What an amazing day! When we do our Bible lessons, the kids listen like there’s no tomorrow – and for some of them, this may literally be true. They ask questions like, “How can God allow bad people to have good lives, and good people to have lots of trouble? Why are some people so poor when others have so much?” They want answers – real ones that apply to their lives, not just pat Christianese.
We had two Bible lessons today, but we also had tons of physical fun with the kids. We enjoyed water games on the lawn in the afternoon, ending with a full-blown water balloon fight. These kids are no different than teens in North America – they love having a good time. And it’s easy to make that happen here. They simply want to be kids, to forget about their disease, and to be treated as normal people.
The evening activity was a talent show. One gal read a poem she’d written about the death of her mother. Two stood and sang a beautiful worship song. We all sang “How Great Thou Art.” And there were lots of laughs, too, as Gene and our 22-year-old daughter Kim performed a couple of silly skits. Claudia and Tony did a mind-teasing game – ie: “Pick any number but don’t tell anyone what it is. Now add 20. Subtract 5…..” The kids really enjoyed trying to figure out this one.
Following the talent show, the hotel owners served us a typical Romanian outdoor grilled dinner – three types of meat served on each plate – chicken breast, pork, and sausages. By now it was 10 p.m. For me, this was a delightful cultural experience. A grilled dinner in Canada might consist of one piece of meat, a baked potato, and a salad of some sort. And I would never consider eating three big chunks of meat just prior to bedtime. But there are differences! And it’s critical to remember that doing things in a way unusual to us is not wrong…it’s just different.
Then we broke out the Hershey bars, marshmallows and graham crackers and taught the kids how to make s’mores. They understood quickly how to roast their marshmallows to perfection. Meanwhile, as several staff were taking care of this aspect of camp, others were in the hotel praying spontaneously with several girls whose hearts were ready and ripe for God to do a good work!
One little gal pulled Tresha into her room and told her all about her life. Sexual abuse beyond belief. For her privacy’s sake, I won’t post her story online. Suffice it to say, she’s lucky to be alive. Scripture isn’t kidding when it speaks of Satan as the one who wants to kill, steal, and destroy. He’s doing a good job over here. But Jesus came to bring light, life, and hope. If only these kids could understand and believe this to be the truth.
Tonight one girl committed her life to following Jesus Christ, and another (a Christian) expressed her desire to overcome her backslidden ways and remain faithful to God. Wow – what a night!