We just wrapped up our first camp of the week. There were some tears shed and really big hugs given as the campers headed back home.

It is a weird feeling ending camp. It truly was 2 days ago that campers were just arriving but our bodies feel like it has been at least a full week. We have given it our all, chasing kids around, trying to explain things with hand motions, walking up and down one of the biggest hills we’ve climbed ever.

But it has all been worth it. Kids have heard the gospel whether that be from a bible study, a Pine Cove counselor or the national counselor.

Please pray for these campers as they head home. Pray that the gospel stays in their heart and that along with the fun memories they have made, they have learned something as well.

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After the kids left today we had a debrief session. The kids learned a lot from camp and about God. The staff also learned things from them. It was cool to go around the circle and tell stories from the week. Here are some of those stories

Miguel (national staffer) “I had two kids in my cabin that knew some English but neither would help. I teach them in church and they are problems. The good thing is that Kevin doesn’t know Spanish cause he doesn’t find out the things they said. For example, in the first 30 minutes, one of the kids took someone’s shoes and hid them and put them in the toilet. Even though it was hard, they said they were grateful for their time here.”

Adrienne “We were walking up the hill yesterday with 3 of my girls. I was praying because I was struggling to make it. The Lord put a image of Christ carrying the cross so I told my girls about that and how hard it was and that we are climbing to rest at the top. And Jesus knew He was going to his death. I told my girls about that. After that, none of the girls complained any more. The hill was a lot easier to climb.”

Belen (national staffer) “We were playing hide and seek with the girls. Marianna got mad. Called her mom and her mom said I’m not the mom now talk to your counselor. I talked to Marianna for what she was doing wrong. She said she’s wanted to get saved for a while but wasn’t sure. Marianna wanted to accept Jesus in a genuine way not just cause everyone does it. We prayed for a couple of minutes. Marianna said “I get mad at my parents not cause I wants to but but she can’t control it.” I said that Jesus paid it all and covers all the sin. She later prayed to accept Jesus into her heart!”

Kinnsey “I had Wendy in my cabin. She was very defiant at the beginning and wouldn’t listen to me. She would get upset with me and not talk to me. I began to pray for her and ask how to love her and build relationship with her before she left. Yesterday she didn’t want to play cause her feet were hurting. So we sat in the swings and talked about how she accepted Christ. We exchanged words about how that happened to each of us. I hoped that was a doorway to a friendship. Then today she wouldn’t leave me alone! She was happy to be around me and when she left I gave her my name for Facebook and wrapped her arms around me asking me if she could not leave.”

Michael “I had Roberto in my cabin. At first, he didn’t listen to me. In fact he had no interest to be associated with me. I asked him his favorite food or color to break the ice and he’d say “Don’t bother me” and he continued with Pablo and Walter, the other campers, and Roberto was scared of the dark at night later on. He jumped on the others bed messing with them. He held on to that anger until this morning. Eli sat down with him and after that he would say “lo siento” (which means I’m sorry) after everything without asking. Before he got on the bus he told me, “I didn’t like you at first but now I love you.”

Jeff “Something that is the same for kids at Pine Cove and El Salvador is that kids need Jesus. And it was cool to see multiple kids accept Christ this week at camp. Those kids lives are forever changed because of what happened. That’s a big big deal. And for some reason God has allowed us to be a part of that. That moment could be when you are dog tired or don’t want to do anything but God has ordained that moment for us. How blessed are we? There’s going to be great kids and really difficult kids. To have them here is a privilege. Sometimes what we do here at camp is planting seeds and God will use that later on.”