A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Funds Needed!!!

You're help is needed...

Twice a week we take I try to take at least three kids out to the corner store or McDonalds, after three weeks my funds are funning quite low and I still have about 3 weeks left and I would love to really take the kids out. So if you would like to contribute that would be lovely, anything from a dollar to five dollars... anything you can give would be great!

Also once a week we go on a swim trip for the kids, but for them it costs 6 dollars. Some of the families cannot even afford that amount once a week and so the interns have been sponsoring the kids that cannot go, so we pay for the kids that can't go and there are at least the same 5 kids each week. So if you'd like to send me some money for that as well, that would be wonderful!

Jennifer Elrod
Urban Promise Intern
Po Box 1479
Camden, NJ 08105

Packages (I'd love some goodies from home)
3700 Rudderow Ave
Pennsauken, NJ 08110

Please keep praying,


Quick Note- More Updates to come soon...


Don't forget that I have a website:


Prayer Requests for the week:

For one of our camp kids who was suspended for a week for bring a knife to camp and supposedly threatening another camp kid. Please pray for his and his family and he has been acting out at camp due to family problems at home.

Please pray for me because I am still sick, but I am getting a lot better. And for all the other interns who are getting sick right now or are trying to get over from being sick.

And pray for everyone here in Camden, the kids and staff and families that they may be strengthened and know God's love. For hope and for the drive to persist and continue on each and everyday.

Please pray for all of the interns and staff as we prepare for camp to end in 2 1/2 weeks and for me as I return back home with my APU family in three weeks, pray for safe travels.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week 4


Today was actually a good day of camp, we didn’t have any trouble with the kids. I am the floater this week meaning that I help where I am needed. So I helped in art, we did a picture scavenger hunt showing relationships in the pictures. Some of the kids had some trouble getting into it, but the older boys did the best job. It was fun and then we hung out at Urban Promise for most of the evening. I also watched Forrest Gump with a few of the interns- it was so nice because it was just fun to relax.

Prayer: Please pray for healing of my body, I’ve been sick for a few days now.


We had our swim day moved up a day because of one of the soccer tournaments for the little kid camps. So it was a good day because of swimming and then we had a nice big house dinner and then we hung out at headquarters and I made a cake for Mike’s birthday (one of the guys in our house), his birthday is on Wednesday. We then had a dance party in the dinning room and hung out and then had a massage party. The evening was pretty much amazing.


Today was a very busy and hectic day at camp, it was just hard because it was just this humid weather and we didn’t have very many fans in the classroom. I helped in art today, the kids made tie-dye t-shirts and we also made a picture collage from the pictures of the kids from Monday. After a very hot and exhausting day, we headed home to change and then we went to the staff lunch.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New York

New York is so amazing and big and beautiful, yet hectic and crazy. I loved every minute of it. We arrived in New York at about 10:30am and were dropped off a few blocks from Times Square, my group (Chelsea and Sarah) decided to go see the Statue of Liberty. We walked about half of the way because we walked for like 2 hours maybe (stopping here and there to shop, of course) and then we hopped on the subway for like three stops and then walked for about another half an hour. It took us an hour to get on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, which was so beautiful. We decided to dedicate it to Josh and Hugh, “Yeah, Statue of Liberty, yeah!” Afterwards, we walked to Ground Zero and took our time and prayed and paid our respects. It is hard to imagine that just six years ago, almost everywhere we stood was just completely surrounded with dust.

Next we walked about 5 blocks or so and then we hopped on the subway (I feel like such a New Yorker… haha) to go to Times Square. We arrived there at about 5pm and went to the Hard Rock CafĂ© for dinner, which was so nice because our wait time to eat was only 15 minutes. Dinner was amazing and Chelsea was so excited to be there, she collects guitar key chains from each one. Next we walked about and shopped and went into all the cool shops- we had about two hours until we had to meet back up with everyone. We met with everyone at about 8:30pm and then left New York shortly after 9pm.

The bus ride back on the Urban Promise bus took so long because we had to keep circling because of traffic and everyone was so exhausted, almost everyone slept on the bus ride back. I believe we were all so cramped though that sleep was very difficult.

