. And I said yes. My extra support money will get me through that extra month I’m staying. I will be home before Christmas. I’m very excited to have another month to give to these kids and the programs here.
If you think about, just pray for us out here..
for all of our programs that are starting
and that I can just finish these last 4 months out strong and give everything I got!
Thank you all for the prayers and support that have been given already! I love getting little cards in the mail! Also thanks to the youth group for the box!! Reading all the notes was defiantly my favorite part..and I enjoyed the chocolate! Even though it was all melted. 😉
Words that described my week at teen camp…stretching, challenging, fun, and God moving…if those are even the right words.
On July 17th at 6:00 a.m, 26 campers and around 15 staff and their children hopped in two 15 passenger vans and one bus and headed to southwest Colorado for a week. We didn’t know what the week was going to hold, but we did know that there were lots of people around the U.S praying for all of us, we had faith that God was going to do amazing things and he was going to help kids find their belonging, identity, purpose and direction for their life!
It was a longggg 10 hour drive…We stopped for a couple bathroom breaks and for lunch on the way. We finally arrived at the Circle K Ranch (the camp) in the evening right in time for dinner. We got everyone settled in, vans unloaded, beds made, and we got freshened up for dinner. Let me tell you, this camp had some of the best food you could have at a camp. The only down side of it was that, most of the time we couldn’t have seconds because they would have to feed us and other staff, groups, and family’s that where using the camp that same week. And…well you know…when you have a bunch of teenage boys, they like to eat a lot. And I mean ALOT!
Every morning we had a staff meeting, to talk about how camp was going and how our kids where doing. We also had our devotions together which was often encouragement for us to keep pushing through the week. One thing I remembered was that one of our first days, Enric had asked all of us to write down some goals we wanted to see accomplished by the end of the week. The two goals I had put down were…..
Get to know my girls in my cabin better and see God work in them
Be open to learning anything …I always think I know what I need to learn and work on in my life..but most of the time, I’m wrong…God always shows me something new in my life that I didn’t know I needed to work on. (I hope that all made sense)
My first goal was accomplished…I had five girls in my cabin and the other counselor had four girls. Now you wouldn’t think that was a lot of kids…epically if have counseled at Bethel camp were you get 10 girls. But my group of girls made enough noise for 20 girls..Seriously, I’m not even being dramatic about this. I had five girls, but the five girls that are the loudest of the whole group, the 5 leaders out of the girls, and the 5 most strong willed girls. For those who know me..you know how much I like to talk and be loud..It was like that but 50 times more. I mean, I think its great that they have loud voices, I believe God gave that to them so they can use their voices for his glory. Just not to argue and yell at each other. Which is what their voices where use for a lot at camp. One thing my group struggled with a lot was communication and just simply working together. We had many group chats about the attitude checks, the blame game, and the girl drama that was going around. They would pick at each other so much, but one thing is did see was, as soon as someone out of their group did something to one of them, they right away had each others backs. And there were times when just the girls would sit down and talk about the problem and take care of it without me being right there. And that was really awesome to see!
We did lots of fun activates, there was horse back riding, tubing down a rocky river, and hiking down steep mountains. All of which every one of my girls some how hurt themselves in. The nurse said she saw my group of girls more then any other groups that week. There was lots of muscle cream rubbing, pill popping, and band aide sticking. We also had team games during the day…which if your team won those games, you would get the gold toilet plunger. Yes, that’s right, a plunger. But this wasn’t any plunger, it was the golden plunger that gave you the rights to let you be first in line before everyone else for EVERY meal that day.
We had chapel time two times a day, once in the morning and one in the evening. Caleb was our speaker all week and Tim lead worship. Our theme this year was ALL IN AND ALL OUT for JESUS. He talked about taking our relationship to the next level with God and how we are Gods masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good work. “You are Gods masterpiece” is something we kept hearing every chapel session and we talked about finding our God given identity and purpose. And just sacrificing things to be all in for Jesus.
One evening the other staff gave me and the other girl counselor a couple of hours to just be away from some of the things our girls were dealing with and to refresh our minds. So I grabbed my Bible and something to write with. I didn’t really know what I was looking for. But I was tired and felt worn out. I opened the Bible and it opened to right to the Proverbs 3:5-6 …
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
I had a flash back to the past week I had went to the park to go….Pokémon hunting with some of the teens…yes..I’m a little ashamed to admit that I got trapped into that game. Anyway…I was at the park and I was watching a little boy playing on the monkey bars and his mother was right there watching him. I could hear the little boy tell his mother that his arms are getting tired and he wanted her to get him down. Instead of grabbing her child and getting him down she held her arms out and said to him “let go, I got you.” He didn’t trust her..and again he said..”no mom, get me down” I could tell he was about to fall anytime. The mother said one more time “I love you. I promise, I’ll catch you dear.” He just held on, then he couldn’t hold on any longer and he let go. She caught him. I didn’t understand why the lady just didn’t get her son down. And I was thinking the poor kid! But now I see it all. That little boy was me…I often don’t like to let go and fall into Gods hands. Let me just tell you. two hours just spending time with God and reading his word can do a lot for a person. I came out of that room feeling like I could take on the whole world!! I would say that’s when my second goal was met. I could be told this ever single day…RELY ON GOD!! Why is that something I easily forget when I’m told or reminded about this every day? Its such a simple thing to know but to remember to do that when I’m going through a rough time, its like I was never taught that. Do you get me??
Relying on God has to begin all over again
every day as if nothing had yet been done.
It was a week that I will never forget. One thing I know for sure is that somewhere through all that drama that went on with the girls, and even though I felt like I was empty at the end of the week. God worked in every single one of my girls. By the end of the week my girls where getting along. One of them told me chapel was their favorite part of the day. Four of them got baptized and 8 kids joined Gods family. Since we have been home the questions about God keep coming. Two of my girls have picked up the Bible and started to read it….God is just so amazing! I continue to pray for them as they get back into school in the next two weeks because I know how hard it is to stand up for the right thing when you have all kinds of presser around you.
Speaking about the next week. Wednesday we had our last trip to the children’s museum. It was fun spending time with the kids this summer there but….I am glad I don’t have to go back for a while.
School is starting within the next two weeks here for these kids. So that means that soon we will be picking up our regular schedule again. But before we do that, they are sending me home for 3 weeks to just refresh. Then when I get back out here there will be another intern out here and I will be out here for another 3 months. I can’t believe how time flies! Sometimes it feels like I just got out here! Its going to be a bitter sweet thing to leave. I will be excited to go back home to my family and friends…but my heart will still be here with these kids. But we won’t talk or or worry about that till the time comes. Till then…I want to be ALL IN.
Thank you for all the prayers and support! Have a great weekend!