Conntecting the Dots

July 3 — Camp Begins

Our team is staying at a hotel located on the Danube River, and we have internet access! When we look across the river, we see Serbia. ‘Way off in the distance, we see a massive stone fortress built along the water’s edge. Amazing site. Wish I had binoculars, though, so I could see it close up. Apparently there’s no way we can get close to it by boat because doing so without going through proper entry procedures would likely land us in trouble with homeland security. Don’t wanna go there!

Our team started the day with group devotions. We spent the morning fine-tuning our activity schedule and ran errands in the afternoon. The kids showed up at six o’clock. We’d expected and planned for 25, but in the end only 12 came. Some were sick and unable to come, others confirmed yesterday that they were going to come, but simply didn’t show up for the 2 ½ hour van ride out here. Why not? Probably fear of the unknown. And actually, the kids are actually young adults – ages 20-22 mostly. Our missionaries say this has never happened – normally the kids who attend camp are much younger.

At any rate, Gene and I had met several of these kids last year and again in February. It was wonderful (understatement) to see them again. One of the boys gave me the customary kiss on each cheek, and when he did that, everyone followed suit. What a sight. It was like the love of God rained down from heaven on our team and the precious dozen. Words cannot express the love I feel in my heart for these young people.

After supper, we played an icebreaker with them, and then Brian (the appointed camp speaker on our team) did a short introductory Bible lesson. One of the girls spoke up and said, “Why did you come here? Most people come only if they can get something. But what about you? Why did you come?” The kids asked us the same question last February when we visited the day center. What an opportunity to say, “Because God loves you and so do we.”

The kids were very tired after the long drive to the camp, so we didn’t keep them up. Most ate a ham and cheese sandwich and then headed to bed. Several stayed to play Uno – I love being able to connect with a simple game. Lights-out are at midnight….our staff meeting is at 7:00 a.m…. and I want to get up early enough to spend time with the Lord and take a walk before then. And so, it’s goodnight for now.

I’ll post more in the days ahead and will try to include photos.

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