Sunday equaled exhaustion. We had to meet at UP for choir and a few people were late and so out of pure exhaustion and lack of sleep I was utterly exhausted. So I definitely was not the most positive person, but I did fine and we sang and then went out to lunch. Afterwards most of us napped at UP and then we left for church that night. Every Sunday night, all of the interns and staff get together and have worship together. We talked about spurring each other on and helping each other get through the day and how to be a team player. We also had our APU group get together where we talked about how we were doing at our separate camps and houses and then we got letters that we had written ourselves back in January about what we were expecting out of Camden. After church we had a pizza fight and then we relaxed and hung out at headquarters for a bit.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...

Thursday was a tough day for me, the weather quite alright but the attitude of one of the kids was not. One of the kids failed to follow the three camp rules (participate, respect others, and respect staff) and received one strike from me and then another two from the streetleader. He was then sent out of class and came back with a suspension (supposedly from basketball). He returned back to class and continued to disrupt the class and so eventually he began to walk out and called the streetleader a (excuse the French) “fat ass” and me a “fucking bitch”. I felt anger of course, but what was I to do? I decided to just be the better person and try to keep the momentum of my class going because just because he lost his composure did not mean that I had to lose mine.

Later that afternoon we had our basketball games for our camp, the boy showed up and played. Later that evening I talked to our director and he did not know what had happen, so he was going to suspend him from camp on Monday and I found out he ended up talking to his mom.
Well, we had three games and the varsity boys won, the jv boys lost, and then my girls won. Holla! Afterwards I washed a huge load of dishes for the east house and began to cook for Josh’s birthday dinner. Three of us (interns) decided to make Josh, our events director, dinner for his birthday. So we cooked up steak (his favorite), Caesar salad, and then red roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, and I made warm brownies a la mode for dessert. Despite the hardships of the day, I had a wonderful evening hanging out at UP and having some great and deep conversations.

Today is Friday!!!

We had a Capture the Flag game and then we had Bible Buddies. Malaysia, Dayna, and Karle’s were my buddies for today; I bought them ice cream because they won their game. Then they gave me a make-over and “beauty mark” and then I went home and took a nice nap and showered up for the teen worship service and Urban Promise. Now I am just hanging out and I am so excited for going to New York tomorrow! 

A Rollercoaster of Emotions...

A Rollercoaster of Emotions… after less than a week!

Last Friday was Staff Night so my camp staff and Camp Spirit’s staff went out to a baseball game in Trenton, New Jersey (northern NJ) to see the Trenton Thunders (a minor league team) play. Our camp had one the luxury box from the Survivor game. The evening was so nice because we had amazing food, real food after a hard week at work. There were Philly Cheesesteaks, Hot Dogs, and enormous sandwiches as well as snacks, drinks, and desserts. I actually don’t remember who won, but we had a great time and Bruce even joined us with his family.

Saturday is where the enjoyable rollercoaster ride began to take a plunge. Saturday is our day off and free day were nothing was planned and so my APU group was getting together to just talk and hang out. We went to the mall and had lunch and walked around for about an hour and on the way back to headquarters is where the plunge began.

I received a call from my dad on my brother’s cell phone at 1:59pm Eastern Time and the first words out of his mouth were, “Don’t Freak Out, but…” Getting a call like that from a family member is never ever good especially when it starts like that and then “but” is proceeded right after. As many of you heard in my last email, my dad and brother were in a motorcycle accident in Azusa Canyon on Saturday morning on the way to church to help set up for a family friends’ funeral. Not giving me very many details, just that my brother had been knocked unconscious and that they were both airlifted to USC Medical back home, I began to obviously freak out and cry. I then told my APU friends what was going on and we all immediately held hands and began to pray and then we arrived at headquarters where I sent out numerous emails asking everyone to pray.

The original play for the day was going to be to go to Philly to hang out with my friend Molly and her boyfriend and some interns, but then changes obviously changed. I decided to hang out at the headquarters waiting to hear back from my dad. So most of my APU group decided to stick together and we ended up going to the movies to see Ratatouille and then proceeded to go to Wegmans (Wegmans is a HUGE grocery store chain on the East coast, but is so much better than a grocery store… like x10). It was nice to spend the day with people who know me and my family and who I am close with, it really calmed my nerves.

