Camp "Shine" in Camalote, Belize!
Well, here are the much-anticipated first images from The Evangelical Quest Church's "Shine" camp at Blue Thumb Missions. I have combined Day 4 and 5 highlights to give everyone at home a detailed account of what your missionaries are doing.
As I stated yesterday, campers arrived Thursday around noon and were checked in by Quest Church Missionaries. Boys and girls were separated into different groups and were given corresponding team color wrist bands.
We began camp by playing games that would allow us to learn each others names. Everyone also participated in team building exercises - used to draw us together as campers and counselors.
The young people were amazingly respectful and attentive, listening to counselors explain the dos and dont's of the weekend.
Within a few hours, the entire camp was completely alive with games and crafts and group meetings.
The staff has been very blessed to have several local Belizean women to cook our meals. Many past missionaries will remember Elvira Pop. (Wife of Victor in Arizona Village)
During the course of the day, our counselors take time-out to associate the activities with scriptural lessons from the Bible.
Both boy and girl teams have enjoyed craft projects - like bracelet making.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this camp is the one-on-one interaction between the youth and adults. Spending intimate time together builds both trust and a sense of belonging. Our counselors are eating, sleeping, playing and praying with these kids around the clock.
When two cultural worlds collide, differences can often result in a difficult "getting-to-know-you" stage. But I must say that we have been blessed with a great bunch of kids who are willing to communicate and participate with Quest and EQC leaders.
I had to take this picture on the soccer - or futball - field yesterday. Talk about differences. Corey oversees an organized soccer game and takes a moment to pose with little Sergio - one of our smallest 14 year old campers. Six foot, five inches meets about forty four inches.
As I type, I can not express enough about how much fun these kids are having. I just want to take pictures of every moment - as their faces are just so illuminated. For a few days, they are truly free to be carefree children of God. No cares, no worries. Despite the emotional baggage they may have carried into this camp we continue to lift them up and allow them to shine.
We have included a canteen for the kids so that they can have treats throughout the day. This gives them time to relax and provides our leaders some time to just hang out with them.
Friday was fairly hot and humid so we incorporated some cool water fun into the schedule. We filled up water balloons and had relay races and balloon tossing games. And as with any water sport and kids, pranks were in short supply. (more to come about this later today)
And what trip would be complete without enjoying the local tropical produce. And German has been doing a great job of supplying plenty of mangos.
As evening draws near, we shower, eat and prepare for worship in the chapel. I promise to blog about our first two worship experiences later today. But words are hard to come by right now. The Holy Spirit has been so very powerful and present that descriptions are tough, at best. But, again, I will make the attempt.
Well, gotta run. Breakfast is over and I hear the business of little feet. Until later today....... Peace from your missionaries in Belize.