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...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Little Video I Made... My Summer In Camden

A short video I made giving a glimpse of my summer in Camden. Thank you everyone for your continued love, support, and prayers. It's been a long road and journey and a great one that has taught me so much and one of which I hope to pick up and continue in the near future.

Bible Buddies

July 21st, 2009

Bible Buddies

So every week, we pick several kids to come back after camp to hang out with us and talk about the Bible… sometimes. The basic concept of this is that we begin to build mentoring relationships with the kids. We call it Bible Buddies and on most weeks we do it twice.

The first week Ricky and I decided to partner up because I wanted to do at least one of my groups with boys. He didn’t feel comfortable entirely doing it alone or didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to do with boys… so why not partner up.

I think it has been such a blessing to work with Ricky on this because we can split whatever money we spend on the kids and come up with ideas together. Also I would never just play tag alone or even think to play tag with the kids and Ricky does and I always join in and it is so much fun. I feel like we can pour more into the kids when we are in a group together like that, versus if I just had five kids by myself, the ones that tend to trail off or wander would get most of the attention, while the others don’t.

One of my hopes is that we will make an impact with these kids within our Bible Buddies and that we will create memories to remember for the years to come. Some of our kids have talked about other interns and how they were cool or how they would spend money on them. I hope that we leave some lasting impression upon their hearts that is more than they took me out or bought me things.

Roller skating with Camp Spirit and Camp Hope. Me and two of my girls. Ngan and Jennifer.

Hanging out with the boys... funny faces :P
I love them so much.

The made a rap about the days of creation and they got to perform it for a vacation bible school and then I took them out to breakfast for Quincy's birthday. They said it was the best day of the summer! ;)
Ricky "Bobby" and I. My Bible Buddies partner (in crime). He was like my little brother and best friend all summer!

Old Post: July 14... Basement Writings and Reflections

July 21st, 2009

So… wow!
I am in Camden right now. Sitting in my basement of my house typing this.

Sorry for the much delayed response to journaling and keeping you updates, I have been so busy and super exhausted. I have made a few journal entries that I need to post to our team blog which I will include in here as well.

Myself and Rachael are keeping the team blog more up-to-date so if you would like the check that out go to:


So much has happen and has been so crazy, wonderful, exciting, chaotic, and amazing, and stressful, and exhausting.
I am working at Camp Spirit this summer! Woot Woot. SPIRIT! I have always loved eastside and have always felt drawn and connected to this camp and the kids. Last summer I juggled between my old camp in north Camden, Camp Grace and being with Sean and Mary at Camp Spirit. This summer since my old camp kids bible buddies were now no longer at camp because they are going into high school I decided to make the switch because I still remembered and knew kids who would be at Spirit and hopefully remember.

This summer thus far has been so amazing and so so so challenging. I am living in a house with 9, yup nine, other women. Talk about craziness, that is why to much estragon and way to many girls risking the chance of being on their period at the same time, we’ve already had some cat fight statuses and craziness, but it has all been good. I love my girls and I am living with at least four people who I already knew from APU or from other experiences and memories in Camden!

The guys on our staff live across the street in the Trekker House. They are so amazing as well. Matt was here last summer and I am excited to get to hang out with him again this summer. Luke is from APU actually, although we had never met and he is so amazing and cool and just such a fun guy. Ricky is actually my friend Nick’s brother-in-law… Nick was on my APU team to Camden two summers ago. Ricky is from my hometown and we went to the same middle school at different times and rival high schools… what a small world.

Either way I am just so excited to be back here in Camden and I cannot believe that we just finished our third week of camp and almost are at our month mark, meaning I am about halfway done with my summer here. I started thinking about that yesterday, that I have been at camp for three weeks and I have about three weeks left until I leave. I’m starting to get that unsettling feeling of not wanting to leave… AGAIN!

God has been doing so much while I am here though and I am really connecting with the kids, even after three weeks. I am going to miss them so much, it is truly precious when they call you Miss Jenn or come up to your and give you a hug or grab your arm or hold your hand with their little hand in yours. Not only that but you can see innocence still in the children, where they have not yet been taken or disturbed by their society and you want so much to help them, save them, and develop them. You can already start to see within my eighth grade class that they don’t want to participate or do anything because at some point they have been told that they aren’t good at anything and no one has really poured into them or given them a reason to care and so they don’t care… about anything. So part of the mission of Urban Promise is to equip kids… and I hope I can begin to fulfill that mission and make it become a reality.

Also God has been teaching me a lot about myself and about community. Let me just say that it is really difficult living with 9 other women. That is a lot of estrogen flow and at any moment any of us could be on our period or be having a bad day. One day I asked one of the guys here (when I was having a bad day), why is it so difficult to work and live with women and he said because we are run and live off of our emotions. Wow! How very true, my emotions are like a roller coaster… I can be having a fine day and then one thing will happen and I get so frustrated or upset. I have learned to seclude myself from my housemates when that stuff happens in order to not snap at them or be rude. I am learning to lay down everything at the feet of Jesus, every frustration, thought (good and bad), and emotion before Jesus. It is quite difficult, but I am learning and working on it. I am especially learning to not vent or gossip, which is very hard when you live with that many women.

After a summer of chaos and drama and love and backscratches, we all got dressed up and went out for cheesecake.

Some chaos... rotten bananas in the fridge, not even a few days after getting them. I respect and love my mom so much more after clean up after that many girls, let alone adults.

