Amazing Grace

Hey y’all!

 

This is Ashton here, writing to you on our fourth day at camp. The past couple of days have been filled with competitive outdoor games, laughter, tears, pranks, lots of soup, and many, many smiles. My biggest worry was that I would not connect very easily with the campers because of the language barrier, but God quickly took my worries away when I met Irena, Claudia, Geo, Andrea, and Mariana. We hesitated at first to be completely open and comfortable around each other, but as each night went on, we had deeper and deeper discussions over cookies and tea. I am a part of the program team and have enjoyed (maybe too much) dressing in 80’s workout clothes, wearing leg warmers, sweat bands, and leotards. I surprised myself and am finding it so easy to goof off with the campers and start conversations with them. I can feel all of the amazing things God is putting in front of me, and he is answering my prayers in amazing ways. So, with this, I took a leap and joined prayer team as the second morning of camp. It is an encouraging feeling to hear Pat and Claudia to pray and to lift all our worries to God in such an amazing environment.

 

Yesterday, we went on a six-hour hike and my faith in God grew even stronger as we looked out at the indescribable view at the top. I know God was with us the entire time, and I felt at that moment that he was giving me strength that I didn’t think I had so that I would be able to experience his wonders in this way. We dipped our feet in a freezing cold glacier lake and then returned home to spend the rest of the night learning pick up lines from the campers who, by the way, say I have an amazing Romanian accent, and then also making friendship bracelets with my roommates until 1:00am. Even the next day, God gave me the energy that I needed, and I did not feel tired or sore from the day before. He is incredible! Even after all of these amazing things He has done for me, I felt as though I came the closest to God that I ever have been tonight. After having some campers drink blended sardines and junk food during program, we spent some time to sing songs and worship. It was extremely encouraging to see all of the kids enjoying themselves during this time, and once the evening session was finished, we went straight into our small group. Right away, we talked about doubts in our faith and shared stories of doubt; leading the way to a very intimate discussion. There were many tears, and to calm us down, Claudia did something I will never forget. She wanted to take a moment to close our eyes, hold hands, and sing Amazing Grace together and just lift our doubts up to God. I felt God intensely in that moment, and I will forever be grateful for Him allowing me to feel his love in this way.

 

I am excited to see what He has planned for myself and the team as we continue on with the rest of our trip, and I could go on and on about all of the incredible things I have seen in the past 8 days, but I am also writing this past curfew :/ I would just like to end saying a few things.

  1. I have tried every food that has been passed my way on this trip and I have not tasted one that I did not enjoy, and I think Shwarma might just be my new favorite food @Morgan.
  2. Reed family, I hope you are getting ready to have an awesome time in Texas and please say hi to everyone for me when you arrive.
  3. Thanks for reading this blog post, and from everyone on the team, we are having an amazing time and can’t wait to tell you all about it when we return 🙂

 

 

 

Shoutouts:

 

To Bria, Hannah, Noah, Dan, Katrina: <3 Thank you for your words of wisdom, they were very timely, Love Pat.

To George: GEORGE I AM SO SORRY FOR NOT SHOUTING YOU OUT ON THE LAST POST ☹ I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!! How is your vacation??

To George again: This is a make up shoutout for my missed shoutout, please tell me how the cruise is and the food. I hope the staff is treating you well and your hacky sack brings you joy. Don’t forget to take your seasick medication if you feel queasy and drink LOTS of water, at least 3 or 4 bucket fulls a day!

To Matt and Rachel Metzger: Thank you for the 17 and 2/3 birthday wishes, I opened it on time but was unable to shoutout until now.

To Carynne: Thanks so much for commenting (and updating us on the Bachelorette 😊) We miss you soooooo much and we can’t wait to tell you about it when we get back!!! Love, Elise and Leah

To Hannah: I miss you a whole lot and I have SO much to tell you! I hope MadMish is going great <3

To the rents: Nooooo! How could you?

To Job: I’m offended I didn’t get a comment from you. You got your own shoutout and everything.

 

9 thoughts on “Amazing Grace

  1. What a great post about what sounds like an amazing camp. Kip your brother finished swim season in grand style and it sounds like your sister is getting a new job! Tonight I am in the field chasing fish around and mom is watching frisbee. That’s the news from here , cant wait to hear more of your adventures. We pray tut hat God continues His amazing work with you and the team. We love you!

