Thursday, July 17, 2008
Community is such a great and powerful thing. Eating, drinking, and being merry…
Last summer I was originally suppose to be at Camp Spirit, but was moved to Camp Grace before I arrived in Camden when one of the interns decided not to come. I have always felt a connection and got along with the interns and staff on East Side and spent sometime with the kids there last summer.
Since I spend several hours at HQ after camp days, I have spent quite a bit of time with the kids of Spirit and done a lot of walk homes with Sean and attended most of the basketball practices during my visit. I love hanging out with these kids and they are hilarious and I have some great memories and inside jokes from them…
Today I spent the day at Camp Spirit. I got up and took a quick shower and walked across the street to camp and did devotionals with the staff. I prayed with Jenny and Stephanie and then we got ready for the kids to come in. Spirit has between 2-4 times as many kids as we have here, although we have some tough kids, they have the numerous amounts of kids. After opening program, I ended up talking to Nadia for about an hour about Urban Promise and the one they started in Canada and the possibility of starting one in LA or even Azusa is just such an amazing idea to me. After talking with her I painted one of the boys’ camp shirts and then the kids had a half water day. I managed not to get too wet although I almost did a few times. After camp I went to do some laundry and then headed back to the basketball for the Grace vs. Spirit game.
I was so torn as to who I should cheer for. Naturally I had to cheer for Grace because their my camp, but I was secretly also rooting for Sean’s little boys team because I have watched them practice. It was hard not to cheer when they made a shot, although our little Grace boys rocked it… especially since we have some third graders playing on our 5th/6th grade team since we don’t have enough players. At half time, little boys and the girls teams were tied and our older boys were winning by 8 points. At the end of all of the games, our little boys lost by one point (Yay! Sean’s team… ssh!), my girls won (my bible buddy Karles made the winning shot) by one point, and our older boys won. After the game I had to separate and calm some of the Spirit girl’s nerves and attitudes because they were “fighting” and arguing with each other.
After the game Mary, Josh, and I went grocery shopping at Save-A-Lot because I was going to make the East interns a nice and yummy meal. After some trouble getting all of the ingredients and some burnt rice… we ate dinner at about 8pm or so. I made two trays of chicken enchiladas, and one tray of red cheese enchiladas, we had refried beans, and some “crispy” rice (I was trying to do too much at once and burnt some of the rice… but everyone said they liked it because it added flavor… I think they were just trying to be nice. I felt bad about it). We prayed and then we ate dinner then we all cleared the table. About four of us then cleaned the kitchen and did dishes and then we all went upstairs to the SL hangout room and had ice cream (some yummy warm brownies I made with vanilla ice cream or crushed pineapple with rainbow sherbet) and watched a movie. We watch ‘John Tucker Must Die’ and it was hilarious mostly because it was so unrealistic.
The community of Urban Promise is so amazing to me and is like family, sometimes the family and community that I have always longed for. You long to be with each other and just be in each other presence, sometimes in silence and sometimes talking and crying together. In Camden, you know you are in the presence of God because we’re all there to serve him. I think what makes this community so great is that there is an unconditional love and a foundational understanding. We are all in Camden for the same reason, to serve and that reason instantly creates a foundation and a bond among everyone. So anything else is just an added bonus that makes the relationships great and strong. We are all there to learn to love and to love and to experience God’s love and to show it. So when you have a tough day or a great day, with one look we know how each other is feeling. Every silent moment, every tear, and every conversation bonds us closer together and gives us new perspective and understanding of another. We are all experiencing the same heartaches, burdens, joy, and praises and so every touch, hug, and smile comes out of an unconditional love for each other. We are learning to love God and love each other and the kids. I miss the community everyday that I am away because in that community I feel loved every single day. In that community I know that I can run to someone or with someone to God and they will accept me with an open-mind, heart, and arms. I love the community that Urban Promise has built and continue to builds.
I pray that this sort of community can continue to be brought back to our homes!!!