On Sunday, after not getting too much sleep Leann and I had to wake up early to do pick ups for choir and then go to headquarters. We then left for a Mennonite church in Harleysville, Pennsylvania where Courtney in the choir goes. On the way over Hugh and I and Nick and Katie were all sitting next to each other and Hugh began to get sick, poor thing, so I was trying to make sure he was okay without losing it myself. We sang for two services and then headed back and on the way I talked my dad saying that they were both released from the hospital and were both just sore and badly beaten and bruised, but doing well. However, my brother was/is still having short-term memory and was having trouble remembering I am in New Jersey. He is remembering who people are and peoples’ names.

We got back to headquarters and then chilled for a bit and then we went to another church to eat dinner with all the interns and then we sang and Tony Campolo spoke again. We ended up going to a Lutheran Church called Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church, which ended up feeling like home considering how sick, tired, and emotional I was feeling. Hearing Tony speak just reassured me how much God has called me to be hear and how people will talk about being Christians, but only to a certain point. He talked about not becoming a sell-out and saying you want to do so much when you’re young and where you will be in ten years and how you should not let yourself become seduced by the industry. He also talked about how you shouldn’t let yourself settle for a mediocre life compared to what you’ve always talked about. We then sang three worship songs and I just began to weep, for joy and for sadness. I have been so blessed these past two months and throughout life and I have loved being hear in Camden. I am working to do good and want to some how continue some sort of ministry in the very near future. I was just reassured that I am where I am suppose to be and where God has called me to be and serve.


The heat is almost unbearable…

On Monday it was about 95 degree, but the humidity was what made it so difficult. Camp wasn’t really that bad, the only trouble I had was sweating bullets in my Bible classroom. I am teaching Bible this week and the 8th graders were so hard to work with because they like almost refused to read from the Bible, saying they didn’t know how. I have learned that candy is such a great incentive. Because it was so hot we ended up going to Bruce’s house to go swimming for a little bit.

Tuesday was yet another hot day, it was 98 degrees and then the humidity was even higher than the day before. The theme for the week at camp was obedience, so I taught about the first sin of the world, the sin of Adam and Eve. We also got to go to Bruce’s and go swimming again, which was just so nice and relaxing. After swimming for a bit, I even laid in the hammock and read and then fell asleep for a bit.

Wednesday was our swim day at camp, so it was a pretty easy day. We met with the kids at camp and had breakfast and then we headed over to a pool in Philadelphia. We swam until about 11:30am and then headed back to camp and had lunch, where we then went to a luncheon with donors. Afterwards, I went to the Camp Saved little girls game and the boys game. The girls lost and the boys won, afterwards I just hung out talking with Molly. We had choir on Wednesday night and learned three new songs for Sunday.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I AM LEARNING TO DANCE! Heck Yes!... One Goal for the summer down!!!

June 5th, 2007

Greetings Family!

At this current moment, I am sitting listening to beautiful music in a Barnes and Noble in Moorestown, New Jersey. Surrounded around me are some of my favorite things, a hot white chocolate mocha, Urban Promise Interns, music above me, and BOOKS!!!

Today was quite a nice day, had camp which went well and then basketball practice. My girls did so good today at practice, one of my girls went from being really intimidated to wanting to play by the end of the day and then some of the girls taught me how to dance! Haha! One of my goals for the summer is half way complete, they taught me how to “walk it out”, “lean wit it, rock wit it”, and then how to “pop lock-it”. It was amazing and I am so getting the hang of it, and then tomorrow for Bible Buddies they’re going to possibly braid my hair… another goal almost complete. Holla! I am so excited!

We did laundry tonight and it was quite fun and kind of expensive as well. But now, I got the hang of which washer to use and such to make my laundry cost effiecient! Ye-ah!

Until next time,


4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July!

Today was such an amazing day and so relaxing and fun, we went to Bruce’s and had a BBQ. We got there at around 1pm and then ate shortly after arriving and then a few of us sat by the pool and talked, mostly Molly and I! We spent most of the day talking and getting to know each other, we then watched a few people play volleyball and then went for a bike ride around Riverton, New Jersey. Then we went with almost all of the interns to the baseball field because they were going to play a game, but Molly and I then found out that there was a boat race going on so we took a walk down to the shore/Delaware River. We actually didn’t get to see the race start, but we watched all the teams attack each other and try to sink each others boats (the boats were {wo}man-made and you had to have at least four people participating. As we walked along we took so many pictures, the houses there are so beautiful.

