Reflecting On a Week of Camp

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dear friends and family,
Jeremy here. We arrived safely in Craiova today after an enjoyable bus ride through Romania’s country side (despite being woken up along the way by the smell of minty freshness as toothpaste was poured on to my face). Being the last day of camp, the morning was filled with tears of joy as both the campers and leaders realized how the past 5 days had affected them. Although camp had its difficulties and stretched everyone involved outside of their comfort zones, everyone felt that they had grown in some way by the end of camp. Last night, Jimmy shared the story of the prodigal son, painting a beautiful picture of God’s forgiveness and role as our heavenly father. This story, along with Daniel’s description of how adopting a Romanian orphan changed his life, hit home with the campers, almost all of them being orphans themselves. In my small group, we discussed how significant it is that we have God as our heavenly father, to whom we can look to for comfort and love, especially when we may have been abandoned or mistreated by our earthly parents. The most significant effect that camp had on myself was the realization of how often I take my own parents for granted. The stories of the campers in my small group highlighted for me that, even though we might quarrel and have disagreements, having parents that love you and worry about you, is a huge blessing. I hope to come back to the states with a renewed respect for my parents and all they have sacrificed for me, even when I disagree with my curfew, because many of the people I met this week grew up in a place that, if they did not come home one night, no one would even be there to notice.
From the beginning, camp became successively better and better as the campers were able to open up and break past their emotional barrriers that a life of challenges and mistreatment created. We thoroughly believe that camp was a success. It may have had its fair share of obstacles, but by the end week, we could visibly see and experience a change in the campers’ attitudes and personas. We hope that this week will have planted a seed in their hearts for Jesus to reveal his love and mercy to them, and pray that we will be able to put on similar camps for years to come.
As always, we sincerely appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Currently, we are attempting to recuperate after the long week of hard work at camp, and are looking forward to further discover how we have been changed by this past week’s experience. I hope that all is well back on the home front, and know that we miss you and are thinking of all of you.
Love and thanks,
Jeremy Gartland

5 thoughts on “Reflecting On a Week of Camp

  1. Dear nimby,

    Its caleb & franklin writing to you awe yea. Guess where we are right now! ON THE BUS TO CHICAGO! we literally are doing the exact same thing as the time we got kicked off! 5am & errything. Except successfully. I miss you. I love you.

  2. I got on my ipad this morning and was excited to see a new post. What a sweet way to start my day! Jeremy, thank you for your heart-felt thoughts. It’s amazing what we can take for granted isn’t it, myself included. Your post has inspired me to call my own parents today. Ive learned to appreciate them much more as I’ve become a parent myself but I often let the business of life keep me from calling them to catch up. I can do a better job at that.

    I am sure your whole team planted seeds of hope in the hearts of many orphans. Thank you for sharing the love of our Abba Father with them. What an amazing experience for everyone that I am sure has grown and stretched each of you.

    PS- Leah, your little brother leaves for Alaska today. He is so excited! I think going on this mission trip has done great things for his confidence. He even decided to shower and go to bed early on his own. 🙂 He hopes to see a moose!

  3. Great update Jeremy! Thanks a bunch. You know you are not the only one that this trip gives perspective to. It is the same for us parents. It gives us a great reminder of what amazing children we have and how mature and ready to face challenges that the world bring they really are! I hope that when you all return we all can have a renewed appreciation for each other. (but that being said I can’t help you out with your curfew issues!) 🙂
    Taylor Evadeane…. I sure love ya!
    Leaders….thanks for taking great care of our kids!
    Praying continually for your perseverance, patience and love to shine brightly!
    Love to you all….
    Taylor’s Momma

  4. Hey Romania Team!!!!!
    Sounds like camp was pretty epic! It’s really awesome to hear how much of an impact it had on all of you guys. I support everything that you guys are doing over there and it’s really exciting to hear how God is changing lives! I hope everyone was able to get some much needed rest now that you are back in Craiova! Ooh and Megan I hope you were able to get a shower and some non-muddy clothes as well…#ratchet ;)………I miss you ya grease ball 😛


  5. Shout out to miss Smiley on a message last night where you all are. That’s soooo exciting to see a group there with some others who have been before (love you Pat). I’m jealous I could be there to share in the experience but am glad we have the means to wall a long side you with this piece of technology. I’m praying for strength and guidance as your final 6 days. I can’t wait to read through the previous post that I haven’t had the time to read yet!

    God bless and hugs to those who know I’d give too!

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