week one: chaos

 well, it’s been about two and a half days. and it’s been absolutely crazy.

tonight’s my first night off, and it’s been really nice to get some time alone as well as fellowship with some of the other staff. a bunch of us went to tom and katrina’s house for dinner and bible study (tom is one of the village directors here). it was so nice to get into the word a little deeper tonight; right now i’m aiming it at a group of ten-year-olds, and while there is beautiful truth in any kind of devotion, the depth isn’t really there. this summer we’re going through some of the old testament stories, like adam and eve or david and goliath to show that they don’t contain only simple themes for children to know, but rich truths and concepts that can encourage and enlighten all of us. today we talked about adam and eve and the nature of sin. it was good discussion and good food. a nice break from the routine of camp.

speaking of!

camp is going well, even if it’s crazy. gus and i got our kids on sunday and took them down to get their swim check. we’ve got a great bunch of kids this week: patrick (who is a tad slow at obeying but has a good sense of humor) (and by a tad i mean a lot), josh and jake (who i pair together because they’re good friends and it took me a while to stop mixing them up; both are really sweet, genuine kids), jd (who i’ve not gotten to know too well yet; he’s quiet, but a really great kid), willie (a hilarious kid with a solid head on his shoulders), adam and grant (who i paired together for the same reason as jake and josh, except i don’t mix them up; both are really kind and helpful. they’ve been to camp before and know the ropes for the most part), carl (who is dead set on singing a bunch of songs he’s made up for campfire), chris (who was shy for about an hour before opening up like crazy), and ethan (who’s really sweet but wants to share every story and talk about everything).

we’re already growing to know the tendencies and personality of each of the kids. it’s crazy to think that it’s only tuesday, because it feels like i’ve known these kids for much, much longer than that. i feel like this is at least my second week with them, which is kind of odd. knowing that i’ll eventually have eight more cabins of different boys kind of blows my mind right now, in a good way. 

something i’ve really come away with is a true appreciation (i say that lightly… i’m learning more and more how little i "truly" know the depth) for God’s infinite grace. there were so many times on sunday and monday that i felt like there was absolutely no way things were going to work out. i had no idea which activities were next, what things i needed to bring, what scheduling i should plan for. i felt like the kids were maybe suffering for it because their frantic counselor wasn’t giving off this confident air that all counselors should. through it all, God kept giving me just enough patience and strength and trust to get through it all. He’s been so faithful these past few days, and the best part is that i know He’s gonna do that every single day. even those days that are far, far worse than the first few days (though right now it’s tough to imagine…). He has promised to do just that, and i have no doubts that He will keep His promise. likewise, this is a promise extended to every single one of you who are reading right now. when times get tough (that phrase is really thrown around, but this applies to when your life gets crazy, unbearably and painfully difficult to bear as well… or even more so), He is ready and willing and wanting to help all of us get through whatever it is. and i know that a day at camp is nothing compared to some of the things you all have experienced. know that He is God, and He is good. and He has promised, promised, to be there for you, specifically. while i write these things to a general readership, the Lord still knows each and every one of you personally. He knit you together in your mother’s womb.

crazy awesome. and humbling.

the other thing He’s been so good to reinforce in my mind is that spending time with God is not a sit-down-and-read-the-bible-and-journal-or-else-it-doesn’t-count thing. there are nights i simply will not have time to get into the word… they’ve happened already this week. and while He has blessed me with a unit who goes to bed at ten, giving me some time to myself, He has also been so present in everything at camp. it’s been a direct answer to prayer (and i thank both God and you all for that!), and it’s had an incredible impact on both my relationship with God and my attitude in general. i know, i know… it’s only been two and a half days! but it’s been an amazing time, and i’m excited for the rest of it.

if you’re praying for me, i’d love prayers for energy and that i’d be getting enough sleep each night. please also be praying for the kids i mentioned (by name, if possible… never underestimate praying for a person by name!), that the Lord would be working in their hearts to reveal truth to them, that it would change their lives. while we don’t go very deep with the campers, i have no doubt that we’re planting seeds, and the Lord uses them as He will (praise God!). please also be praying for staff relationships (platonic ones), that we would work together as the body of Christ and not individual parts.

thank you all so much for following and praying! the Lord is definitely using you as a part of this team!

praise to the Lord for the work He is doing and the love with which He accomplishes His will.

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2 thoughts on “week one: chaos

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bradley, I love hearing you take about these kids! I can just feel how much you love them already. So excited to watch you help them grow. Also, you have to remember that it’s absolutely okay that you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, I think it makes it easier for you to relate to the kids because you get confused, just like they do. You, for a second are not their counselor or teacher, but their friend. Does that make sense? I just know that if I’m on a tour or something and the guide gets flustered, it actually makes me more comfortable because I remember they’re human just like me. I am completely in awe of all the work God is doing in your life! What a powerful testament! in just a few days, your growth in Him has been astronomical. He is a good God. and you are a good Brad.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bradley, I love hearing you take about these kids! I can just feel how much you love them already. So excited to watch you help them grow. Also, you have to remember that it’s absolutely okay that you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, I think it makes it easier for you to relate to the kids because you get confused, just like they do. You, for a second are not their counselor or teacher, but their friend. Does that make sense? I just know that if I’m on a tour or something and the guide gets flustered, it actually makes me more comfortable because I remember they’re human just like me. I am completely in awe of all the work God is doing in your life! What a powerful testament! in just a few days, your growth in Him has been astronomical. He is a good God. and you are a good Brad.

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