We then walked back to the park and then to Bruce’s house and then we headed back to headquarters. We had the options of going home, hanging by the Camden Waterfront, or going to Philadelphia for fireworks and we ended up deciding to stay at the headquarters. About seven of us stayed behind and ended up having an amazing Italian dinner and then we had coffee and tea and relaxed before we eventually left and went back to our house. I was going to head straight to bed, but then I realized that I wanted to call some family and friends back home and let them know what was going on. So it was so nice to talk to some people! :)

Two Tiresome Days

Tiresome Greetings from Camden, New Jersey!

Hello, today is Tuesday and we have already had two days of camp. Camp started on Monday and I am already quite exhausted.


I got up very tired and got ready to leave for camp, I didn’t even have time for breakfast. We then headed for camp and finished prepping for the kids. We had one problem before the kids had even arrived, we had a huge @$$ rat in the toilet, and it was floating there alive. We ended up getting it out, or rather Brent did after swatting it with a tennis racket and throwing into a near by field. Some of the kids are so tough and some are so cute because they’ve never been to camp so they are so well behaved and listen and don’t act up.

Our opening program went so great, but we only had like18 kids which was the downside because we had 35 kids registered and only 3 of the kids were the ones registered. So having kids show up that weren’t registered yet was great, but then having that many missing kids wasn’t good. However, we did learn that some of our camp kids were in Colorado with a trip that was sponsored by some of the donations from the 20/20 special.

Because the kids were so few, we only ended up doing two groups of kids versus four, and so instead of teaching four classes I only had to teach two. I love working with my “little kids”, really they aren’t that little because they are going to be in 5th/6th grade. Most of them were first time campers so they were really well behaved and listened, but I have learned that the kids are extremely loud and it is hard to talk over them. Next I had the big kids and they were just something else, they were so loud and didn’t listen. I couldn’t even hear the kid sitting next to me answer a question I had asked him because everyone was so loud. The older kids were so loud and had trouble listening which made it extremely difficult for me.

Apart of the camp is a strike system and the kids can get up to three strikes per class each day, if they get a certain amount of strikes for the week, they aren’t allowed to go on the swim day or one of our camp nights or bible buddies. The street leaders hand out the strikes, but also the interns can hand out the strikes. We also had a work group come to be with us for a week and they’re from Kentucky and are basically our helpers for the week and will help us with whatever we need.

Camp Activities:

Swim Day- Wednesdays is our swim days and our day off, so we take kids swimming in the morning and then the rest of the day is our day off. I have choir practice in the evenings which is fine because I get to see half of my APU peeps anyways.

Camp Nights- Are on Monday nights and we’ll have a select group of kids come back and hang out with us and we’ll order pizza and spend time with them. This is usually for the kids that have behaved from the previous kids and so we’ll hang out with them for a couple of hours.

Bible Buddies- Is a group of two or three kids that the interns choose to spend about an hour to two hours with and we discuss the Bible and try to pour out into them and show them caring kindness and love that they might not be receiving at home.

During camp I had a such a bad headache and so as soon as we got back home I popped two headache medicines and then went to bed (I was still extremely exhausted from the previous week and the Sunday choir day). I woke up two and a half hours later and finally ate lunch at like 4pm. After the nap and lunch, my camp staff went to Barnes and Noble in Cherry Hill to go to the Starbucks there to have our staff meeting and discuss plans and ideas for teaching for the next week. We were there for about two hours and then came home and had a huge “family” dinner with our camp and few of the camp directors.


Today was quite a good day, mostly because I am typing right now from the UPH and it is good to be in an air conditioned room and see the other interns. Every Tuesday, we meet with Brent (our intern director) and hang out with the other interns.

Camp was better for me today, it was just a very long day. Today the kids made name posters with markers and glitter and it went quite well. Very messy, but even the big kids acted slightly better for my class. This one kid though got three strikes during lunch and two of them from me; he was pushing kids around and also knocking other kids’ food trays out of their hands as they were walking to sit down with their lunch. Then one kid didn’t listen to me at all and so I think one of the street leaders gave him a strike.

