Monday, July 21st, 2008
MY LAST DAY…
Here I go God, give me the strength to make it through today!
I got to camp and did breakfast in both rooms. First with Raf and Tony since they were going to be leaving with baseball camp and then I spent some time with Karles and Dayna.
I asked the girls if we were going to be going out for Bible Buddies and they said yes. Then Karles held onto my arm for about 5-10 minutes pleading with me to stay and I told her, “I don’t want to leave”, but that I have responsibilities and a family back home to return to. [Although Camden is one of the families I belong to and hope to forever be apart of]. At one point Dayna asked why Karles still was holding onto my arm and she said she couldn’t let go just yet. Part of me wished she wouldn’t let go and I’d have to stay- a huge part of me wished that.
We went upstairs for opening program and as ours ended we were joined by Camp Freedom. There had been some scheduling issues with the buses and so we extended our program and did more songs and another long skit- everything was so AWESOME! It was amazing to see our two camps come together- there was so much energy in that room. We then headed to the park (which I nicknamed “Glass Park” because of the glass everywhere). The camp kids played kickball, but I stuck behind on the sidelines with Cyani.
Sad Side Story:
One of the Camp Freedom boys had an ankle bracelet on because he was busted for selling drugs. This boy was basically on house arrest or city arrest for selling drugs in South Camden.
Think about that…
This child of God had no way out that he saw and he began dealing drugs. How sad is that? A mere child between the age of 10-13 years old.
This is reason alone for programs and relationships built by Urban, to capture these kids hears and fill them with God’s love and give them hope of a fighting chance to survive the “beautiful struggle” they live and are born into.
After camp I took the kids bus back to downtown Camden and walked with Karles and her little sister Asyria back to their house so they could make sure they could go and Dayna was going to meet us at their house. Their mom said yes and the girls thought it was because she didn’t want them in the house because last year she wouldn’t let them go.
We bought our train tickets (five-something for four of us), boarded the train and headed to Riverton. We got off 4 stops later and arrived at the old fashioned ice cream parlor- which was closed for another half an hour so we walked to the park and hung out. Then we walked to the parlor and the girls picked what the wanted and we ate our amazing sundaes and hung out. We then bought more tickets for the train ad headed back to Camden.
We got back and we hugged and said our goodbyes or rather the I’ll see you again one day. We parted at the “fork” in the road and I began walking toward the bus stop. About every few steps the girls would shout out “Bye Miss Jenn, we’ll miss you” and they did this about five times and I’d wave goodbye until they were out of sight (but never out of my mind). I hopped on the “405” city bus and eared up a little as I waited for my stop.
I got back to Urban at about 4pm and hung out for a bit. I was going to spend my last camp night at Eastside. I then found out that Spirit was going to the Camden Baseball game with my Camp Grace. I went up to my room to pack some more and left for the game when Sean called me to tell me we were leaving. I got on the bus with the Spirit interns and their 7th and 8th grade boys.
The stadium wasn’t even halfway full, but we had a great time just laughing and hanging out (me, Sean, and Jenny). The about halfway through the game the three of us and Krista, Steph, and Katie went and walked around the waterfront for an hour. We were basically in two’s when walking and talking and Steph and I talked about ourselves and the kids and relationships for about an hour.
We got back and as we were getting ready to leave I got to see Raf and hug him and walk with him and say goodbye. I said goodbye to Garrett and James as well.
By the time we got back it was too late to go to Friendlys and so I said some of my goodbyes. I hugged Kumarr and Mike and then we didn’t have much time to hang out before curfew so me, Me-Linh, and Sarah went into the other room, lights off, sat on the floor in a circle and held hands and prayed. It was what I needed and what I had asked for. So we held hands and I listened and then closed the prayer circle with snivels and lots of tears streaming down my face.
We all migrated to the Brick House and shortly after that they boys left- it was hard because I didn’t get to have nice individual goodbyes and lots of hugs because their ride back to their place was waiting. The girls and Gibby hung out and we had a “round-table” 20 questions game and then Me-Linh and I went back to my room across the street and talked and listened to Paul Stephen’s cd and I finished writing letters and packing.
I finally went to bed at 1am and was up at 4:30am to shower. Gibby and I left for the airport at 5am. We, of course (with Gibby driving… haha) got lost and made it to the Philly airport by 6am. It wouldn’t have been normal if we had made it straight there and not driven around the streets of downtown Philly.
I cried a few times with tiny tears in the airport and slept most of the 6 hour ride back home because sleeping made it easier to deal with leaving the place I feel most at home and feel an unconditional love…