July 21st, 2009
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...