Camp – Day 1 (Monday)

Hello loyal followers! Jesse and Sammy here writing to catch you up to speed on our trip to camp (Monday, August 8)! We got up a little earlier than usual to finish packing up and eat breakfast before loading up the bus. After rearranging a few bags, we were on our way to camp! The six-hour ride was filled with singing, naps, snacks, and games along with some incredible relationship building. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful spot (gas station) in the mountains. It was great to get off the bus and stretch for a little bit, and the view of the river with the peaks in the background made for some incredible photo ops.

After finally arriving, we all found our rooms. We’re all staying in a huge cabin (well, except for some of us), with the boys on the second floor and the girls on the third. The first floor and part of the second are taken up by students from a music camp that’s going on at the same time as ours, so we run into them often.

We got settled in, had some free sport time (futbol!!!) and then played some large group games, like the Romanian version of Duck, Duck, Goose and a game with hula hoops J After, Daniel gave us our small group assignments and we split up to create flags and songs to represent our groups. My (Jesse’s) group got the color blue and decided to name ourselves the Blue Mermaids (Sirenele) and choreographed a dance number to “Under the Sea”. Because little to nothing bonds girls faster than hair styling, we also made ribbons to tie in our hair!

(Sammy had to go to worship practice, so it’s just Jesse from here on out). We ate our first camp meal and then went right into our program time. All of the teams shared their flags and songs and it was really fun to see all of the creativity and how quickly the groups were bonding. Highlights included throwing pretend lei (Romanian money) in the air, and singing to Prince’s “Purple Rain”. After all of the groups had shared, Ali, Emma, and Morgan kicked things off with a crazy awesome game (blowing up a plastic glove using your nose), and introduced us to the theme of the Olympics.

The worship team led us in a time of worship and we taught the campers the camp song. It is so beautiful to hear the different languages mixing together–even though we don’t always understand the Romanian, we can understand the heart and emotions behind the words. Razvan, one of the Romanian leaders, gave a compelling message, reminding us how we are sons and daughters of The King, and that Jesus is a King unlike any earthly ruler.

After the message we split into our small groups. The conversations are mostly in Romanian and can be hard to follow, but we are so grateful for all of our translators who help to connect us to the conversation. All of the girls in my group are new to camp and I’m extremely excited to see them experience it for the first time. We started to discuss what it means to be a daughter of God, and how it makes us act differently. Sometimes it’s hard to participate in small group because I’m not sure how the translation will change what I’m trying to say and I’m not sure if it will even make any sense to them, but I’m working on just speaking up when I feel God calling me to, and trusting that God will help to convey what I mean.

(Sammy’s back!) (Just kidding, he went to track down his group.) I’m (Jesse) so excited to watch my campers connect with God this week and watch them experience God in a new way. It’s truly an incredible experience, and I’m so blessed to be here! Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers and please keep commenting!

And now….Jokes with Jesse! This one is one of my favorites, so I hope you enjoy J

A sheep, a drum, and a snake fell off a cliff…..BAAA DUMMMM SSSSSS


Jesse: Thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! I had an incredible day, and your cards, notes, and comments helped make it even better.

Katrina: To Ben Piascik-My tiedye shirts are safe and sound! Thanks for the concern.

Sammy: Family-I’m really sorry I kind of bailed on blogging-I did have real responsibilities, I didn’t just abandon it! I’ll do my best to blog more soon.

9 thoughts on “Camp – Day 1 (Monday)

  1. Mo those pictures reminded me just how beautiful my best friend is!!!!! I’m missing you more and more everyday. Im so excited for the first football game coming up!! Why? Well, you see my child, that is just something you will have to find out when you get home. Toodles!!!!

  2. Hey team, you are amazing. I hope you are having a ton of fun and learning a lot about God and yourselves on this adventure. I’m praying for you to be changed by this experience in ways that expand your perspective on God and his people around the world, moving you into more generous, compassionate, and loving followers of Jesus.

    Also, if you could ship me some Ali Baba, that would be great.

  3. I am missing you all so so so so so so much today. Each post makes me see how much God is using you and how each of your are thriving in an environment that I’ve heard can be pretty difficult. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Ali- I am missing you more than ever right now. I really miss having someone to vent to, laugh with, and make memories with. This kind of feels like a trial run for being apart from you in college and let me tell you… I am not a fan! Tomorrow afternoon I leave for college and it feels really surreal plus weird not being able to hug you and say goodbye in person. Thank you so much for all you have done for me over the years and for being my best friend. I can’t wait for our FaceTime dates and Thanksgiving of course. Love ya tons.

    Alyssa- It was fun to read the other post you wrote! It is obvious that you are taking advantage of every moment that you’re given on this trip to shine God’s light. I would expect nothing less and I am so proud and lucky to call you my friend. I will miss you so much more than you know this coming year and I can’t wait to hear all about your amazing adventures.

    With Love,
    Madison Pincombe

  4. Thank you all so much for all the photos – they mean so much to us stuck back in Wisconsin!! And the update on camp – glad to know you are in full swing & things are going well! Thanks Jesse (& Sammy) for your update. We especially love your jokes – keep them coming!

    Dan – I (your mom) just got back from our/my Hartman family reunion in Colorado and a 16.5 hour drive with your Grandparents (in one day!)! I am now embarking on a 14+ hr. drive with your brother (Ben) to take a van load of “stuff” to Jenna in NY. I’ll have plenty of time to pray for you all as I’m sure your brother will sleep most of the way!!

    I’m so proud of this team! It’s not easy to be in a strange land with a strange language and strange customs/food. BUT you all are rocking it!! Keep being brave and reaching out! God’s love can cross any boundary!!

    Hugs to the Hershberger cousins! Ben and Jenna wish they could be there with you! I’d send them over if I could – it would be easier than unloading all of Jenna’s stuff!
    Love to all!
    Linda (Dan’s mom)

  5. Hey friends,
    So I figured out how to reply now!!! (I think). It’s great to hear how well the trip has been going for you so far and I’m amazed at the work that you lot are doing. If I got to do a shoutout, you’ld all be my shout out. Jesse, hope your ankles better. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to hearing more. (Quite selfishly) missing you very much,

  6. And Jesse, happy belated birthday. I definitely forgot to mention that. Also, Sammy, Oscar and I were at memorial Union tonight and saw the one and only Art at open mic night. Made me think of you. Miss hearing you sing, but sounds like you’re rocking it at worship. Best wishes to all

  7. Thanks for all of the great blog posts – keep them coming :o)

    Jesse – glad to hear that you had a fun birthday and that your ankle is feeling better. Love and miss you bunches (that goes for your Delaware cousins as well).

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