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,