After lunch we played ball with the kids and then had bible buddies. My girls are so amazing- they are definitely rough kids but they are so amazing and hilarious. We did have quite an exhausting day because we had Bible Buddies and then we had basketball practice. There wasn’t too much one-on-one time with the kids, but I think that they had fun. We walked to the water front- about a twenty minute walk and then hung out with the kids for about half and hour and then we walked to the basketball courts for practice. I’ll post some amazing pictures of them soon though. My favorite moment of today was:

This kid Jose… I think he’s a really a great kid and has behaved really well the past two days and was asked by one of the interns to do Bible Buddies and so I told him that I that I deserved to be their because he was a good kids and was well-behaved. The look and reaction was heartbreaking, he was shocked. He was like, “Really, you think I am a good kid?” It was amazing, I told him yes and reiterated the above. To see this kids face light up and see the delight he took in being appreciated was so amazing and touched my heart.
Basketball practice was fun too, it was hard to get some of the girls that came back to start playing, but eventually we got them to. I even shot three lay-ups, which is amazing for me because if there could be a negative amount, I am sure I would have it.

Afterwards, we went back to the house and drank lots of water- we hadn’t had anything to drink most of the day. We had dinner and then headed to headquarters, which is where I am right now. Also tonight was amazing because I got to catch up with some friends! J

This is out for now, lots of love!

Blessings and Love,

Jennifer Elrod

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Shorter Posts

After today, my posts will probably tend to be a bit shorter than my first week's post...

Love always,


My first week in Camden, New Jersey

Dear Friends and Family,

Wow! It has sure been a crazy time so far and I only just left on Tuesday morning and so much has happen already.


My team and I met at Azusa Pacific University (my school) at 3:30am and we were all on time which was such a shock for us because we are usually never on time. We left school all packed up in two vehicles shortly after 4am and headed for LAX. Our flight was set to leave at 7:05am and on the way to the airport there was some slight delay. One of the vehicles (not the one I was in) got a flat tire on the 605 freeway, so our team arrived at the airport about 45 minutes after 6 of us had arrived. As one of my team members had said, “Satan, isn’t really clever”… a flat tire was the best that he could do. Really now?! {However, there was more… keep reading on}. So once they arrived we began to check in to get our boarding pass and then proceeded to the line to go through security. One of the girls on our team had her name spelt wrong on her ticket, instead of Faber is was Saber, so she was flagged as a flight risk and had to get her bags specially checked as well as going through special security. As much as a nu sense as it was, I guess it is good that the airports are so secure. So much that I did not realize that you cannot have anything in your carry-on that is over 3oz, and you have to take your shoes off and have identification in hand at all times. A lot has changed since I last travel by plane in 2005. With twenty minutes to spare we were all seated on the plane- the very tiny plane. I’ve never flown domestic and so the plan was quite tiny, that’s for sure. Two aisles of thee seats each, so our team took up three rows but we were all seated next to each other which was great.

We arrived in Cincinnati at about 2:30pm (their time) and had about a two and a half hour layover, in which we had lunch and called loved ones. We had to take a tram to travel from one terminal to the next concourse, which was quite cool because I have never done that before. We went to lunch in shifts in the airport, so my half went first and we went to this little Mexican place in the airport which was essentially just like Chipotle back home. Afterwards, I just hung out with the team and made some personal phone calls and sat on the floor in this little exclusive spot and talked. Finally we landed in Philadelphia at about 6:30pm and went to go claim our luggage except one thing was missing. One of my pieces of luggage, my duffle bag was not with all of our luggage. So I went to the little Delta luggage claim and so they said they would look for my luggage and of course this happen to me because I opened my mouth about Satan. But I know that God will provide.

After sorting out the problem with my missing luggage, we waited outside the terminal where we were picked up the “orange” bus of Urban Promise. Also joining us waiting was another intern who had just arrived in and he is from London, well actually he goes to school in Scotland. Still that is really cool having people from all around the world. Later I found out that we have several people from England and Scotland, two even live in the house I’m staying in.

