This is a special edition post from Callie, one of our staffers. She was a counselor during the first session and now she’s serving on work crew! Here’s a little insight into her experience so far commission camping:

I am planning on bringing the following Peruvian treasures back to the states: the incredible spicy sauce that shows up at lunch, a flower of every color, the dog with an overbite we found in the town square, and as many 11-year-old campers as I can fit in my bag.
Maybe I don’t quite have room- bad packing idea number one was using a Vera Bradley bag. Number two was travel-sized bug spray- it ran out Monday. The Lord is present everywhere, but it’s SO refreshing to experience Him in new ways in a new country. He speaks of hospitality through the gentle cooks here, of His majesty through postcard-worthy scenery, and sovereignty as He moves in the lives of our staff and kiddos! Every day is an adventure- yesterday Nathanael caught a chicken. Today we were really hoping to eat it for lunch but between my struggle bus Spanish and general confusion, the meat could have been goat or lamb. We’re still not sure. On Monday we woke up covered with bug bites and today- actually that hasn’t changed. But with our second session well under way, it’s such a blast to watch God throw us curve balls to keep us trusting and loving our time here! The energetic and goofy campers of last session are replaced by less athletic and some somewhat sassy bumpkins, but an especially cute group of girls with long hair and big smiles!
In the movie Tangled, Rapunzel’s parents send out lanterns for her, in hopes that she’ll realize her identity and return to their open arms. Similarly, The Lord continually sends us lanterns- revealing Himself to us in unique ways, tailored to the incredible way He designed us! Today, a lantern came in the form of an impromptu adventure with the cook. We saw her hop the wall and hoped she was going to catch the chicken we accidentally scared over that wall. After a mild let down in realizing she was just buying food, we roamed the streets of the tiny neighboring town. There is this big old pit with our chicken in it, a bunch of ducks, and the world’s ugliest turkey. This unfortunate individual’s head looked either infected or decrepit- we couldn’t decide. But somehow watching that diva turkey, commentating his behavior, was a blast. We never did see her catch that chicken, but we got to laugh and experience the joy that The Lord delivers in all sorts of goofy and wonderful ways!

As program staff this session, it’s such a joy to get to spend quality time not only encouraging our fearless and fun counselors, but also devoting pieces of time here and there to making as many campers as possible feel loved and valued! Dunking our heads under the freezing and thoroughly unsanitary pool water, holding hands with girls and teaching them English, watching them light up when we pour their drink or take their trash- it’s unbelievable! I think I speak for all of us when I say if we aren’t laughing or watching The Lord do sweet things, we’re either sleeping or itching our legs. Not showering- that water is actually an ice bath. But He keeps sending us lanterns- wonderful moments to remind us how much He loves us and uses us to love His Peruvian kiddos.