Cowboy Summer Camp 2016

Camp is over. I’m still recovering. But I thought I would share a bit of recap.  We served 99 children and teens!  Twelve of those teens were team leaders, led worship, taught lessons, taught Bible verses, and/or translated.  One of our team leaders was Ana, who was the littlest girl camper in 2007,when I came to Romania for the first time. Veronica was at VBS in 2007, but didn’t come to camp for another 3 years and this year, she too was a team leader.  All of our leaders were former campers.  It is awesome to see these small ones grow to be leaders at camp.

We had 29 children from the Dorohoi orphanages and 5 from a local special needs orphanage. The other 64 were from families in Stroiesti, Suceava, and surrounding areas.  We had a few children and teens, who are from Christian families.  Everyone got along well. A couple of our older boys put themselves on the “no fly list”  and a couple smallers ones will need to take a year off, but for the most part, everyone was pretty well behavied, especially considering how many campers we had.

We had three great women from American, who took time away from family and work to serve here in Romania.  At lunch one day, we talking about Americans coming over to serve at camp.  Can we do camp without a team from America?  Yes, I could find people to come and serve, but it would be challenging to find enough and I would most likely have to pay them.  Do we want to do camp without a team from America?  NO! (I asked the girls at our table and before I finished the sentence they shouted NO!)  There is something encouraging and special knowing that people so far way take the time to serve these precious children.  The children feel it and know it. We once had a camp without an US team, it was good, but it wasn’t great.  Please keep sending these amazing teams!

Our Bible lessons focused on the life of David.  From his anointing, to this battle with Goliath; to his relationships with Jonathan, Saul, Abigail, and Bathsheba and most importantly with God. We ended up by studying Psalm 23.  Our theme was the Wildwest and Cowboys.  I’ve always seen David like a cowboy in the unstable times of Israel.  He restored order and became the Sheriff of Israel.  We separated the smaller kids from the middle schoolers, and each had lessons for their age groups.  We had some great teachers this year. Our associate pastor from Diakonia, Adi taught 8 lessons for the children and Ema took a break from leading worship to teach a lesson on Abigail.  MBK purity presenters: Genuta and Alina, taught lessons for the middle schoolers and high school teens.  Our dear friend, Olguta also taught middle school lessons!

We had lots of games and crafts.  The campers all learned Bible verses and were quizzed on the lessons.  They had a couple of trips to the river and got to play outside until dark each night.  It was a really good camp. I have some stories to tell, but they will wait for another blog.

Genuta was able to do some one on one counseling with many of the campers.  She writes this:  I had the privilege of counseling some of the children, in private sessions. They sit by you, with their arms crossed like only old people do, arms that are used to carry weights that no child should have to… Mouths that speak about horrible things, stolen childhoods, words coming out with an understanding that life can be far from fair, that adults can lie, they can say ‘ I am going to the bathroom’, and show up again after 2 years!, yet they still understand that mom is not perfect but she is still mom.. They sit by you, telling you that at 11 they run the household, cooking, washing, working in the garden, carrying wood on their back in the winter to warm the house, yet after they finish telling their story they smile and run to play with the ball, arms not folded anymore, they let down the weight, and run free for a week… And than I realize, as a watch them running and laughing, that camp is a place  where they are allowed to be children again…and for a moment in time, I take their place and fold my arms, crying…

Thank you to everyone who sponsored a child, donated supplies and clothes, and prayed for us.

2 Responses

  1. Great update on a wonderful summer camp! Well done, Melissa and everyone who helped lead!! Genuta’s section made my eyes tear up….prayers for all.

  2. As always, great job Melissa. Hope you all are doing well.

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