My house is so cool because the structure and size of the house is incredible and it is my home for the next seven weeks. Houses on the East Coast are so different; they are tall and skinny and have many flights of stairs depending which part of New Jersey you are in. My house is orange and it is three stories, plus we have a basement. I am on the third floor and the walk of the stairs in more like a trek because they are just so steep. I have a window with a view and am sleeping on the bottom of a bunk bed in a room with four girls, two of which are on mattresses on the floor. The weather here is just so hot and humid, we definitely sleep with the windows open and have fan practically blowing in our faces all night long.

The first night for me was so overwhelming just because of my luggage turning up missing and then finding out that I am living in downtown Camden, the toughest part of the city and so I’ll be working with the older and tougher kids in a tough neighborhood. So I will be working at Camp Grace which is in this gorgeous church in Northern Camden (downtown) and the church reminds me of being home, it reminds me of the old church just by the structure and the light fixtures. I think mostly the emotional overwhelming ness was from just the lack of sleep since I had only slept maybe five hours if I was lucky and had been traveling all day. Besides my prayers before I went to bed, a great thing is that I can see the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from my window as well as a state building, which is so beautiful because it is all lit up at night!

Please pray for the safe deliverance of my luggage and the safety and closeness on my housemates.


Last night I was the first one to go to bed, I went to bed at about 10:30pm East Coast Time (so only 7:30pm, the family’s time) and randomly woke up at about 5am here and was awake for some odd reason for about 40minutes (odd just considering the time difference) and then work up at about 7:30am to get ready to head over with the house to the main headquarters.

My house consists of 12 people and one bathroom (yup! That’s right! ONE!!!). So getting in and out is kind of difficult and seeing who’s in the shower and such and which people like to shower in the morning, afternoon, or evening. I am staying in a little bit bigger room and we have four girls in my room including myself. My bunk mate is from England and she goes to school in Scotland, as well. Her name is Adele, which is such a pretty name and it reminds me of my mom because their names are similar. Then I am also living with one of the associate directors for Camp Saved (the other camp people living with us) and then another girl, who is from Virginia. Leann, my team leader from APU, is in the conjoining room next door and also LJ from my team in our house as well. So we have four boys in the house and eight girls, it’s the normal ratio that I am used to at APU!

The night and morning are just so hot and humid and you feel so stick and gross, but they definitely try to keep up hydrated and well fed at the headquarters which is were we do most of our training. In the morning we did some studying and learning about the history of the city of Camden and that was with Dr. Bruce Main, the director of the camp who I have mentioned before. He is a grad of Azusa Pacific and so what we learned is about how Camden and the children became so poor. Several years ago the city was even taken over by the state because it was in such bad condition. In order to build more revenue they began to build prisons and sewage or waste compiles, as well as big factories that just created dirty smoke in the air of Camden, physically and metaphorically speaking. He also discussed how the air quality was so bad that over time they noticed that people who lived in Camden had darker skin because of the condition of the air. Like I have mentioned before, Camden is the City of Children, with 50% making up ages 25 and under. This is what make my work so exciting in some sense of the word, is that I’ll be working with those children.

Later in the day, we met Albert our director for Camp Grace (he was in one of the Camden videos, “Life on Film: Bruce Main”) and went with us to see our camp site. Our campsite is beautiful like I described and does remind me of being back home. We took several tours through the church, it has two stories plus a basement. We’ll be doing opening program upstairs and then serving breakfast for the kids in the conjoining art and bible rooms. Hodge podge is upstairs as well and then recreation is in a local park if the police will let us use it, the park used to be beautiful a few years ago and then just became this dump where there is trash a graffiti everywhere. We walked around the neighborhood a bit, Albert lives just a few blocks from where we are teaching and so he knows the area and the kids really well. He is also greatly watching out for us because in Camden, we are the minority. The only reason that white people are ever is Camden in for drugs and so there is a great possibility that we will be hasseled by the cops for being in the neighborhood, it happened last year to a few interns. After walking about we went back to the camp and brainstormed, we decided what everyone will be doing for at least for first week. I will be teaching art with Andy for the first week and then we’ll rotate about the subjects, but I don’t think I want to do recreation just because of my back and working with others kids may be strenuous. However, if I need to I will because I have God’s strength and he will protect me while I serve.