  2. What an awesome post Ashton! Thanks for sharing your sweet moments with the team and God with us all! It sounds like camp is going great and God is showing up in big ways for you all!

    Luke… a few important bits of news for you:
    1. Dad fixed the fridge water dispenser! You no longer will be able to leave your water bottle there and go do other things while it fills up! It is FAST now!
    2. I know you will be so excited to know that there will still be a few days for you to get to one of your favorite things ever… the Olbrich Gardens Butterfly exhibit! Wanna go?
    3. Noah applied for a job at the Pig. But they haven’t called. You might need to go have a chat with Jeff. 😉
    4. We miss you SO much and love you more!

    Praying for you all and hoping that the remaining time at camp and with the Romania team is a blessing that is felt for years.

  3. Oh my llamas, God is working in such beautiful ways! So happy for all of your guys’ fabulous smiley times and it’s so wonderful to know the Lord is there for the tears, too. Y’all are amazing, keep on being God’s hands and feet!!!

  4. Ashton: that was beautiful, thank you for sharing. God in working IN and WITH all of you and it is so exciting to see the wonderful things it’s doing in all of your lives and in the lives of the campers! We will continue to pray.

    Is Isabel eating everything passed her way? 🙂 Izzy, things are good here. Played cards with our Life Group tonight, I’m awful at poker. Your dad is going into the office tomorrow (gasp) so I might make Sam leave the house, too. You know, it’s boring here without you. We’ll keep praying for you guys! Love you!

  5. Another wonderful post…thank you, Ashton! God is so faithful!

    Leah…we’re back from the cabin. Don’t worry…Jonah came right back when we yelled it was time to go. He had a blast…lots of stories to tell when you get back. Also, I haven’t watched the Bachelorette yet, so I’ll just wait til you’re back and we can watch together. Sounds from Carynne like it was a doozy (but not too surprising, really).

    Also appreciate the Mad Mish update from Hannah (via the Romania blog…haha!) and the shoutout from Cade. Love and hugs to all! 😘❤️

    -Mum Metzger

  6. Ashton, thank you for sharing how God is working so powerfully in your relationships there. It’s exciting to hear that campers and leaders are feeling His presence. We are praying for you all.

    Nikki, 1) Tough love helps us grow; 2) Job takes awhile to speak; you know his track record; 3) I miss you and am praying for you everyday. Looking forward to hearing your stories when you come home. I love you!

  7. Ashton, Glad to hear you are trying new foods (and liking stuff!)
    Give a hug to Andrew for me!
    And when you get back, I wanna hear you sing some songs from the Wiggles!
    Praying for the team!!
    Love, Nana Harrison

  8. Ashton, thanks for this great update. It’s so encouraging to hear about the many ways you and the team are seeing God at work. I know you all are impacting lives in amazing ways. And I love to hear about one of the many ways you are venturing out of your comfort zones, by trying new foods, for example…

    Elise, we miss you! Tomorrow begins the All-City meet and it just won’t be the same without you. 🙁 Also, Carl & Ruby have been sleeping on your bed a lot lately– they must be missing you too. Looking forward to having you back home next week!

    Praying for all of you,
    Bonnie/Elise’s mom

  9. To Ashton, it’s your girls here! We just wanted to drop by and say that we are SO happy you are having such impactful experiences at camp. With that, we are absolutely, undoubtedly, and insanely shocked by your willingness to try the local menu…are you feeling alright?? Please say hello to the campers and leaders that may remember me (Morgan). We can’t wait for you to welcome us home when we return from Texas, and to hear so many stories about your time. Captain is laying with us on Payton’s bed as we speak, and he his nudging my phone as if to say “hello, I miss you and love you!” But don’t worry, he’s been kept occupied by many car rides, walks, snacks and cuddles. Finn’s doing alright too…it’s the usual scene here. Love you so much! We are praying for you and the rest of your time there.

    Payton & Morgan Reed

    P.S.
    From Pay: I finished our show. 🙂

    P.P.S.
    From Pay again: Abby and I had a great time at the work party! Diane missed you.

    P.P.P.S.
    From Captain:
    *big sigh* *irresistibly cute face*

    P.P.P.P.S.
    From Finn:
    Didn’t know you were in Romania!

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