Brick house pack. We're all in this together...

Goodbyes and Debriefing: Written Aug 25

Written: August 25

So as of Thursday I will have been back in California for two weeks and it has been two of the longest weeks because I miss Camden so much.

On August 9th, my internship and mission trip with Urban Promise ended and I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing my summer was or what a life-changing and eye-opening experience it was or even how much I miss it even more.
On our last day, it was amazingly bittersweet day. I woke at 4am with a text message from Ricky saying that he had arrived in Kansas and in five hours he would be at his “home” in Kansas. We texted for awhile before he told me to go to bed, which I agreed and I feel asleep. I awoke at 5:30am to get ready for church. This summer I joined the UP International Gospel Choir again (third times the charm!) and we travel to different churches on Sundays to sing and raise money for Urban Promise and we sell merchandise. Since this was our last Sunday, we had a few different options and most of us all agreed to go on a trip to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I got ready and headed to Urban Promise to meet up with the other interns, it was cold and rainy. Just after 6:30am we loaded up on an Urban Promise bus and headed for New York/Brooklyn. I slept laying across the seat most of the way. We arrived and our church relations director (momma) Jeri and our driver and their significant others went to search to park our big school bus while the rest of us headed for the Tabernacle, which was less than a block away from where we were dropped off. Because Jeri is amazing, she made “reservations” (I guess you could say) and we got to sit in the balcony. Man is it beautiful. Or should I say… God it is beautiful. The service was amazing and afterwards we went to the Bell Tower (the gift shop). I think several of us bought gifts and Marlyne, myself, and Brent were about the last three. Marlyne walked over with Cleveland (our choir director) to the restaurant and Brent waited for me and we walked over. We had some of the most amazing BBQ I’ve ever had. After an amazing lunch, we headed back to Urban Promise. Going to the Brooklyn Tabernacle was the perfect way to end the summer and our summer with choir.

When I arrived back at my house, the packing began. However, by the time we got back I had less than hour before we had to leave for Sunday service. Or as I like to call the last Sunday service… let the tears and goodbyes begin. We had dinner and had our last Sunday service where Bruce gave a brief message and we all shared stories about the summer and about things we will miss. We shared with everyone and with each other one on one. I shared with Brent how I will miss one of my camp kids Craig and how he always made me laugh and smile although he was up to no good most of the time. I talked about missing Camden and everyone there and all of the memories and inside jokes. I also shared two stories in front of everyone. The first, being that I hope this summer was enough. I pray and hope that everything I poured out this summer was enough to make an impact and a lasting impression that one day my camp kids will be street leaders and team leaders and field supervisors, and maybe even eventually directors and that they would share stories of old interns and bible buddies like my director and assistant director did this summer. I also said a thank you to my director Jacob and ad Pookie (Eduardo) for always making this summer fun and making me laugh even on the hottest or most difficult days. The tears flowed that night and we all drove home after service and after the tears and hugs and commenced.

We got home and the cleaning and packing began. I was trying to get everything done in time to get some sleep before the drive to Boston.

The team and I were having our debriefing and team time in the Boston area (Hopkinton, MA). While packing and cleaning there was a hang out going downstairs with some old streetleaders and housemates and so it was quite distracting. By the time I finished packing and had showered it was 3am and I hadn’t really heard back from Jacob. So I knew I needed to get sleep because I figured I would have to drive the first part because he came in late and would be really tired. So I went to bed and woke back up to put any last minute stuff in the van, so I only had an hour and fifteen minutes of sleep but brought along my dad’s MonaVie energy drinks.

It took us almost six hours to get to Boston and I drove about 3.5 of those hours. We stopped once for a quick pee break and I bought coffee and then stopped again to go pee and to switch drivers, so Jacob could drive since he slept while I was driving and then we stopped to get gas and then made it to our destination. Our destination was amazing, did I mention that? Back in October I flew out to the East Coast and stayed at my boss’ family house for his wedding and this was the same house we were at for debriefing. I became close with his family and his niece who is my age and so I asked them back in November or January and asked if it would be okay to bring the team and they agree.

We were treated like royalty. The fed us and just let us do our thing. Our thing was just resting and relaxing. We tanned the first day and had amazing white chicken chili. The second day we slept in and I made breakfast for the ladies and then we went swimming and relaxed and then we all got showered up and dolled up to go out to dinner. In the next town we went to a place called PreZo’s Sushi Bar and Grill and had an amazing dinner. However, the day before in Milford had found e-coli and so we couldn’t have water or have certain drinks or sodas during dinner because they were tap water and syrup-based. After dinner we rented some movies via a RedBox and bought ice cream for dessert. We began watching the movies and I made some brownies for everyone and then we went to bed. The next day we hung around the house and began the huge task of packing up all of our stuff and it took most of the day. Mary (our host) made us some amazing Boston Clam Chowder and shared her life story with us and we continued to relax and hang out. I stayed up super late finishing off totaling our summer’s receipts from spending and then went to bed. We all work up and were on the road by 6:30am and just beat traffic. We dropped off Carly first because her flight was earlier and into Boston and ours was two hours later into LAX.

We sat and played games in the airport and then six hours later we were back home although we all felt like a huge piece of us was missing because for the past two months Camden had become our home. For me, Camden is my second home and will eventually be my new home.

The Team representing camp shirt for our debrief sleepover including movies and brownies and ice cream.

The backs of our shirts.

The team read and all dolled up for our night out for dinner for debriefing!