One returning to the camp it got crazy… our directors set up a game of SURVIVOR: INTERN. We were to play several games and each camp that one a round got an amenity then all of the camps remaining faced off. Before even starting we already lost a member, our associate director (Chris) of our camp sliced part of his finger off cutting the camp color bandanas for the race. (Just a little part, he was fine a few days later once the bleeding stopped).


1) Run around the four buses parked in the parking lot (they were in a loose rectangle) with your team, if another team tags you then you’re team is out. The catch is your carrying a square shelf while you’re doing so.
We lost!

2) The whole team most run around each bus once and then proceed to run through it. We did not when this one, but we did when a prize because one of our girls got hurt. Jess wanted to win so she powered through the buses and when she ran through the little red one she hit her head, like most of us did, but she hit it hard because she was going so fast to win for us. Little did she realize that when she was done, blood was beginning to drip down her forehead and then beginning to pour. So we ended up taking her to the hospital with Chris and she had to get five staples in her head. And Chris ended up getting just bandaging around his finger until the bleeding stopped. But we did win a mini golf trip payed for by Urban Promise for our team.

3) Was a bobbing for apples and shrimp… gross for the shrimp. I think that’s the one we got our amenity.

4) We did a scavenger hunt in the basement, lost that as well.

5) We did a trying to knock the other team out. There were three cups for each time set up and so you had to knock all three of their cups down to win and one member from each team would be the chance to kick the soccer ball. We lost.

Eventually, we got into the final three. Then to the final two where we had three different points and had to ride a bike to… well, we won for Jess and Chris!

We won a luxury box for our team (we’re trying to see if we can take our house) to go to one of the minor league games in the area.

Later we got back to the house after a Wal-Mart run (it was had to not get a lot because my luggage had still not arrived and I wanted to get the stuff I knew I had, but I was still hoping and praying for a miracle) and had a house meeting, after I took a glorious shower! and discussed stuff a schedule for the bathroom and for getting ready.


Thursday was such an amazing day.

We had some meetings and group activities in the morning about different scenarios and rules working with the kids and had a question and answer period with some of the kids and then we went back to our sight and brainstormed like crazy. We came up with our theme and verses and lesson plans and decorations and then we’ll work with the StreetLeaders to decorate. The StreetLeaders are kids who have been through the program and are in high school now and they are paid to help us in the classroom with the kids.

Afterwards, we went back to the headquarters to meet up with all the other camps because we were going to go on a “Wacky Tour” of Camden and Philadelphia. I must say that:


Before leaving they laid down some more rules, like no dating. Which was funny because it was kind of a cheesy and a little awkward turtle status when they gave us the talk, but I believe that most of here are not here to find love.

So we began and our wacky tour and it was basically just a progressive dinner to some of our leaders houses and then a mini tour through Philly. We also got to have dinner at Moochie’s house, she was the girl featured in the 20/20 Camden video I had shown at my dinner. I also had water ice for the first time, which like a snow cone but the flavor is already mixed and taste so much better. Philly was fun because we went to the “Rocky Steps”, from the Rocky movie. By the time we arrived there is had already been raining for about half an hour, so all the interns hopped out of the bus and ran down the steps and then to the Rocky statue and then back up the stairs. So I did it just like in the movie, kind of… and a little slower to ensure I wouldn’t slip and fall. Next we went to the “Love Fountain”, which is this huge fountain in Philadelphia and so we all got off the bus and jumped in. It was amazingly fun and a little cold and I forgot my cell phone was in my pocket, so it got a little wet and stopped working. A few of the guy interns also through Tony (one of the camp directors in because it was his birthday) and intern director Brent also jumped in. We got on the bus and proceeded back to UP Headquarters, but a few of us APU people did manage to give Aaron a huge wet huge since he decided not to get off the bus to jump in the fountain. Haha.


