Wednesday, June 30, 2004

i miss you!

so today i've been sort of having an "i miss my family and friends day" which is definitely understandable. i talked to my daddy yesterday and he's doing a lot better. the treatments are going very well for him and he's feeling a lot better. we talked last night about how much he believes in the power of prayer and how evident it is because of how he's feeling. so i just ask you to continue to pray for him. man, i love that guy! i miss him so much, i just want to wrap my arms around his neck and give him a huge hug. i miss my mom and brothers a whole lot too. they're in alaska for a month...crazy. i'm talking to nate right now. i wish that he could experience camp. i think it would be an amazing experience for both my brothers to see how i spend my summers. plus it would allow them the opportunity to learn ministry. plus i think it could be a life changing experience for both of them. i wish i'd have had the opportunity to go to camp when i was younger. i think my life would have looked a lot different at such a young age. the kids in my group this week have been absolutely amazing. they have been so intentional with building relationships and sharing the gospel with these kids on site. it's been an absolute blessing to just sit back and watch them this week. i want to be selfish and ask God to bless me with a group like them every week.
i still have no guidance whatsoever as far as determining a plan for my life starting in august. i have no idea where God is leading me. i feel like he's saying, "whoa amy, have some patience. slow is down some, don't be in such a hurry." but it's really hard to say week after week to my students and adults that i have no idea where i'm suppose to be in a month. wow. a month. that is amazing. such a short amount of time. just continue to pray that i just wait for God's direction and that i have patience with the situation. pray that opportunities come up this summer and that i listen to where God wants me.
continue to pray for the kids on my sites. there are so many kids that have never really been shown love before. i just want them to see the love we have and i pray that my campers, as well as myself are able to just pour out into these kids...that they are able to see Christ in us and through that experience they are able to come to him and accept them in their hearts. continue to pray for staff unity. last night was amazing. we had a short time of staff worship and the program staffers went around and washed everyone's feet. then we went around and encouraged everyone on our team. it was so neat to see how we all had something to say to each other.
i miss my friends. i just wish i could see them and hug them. if you're reading this, know that you're more than likely someone i care about deeply and i miss you and love you. send me mail (real mail) because it makes me very happy. and presents and packages make me even happier. just so you know.
this girl is so sleepy!

Monday, June 28, 2004

i love packages!

i love my group of kids this week! they are so much fun! i have funny stories about site today, but i don't have a lot of time to tell them, so maybe i'll blog some during free time. let me just say that i got 2 fun happy packages in the mail today that made me smile. i love my friends! they are the coolest! another note, if for some reason you're wondering why you can't get in touch with me, my phone service has been disconnected because i forgot to pay my bill. whoopsies! so, just so you know...i'm alive and well in charleston. peace out!

Friday, June 25, 2004

one crazy week

this was a crazy week! praise the Lord above that it's over. these kids were so different than any previous group i've ever seen. there were so many problems this week, but God is bigger than all that and he proves himself faithful in so many ways. there were so many crazy things that happened this week, but at the same time, there were so many amazing things. there were a lot of professions of faith this week from campers...i think so many of them came with major problems and other random things going on. it seemed like this week, there was so much investing to do, and not near enough time. i feel like i didn't get to know my track group very well because of doubling up in bible study and during MTET time. hopefully it was a great experience for all of them anyway. sometimes it's weird how God uses us in ways we don't even realize. there was a girl in my group who was incredibly quiet all week long and on the last day of bible study, she walks up and hands me this note saying that she had learned so much from me in bible study over the week and that she had a great time on site getting to know the kids. amazing how God is using me to touch the lives of people and i don't even realize. continue to pray for me for strength and wisdom. pray for a sense of direction for the end of the summer and what it brings for me.
i want to know if anyone reads this anymore, so leave me a comment if you keep up with me through this crazy blog. it might just be a waste of time. who knows.

