Special Camp

I’ve been to a lot of different camps in my life but this last one was definitely a very special one; special to me and to the kids. For one we took 17 kids of the literacy program to a camp near Tulcea. It was the first time for some of them to go by car, first time to eat at a table with fork and spoon, first time to have a daily routine with lessons, games, crafts and meals.

In the beginning I was a little nervous as I didn’t know the kids so well and I can’t speak their language. Plus I just met the team a couple of days before we left. But the verse we picked as a theme for the camp became true, also for us as leaders:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for GOOD (Romans 8.28)

After one week of practicing I know this verse by heart in Romanian 😉

It was a challenging week, with little sleep, hard work and a lot of yelling. But GOD is good and the more time I spent with the kids, the more I was able to see them with his eyes. It became such a blessing to me to get to know and love them and to communicate with them even without speaking their language.

The most commonly used sentence during the week was “Doamnă, nu ştiu” which means as much as “I don’t know”. And that’s what they said whenever they got a new task, whether that was building a paper plane, counting to ten or writing their name. It made me sad to see that they’re not only unable to do easy things like these, but they also don’t believe that they would be able to learn it. I just guess that no one ever gave them the affirmation they needed, no one ever told me how precious they are and that they are able to do great things.

But I loved to see how their attitude changed in the course of that week. The kids learnt how to braid and make bracelets; some were able to write their names, most of them memorized the verse. These are just small steps, but I hope and pray that they will continue walking into a better future, and that the seeds we planted in this week may grow.

I taught the kids to count in English. So whenever they meet me here in Medgidia, they show me, that they didn’t forget: One, two, three…

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