Hey! I’m not sure whether I’m really feeling good or just simply past the point of exhaustion, but right this moment I’m wide awake. And it is almost 11pm! Today has been a great day. It was our second full day of camp and if you saw the pictures I posted on Facebook this morning, you could probably tell that we are all feeling the effects of late nights, early mornings, and busy, busy days in between in some way or another.
We’re anything but idle this week, though. I’m clocking in well over 10,000 steps a day and I know the kids are probably close to doubling that- especially those who are climbing the mountain more than once. I can say that I don’t think those on the trip for the very first time really expected to be so busy, so tired, and yet feel so close to Jesus all at the same time. I know that I’ve said it before, but I’m so convinced that when we (and by “we” I mean even us adults) move outside of our comfortable places and into an area where God can stretch us, he always changes us. I’ve never been to an uncomfortable place in my life whether it be on the mission field in a foreign country, in my job, or in simple acts of obedience to God that He didn’t change me in some way. He draws near to us in those places and I think that’s exactly where many of our students find themselves this week. They’re away from home. Many are starting to miss mama’s and daddy’s. They’re busier than they typically are on any given day for seven consecutive days. They’re being stretched to build relationships not only with people they’ve never met before, but with the students they’re on this trip with and will go home with. Individually, we’re being asked to listen intently to what God is speaking to our hearts this week. My prayer, and I think I speak for the other adults here this week as well, is that God would let this be the group that changes Common Ground and our community. I’m praying that God would reveal to each student what his or her place is in God’s story because I believe that when God reveals to us our place, he reveals to us our purpose. I want them to get so close to Jesus this week that when they go back home, they desire his closeness even still.
In the midst of everything today, I did have several opportunities to talk to some of the kids about what God was teaching them this week. Many are learning to simply listen to God’s voice while others are hearing God speak to them about relationships, burdens, dealing with life’s struggles, and going after all that God has for them. I’m so encouraged when I have opportunities like that to check in because I know God is at work and life change is happening. Families and friends: they’re listening. These kids are experiencing what it’s like to encounter God and be held close to him because of the grace, love, and mercy he has for our lives. We’re so imperfect, yet God longs for us to take our place in His story and walk alongside one another for the journey.
As I’ve mentioned the last couple of nights, please continue to pray for us. Here are some specific things you can be praying for:
1. Pray that we will rest well.
2. Pray that God will continue to speak to us this week whether it be through worship, Bible study, recreation, track times, or church group devotion times.
3. Pray for our students to grow as a team. We’ll go home soon and will inevitably step back into our roles for every day life. We need real connection, real relationship, and a real faith.
Thank you for the sweet messages you’re sending. I’m passing those along to the kids and I so wish I could capture the smiles that come over their faces each time they read a message from you. You are loved and missed!