Monday, June 21, 2004

yay jesus!

this week has been so tough for so many of us. but it has been absolutely unreal how much God has come through and totally provided for everyone here at camp. i've doubled up on bible study teaching greers group and mine. even though it was an absolute struggle at first, he is so faithful. i had a group of about 30 for bible study today which doesn't really sound like a huge amount...but i was mainly worried about just allowing the Word to speak for itself. today was much smoother than last night. on site stuff that happened today: well...let's just say that we were suppose to go to the pool, but the lady who runs the center found out one of the kids had stolen something that belonged to her, so as punishment, they had to stay at the center instead of taking a field trip to the pool. needless to say, our group had definitely not planned for 2 1/2 hrs because we didn't know we needed to, so there was a lot of chaos. i used to strive off chaos, but i think as i get older, i'm not so much into it. getting old definitely has it's disadvantages...i'm not as fun as i used to be. i'm starting to get wrinkles. i'm boring. i'm getting fatter. i have no idea what's going on...but i don't like it! my church group that i'm hosting this week, Friendship BC has asked me to go to the beach with them tomorrow during tues. free time, although i'm not sure if i'll be going or not. i'm really torn between the situation right now. i have no idea why i am rambling about such nonsense in the first place. blah!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

dad update

update on my dad...
he is doing radiation treatments right now. instead of the 11 weeks that we thought, he only has to go for 5 weeks 4 days a week. so praise the lord for that! he starts his 2nd week tomorrow. there will still be some major side effects though. he will more than likely lose all his hair and it won't grow back. not that my dad's had a lot of hair ever, but seeing him completely bald will be a shock in going home after the summer. he said last week that he wasn't sick of weak and he went back to work after the treatment, so that is a huge blessing as well. his boss is being awesome during this whole process, which is amazing! yay God!

40 kids in bible study

today was a crazy day. greer woke up sick this morning, so i had to take her group as well as my group to do ministry track evangelism training. i thought that she'd be feeling better as the day went on, but that wasn't the case at all. i came back to the room at 3:30 to check on her and bring medicine that had been picked up for her, but at that point she was just feeling worse. i was a little worried that i was going to have to take her group for bible study and i was getting nervous about it. so i go to dinner and afterwards i asked jason what was going on...and i was given the "yes, you'll be taking greer's group" look. so i briefly looked over my notes, made a few changes and proceeded to tackle the task at hand. not that i'm not capable of handling over 40 kids for bible study, but i wasn't really prepared. i was very rushed, but i finished the lesson and i'm just praying that the kids actually understood what i was trying to get across to them. it was totally a God thing that i was even able to get through it. needless to say, when i got back to the room at 11pm tonight, greer said she was feeling even worse. the first thing i thought was "dear lord, i can't teach her kids bible study anymore!" but jason just left to take her to the hospital to see what's going on. so it's looking like i might be teaching bible study to two groups again. CRAZY! just please keep me in your prayers because even though today was the first full day of camp, it's been an insane one already.