All of the interns had breakfast together and we had a few meetings and then we were split up into the choir and then everyone else. Everyone else played some sports and games while the choir rehearsed. I joined the choir- the Urban Promise International Choir. I am singing soprano and surprisingly have gotten to a few compliments about me voice also seven of the nine APU interns are in the choir, so it is a great way to see each other at least once a week. We learned two songs and did quite well, especially the boys because they sounded so strong considering we only had four of them. Afterwards we met up with our street leaders and did some camp learning about our positions and more rules and also played some get to know you games. Then we ate afterwards a few of us (8) went to a concert in Philadelphia with our choir director and Josh, the events director. We went because we thought it was going to be a Chaka Kahn, but Mr. Johnson (our choir director) had gotten the date mixed up, Chaka would be coming the next day. We ended up staying because it was a gospel show and it was so much fun. A few of us even began dancing and got some people were quite impressed, haha. Three of us even managed to get like 7 free pretzels for the group from a vender. We had such an enjoyable time and the girls of the choir want me to choreograph some moves to do for a song and surprise our director with. It’ll be quite fun!

OH!!! Also my phone is working now, it just needed to be dried out basically.


We worked almost all day at our camp cleaning and setting up for camp to start the following week. The street leaders were there for half of the day, but we did quite a lot done by the end of the day. I hope to post pictures of that soon. So we worked at camp from about 8:30 until 5pm and then we headed over to Bruce Main’s house. If you remember he is our executive director of Urban Promise. We got to Bruce’s and went swimming (I ended up reading by the pool and had an amazing conversation with Chelsea. We then had some great food for dinner and then we had a commissioning service with all the interns and directors and Bruce- he preached a bit and prayed over us. His words and stories are so amazing and then we did a prayer circle and hung out a bit and we also watch a baseball game, the old “campers” and the new ones (interns)… the old folk won. Haha. Afterwards we headed back to camp and then Brent took us to Target to go shopping for clothes for choir.

We walked into Target and shortly after we heard the announcements that we had 15 minutes before the store was to close at 9pm. Crazy! So we all rushed through the store basically and the boys all bought the same outfit, which was cute. Or as Hugh (one of the guys on choir, who is from England) said that they would all look “smart”. {So imagine that, but in a British accent}. We then went back to our separate houses and eventually went to bed.

Also a funny story, my friend had called me right after we were leaving the camp and I told him I’d call him later and so I called him back when we got home from Target and I had called and was talking about how I had just gotten home and then he became confused and was like, I thought you were in New Jersey. No, silly Trix are for kids meaning you. Just kidding. No silly, my home for the next three weeks.


Was such a fun and amazing day, but it was also quite exhausting. We had to be ready for church super early because we were going to be singing in Ocean City, New Jersey and so Leann and I both got up at about 5:10am and showered and were ready when the bus came a 6:15am and then we joined the rest of the choir and had breakfast at UPH and then headed for Ocean City, NJ which is about a little over an hour away. Not all the choir fit in the same van, but most of us were in my van with a few others in other vehicles, but we practiced our two songs almost the whole way and also learned a new song. It is very difficult to sing the soprano part that early in the morning.

We arrived at the church and had about 45 minutes to practice and so we song with a few more of the choir people and then we sang at two church services. The main sanctuary there was so beautiful, I’ve discovered that a majority of the church are quite large, amazingly beautiful, and structurally and architecturally gorgeous, I hope my church back home will soon be similar once it is completed. We then went to a host house where they fed us the most amazing food, home-made fried chicken and apple sauce with a few other yummy items. They have a house right on the water which was so beautiful. A strange thing is that the beaches in New Jersey are almost all privately owned by the city/state, or are owned by randomly rich people. So you have to pay to use those beaches, we got passes from the mayor to go on the beach, which I didn’t. A group of us just walked the boardwalk, which is three miles long and is so much better than any boardwalks in California. We had also been given passes for the rides on the boardwalk, so we went on a few of those and walked around before meeting up to head back to our hosts house to get ready for our evening performance, which was a the Tabernacle Church. The main reason for singing at the Tabernacle was because Urban Promise was doing fundraising and also Dr. Tony Campolo was speaking, which was just amazing to hear him speak again. Afterwards, we hung out for a bit after the service and then we headed back to Camden. It did take us quite a long time to get back because we were all so exhausted and by the time we got hope it was a little after 11pm and we were all exhausted.

Below, Dr. Tony Campolo and myself at the Tabernacle.

some of the choir above at our host house.