Today was the last day of daycamp, which made for a lot of emotions, both positive and negative. I’m going to miss these kids, and this community, a lot, but I’m hopeful for the future. Not only has the growth in the kids this year made me excited to come back for years to come, but I have also seen firsthand how Jesus is impacting these kids lives. After lunch, I was hanging out with the older campers, doing some more cooking, and one of them asked if we could listen to one of the songs we sing in the morning: Jesus You’re My Superhero. I was surprised, but obliged. What followed was almost half an hour of these teens, who usually act to cool to sing with everyone else, absolutely jamming out to this simple song about Jesus’ awesomeness. It was amazing. In Acts 17, Paul tells the people of Athens that, as they’ve been worshipping at the shrine to “The Unknown God,” they’ve really been worshipping the God of the Bible. I don’t know if those teens today understand who Jesus is. I don’t know how much God has moved in their hearts. I don’t know if they’ll ever come to know the joy, forgiveness, and beauty that I’ve found in Christ. But what I saw today was worship, and maybe like the first drop of rain or the first strike of thunder, it signals something much bigger on the way. For that I will pray, and in that, we worship.
Today we had communion, which is probably one of the easier places to see worship. However, this time, we were encouraged to try it a slightly different way. Rather than the typical delivery of bread and wine from the front of the church, each member of our team took a full slice of bread and a cup of wine (aka grape juice), and walked around the room serving each other. Each time our eyes met another’s, we took a minute to say what difference Christ’s life, death, and ressurection has made in our lives before tearing off a piece of our own slice and serving it to the other person. I’ve never understood so quickly and so wholly the power of Jesus to bring people together. We, an already fairly diverse team, came from all over the world, from all different stories, through so many trials, and through death itself with Jesus to a new life here and now, one which sees us sharing his love so far from home with people who are just as unique as us. And together, we worship.
This past year, the Serpent River community installed a play park behind the lifestyle centre that serves as our shelter and base of operations for camp. For the kids, it’s an oasis. They always wanna play on that thing–and when they blaze through whatever activity we leaders have planned, it’s a good fallback for us as well. I’ve been working with one child, Jonny (not his real name), who has anger management issues. He’s been better this year, but still flew off the handle a few times a day. Today however, as we played at the park together, and I pushed him on the swing, he was comfortable with me, and happy as could be. We’ve been reminded many times this trip that, more than words or actions, people remember how you made them feel. We’re here to build relationships because we care about these children and their community, just like Jesus does. In his ministry on Earth, he spent so much time building relationships–pouring into his disciples and spending time with them. Relationships take patience and dedication–no one time on the swings will show a child how much Jesus loves them–but I’m happy to have the opportunity to follow my king and build relationships in his image. I love the moment and look to the future, and in doing so, I worship.
Today was the first day of daycamp and boy did it go off with a bang. Hypothetically, it probably wouldn’t have been hard to pick a moment of worship to reflect on today amidst the Jesus-centred camp fun, but boy oh boy was it hectic. What that means is that the standout moment has ended up being a quieter one. In the afternoon, after most of the kids went to the park, I (Cricket) stayed back with some of the older campers and we did some cooking together, our goal being chicken alfredo. While we’re not gonna win Master Chef any time soon, this time of collaboration and teaching meant a lot to me, and really reminded me what a Christ-centred attitude looks like in this kind of work. We were gathered around food–not so unlike Jesus and his disciples on that Last Supper or Ressurection Fish Fry–enjoying each others’ company, and looking to the future, where relationships may have grown and skill may have been learned. And in doing so, we worshipped.