Friday, June 11, 2004

week one highlights

so, the wireless internet thing seems like a great idea, and i'm sure it would be if it actually worked. right now i am sitting at a picnic table outside of the parking lot where the staff lives because it's the only place i can get service. hopefully it will be back up at the beginning of the week. so, let me just say a little about the whole track leader experience...first off, let me just say that God works in HUGE ways. seriously, i have no idea how i made it through the week i had. i can't go into specific details, but i'll share a little bit. i had a camper from my track group get sent home (he was also a member of the church i was hosting). my heart was truly broken for him and his youth leaders. i felt so helpless, because there was absolutely nothing that i could do to help besides pray. it made me realize how huge God is and how he had everything under control and it's ultimitely all about him anyway. 2nd situation, i had a girl crazy guy in my group who wouldn't leave my girls alone and i had to pretty much baby sit him all week long. i had to watch my girls backs constantly to make sure he wasn't harassing them. let's just say that he definitely came to camp for a hook up. and the third story of the week...drum roll please. i had 3 girls disappear into the ghetto. they went with a kid from my site to pick up his younger brother, but they didnt ask, they just went. needless to say they weren't allowed to leave and on top of that they were missing for 40 minutes. turns out they walked to pizza hut to order pizza. don't ask. let's just say they had major attitudes and i wasn't about to take their crap. so that's the exteremly condensed watered down version of my first week of camp. crazy times. i'm sure if you ask me, i have other stories as well. also, this week my dad went for his radiation conference. he's going to start electronic beam radiation on monday. it will be an 11 week treatment and it will be 4 days a week. fairly intense stuff. he will loose his hair on his head, arms, and legs and it probably won't ever grow back. the other side effects aren't quite as specific. the doctors say that he'll be able to drive himself to and from louisville which i know is a huge blessing in his life because he hates depending on people for stuff like that because he's so stubborn. it's just exteremly hard for me right now knowing that my dad is about to enter into this life threatning treatment and there's not anything i can do for him besides pray. i'm definitely not trying to undermine prayer at all, because it is exteremly significan't. i guess what i'm trying to say is that it's hard to say "okay God, it's whatever your will is." i have a hard time laying things like that at the Lord's feet. somehow i think i can solve these problems myself, although i have no idea why because lately i haven't been able to do anything on my own (which is a wonderful thing to rely on my savior for every need i have). but it's just hard when it's something so near to my dad. i think that recently it's been even more difficult because of people in my life who have actually died of cancer. there is a guy on my team, jarred, who lost his mother not even a month before camp started. to see how God had worked in his life is amazing, but it's really hard to think that it could so easily be me. another thing that bothers me is the fact that my mom and brothers are leaving to go to alaska for a month. that means that for 4 weeks they will be gone as well. i worry that my dad will be lonely. i worry that he won't rely on others to help him out such as his brother and sister. i know that there is nothing i can do from here except encourage him and pray for him and that's what i plan to do. just please keep him in your prayers. please keep me in your prayers because i realize how weak i am. i realize that i am nothing. i'm humbled every single day. i am really learning what it's like to be humbled and it's a hard place to be right now. it's a difficult place to be and if you know me, you understand how that's not a huge part of my character, but it's what i'm being taught right now. james 4:10 says "humble yourself before the lord and he will lift you up."
it's almost 12:30 and i'm still sitting at this picnic table and very shady cars keep driving by making me feel a bit uncomfortable, so i'm going to make my way inside.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

settling in

yes, it is almost 2 in the morning and i'm laying in bed with my ibook listening to the sound of my air conditioner turn itself off and on as it seems to not be able to find a perfect temperature. my roommate, greer, is asleep and has been for almost an hour. i don't know her that well, but i'm looking forward to what the summer will bring and how much she will come to mean to me once the summer is over. can i just say how truly amazing my staff is?!?! i mean seriously, they are amazing. one of my biggest fears was being on staff with 27 other people. 28 people seems like a huge group to be unified, but it's actually going really well. i know that it's still something that needs to be covered in prayer because satan will try to use it against us if we don't. but honestly, tonight as we had a little bit of "family time" i really did feel like they were part of my family. there are so many people who have been so encouraging to me. so many people that make me laugh. so many people that i believe really care about me already. we had to go around and encourage someone. i picked katie, because she was one of the first people that truly showed me that they genuinely cared for me. robyn had told me about katie, and i was so excited to meet her, but i had no idea how huge of a heart she would have. the third night i was here in charleston, i found out that brooke hall had passed away and it was a rough time for me. being away from home and my friends and family and dealing with the death of someone you had loved so much and worked along side of. katie understood that i needed to be alone, but she wouldn't let me be alone until she prayed with me. she let me cry, and she hugged me and i will always remember how much that meant to me. i've been very emotional since i've been here (which isn't really common for me). the first week i think i cried every night. i felt so hard. i can't really explain it. it was just me coming out of this hard place and being placed in an environment that i knew God had chosen for me, but the transition wasn't easy. i went from working in a cold factory that was very void of the love of Jesus, to being surrounded by a circle of believers who are willing to do whatever it takes to share the love of Christ. it's truly an amazing place to be and i already see God working in the lives of our staff, adults, and kids. i just pray that i continue to be real and vulnerable with God and that i allow him to mold me into the beautiful woman he has created me to be. my dad goes to a conference tomorrow to see about electronic beam radiation. they are saying that it is probably the only thing that will help at this point. he can't do chemo because dosages would be too high, so this seems like a last resort kind of thing. to be honest, it scares the crap out of me. it makes me nervous, and i'm sure that's why i'm not sleeping right now. but that is a huge prayer request! i also continue to pray for staff unity because i know that it will be easy for us to forget about it and allow room for satan to attack. also, i talked to cynthia today, which was amazingly encouraging. i actually get to see her in about 3 weeks because jacksonville doesn't have camp that week. so praise the Lord for that sense of encouragement. it's now after 2 am and i need to sleep, as well as prepare for bible study tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

my site!

today i went with my track group to charleston farms which is the site i'll be at all summer long on tues, weds, and thrurs. the kids seem to be great and my group did well with them. i'm very excited about it. we had a guy named bobby come and teach kung fu. all i could think of was "everybody was kung fu fighting." how much fun. he'll be teaching every tues, so i'm sure i'll be an expert kung fu fighter by the end of the summer! : ) bethany said my comment button was broken. anyone else having issues with it? i'm going to use my time wisely and take a nap!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

okay, here's the deal kids! mom surprised me by sending my laptop in the mail which is so great because now i have the internet! but it really scares me because i don't think we're living on the safest campus. the other night jarred, a guy from my team had a really nice radio stolen out of his room. the same night, my roommate realized she was missing some cds and i realized that the cup of candy we had been given when we first arrived was empty (i know it's just candy, but someone was in my room!) it really creeps me out to think that someone is stealing our stuff. i mean, even if we lock our doors, someone is taking stuff which makes me think it's maintenance or someone with a key. ugh. i feel somewhat unsafe and it's annoying.
other than that, i' m doing okay. i've got my classroom decorated and i've taken some fun pictures that i'll put on here when i figure out how to. : ) i also have pictures of our team to add. campers will start arriving in about 2 hrs. as much as i still have to do, i can't wait til they get here. my suitemate johanna made a great point about how hard training week was. she said, "training week is so hard because you're giving everything you have to plan camp and plan bible study, but you don't have anyone there to pour back into you." how true that it.
some prayer requests:
kids ar my site (charleston farms and russelldale)
words to teach bible study
adults and students in my ministry track group
the city of charleston
my dad (his conference is on the 7th)
team unity among my staff
thanks so much for your prayers.

Friday, June 04, 2004

camp starts tomorrow! too much to do.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

so here it is really late at night and i'm sitting in a classroom that will be used to teach many 7-12th graders about the love of jesus. i can look out the window and see the chapel with the steeple that is lit up and the reflection pond that sits in front of the chapel. the moon is full, which makes the scene that much prettier. i don't understand how people could look at such a beautiful sight and not believe there is an amazing God that created it all. wow! i am in awe. i've been having a lot of feelings of insignificance and inadequecies over the last ten days or so. tonight was so great though, i was able to lay it all down at the feet of my creator and let him know that i'm here this summer to serve him. i also realize that God does not call the capable, he calls the weak. by calling those who are weak, he knows that they will have to totally rely on him to be able to do as he has called. after worship tonight, i am totally prepared to do my best to glorify his name this summer.
prayer requests
anna (my suitemate) had to go home to have some test run, pray for healing and a safe return to camp
pray that God works through me this summer to minister to the kids on my site
pray that God will use me to teach bible study.