This blog post is written about yesterday by Anna “Prestigee” Weirman! 1/9.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but ….” (John 1:4-5)
Today was our last full day with the second group of kids here at camp in Nicaragua. As you’ve heard from us, we started with a group of almost 60 elementary kids and now we have about the same amount of junior high through high school age campers. You can probably imagine how different it has been this latter half of the week! Our counselors have definitely risen to the challenge and continue to blow us away! The Nicaraguan staff as well have adjusted accordingly and have impressed us with how much they’re leading and adapting to this age group.
With older campers come more opportunities to go deeper and grow closer. Many of them come from broken homes and are dealing with some tough stuff. Just like campers in the States, they don’t always show it, but they so desire to be pursued and loved and reminded that they have a purpose. Throughout the day, several campers shared about family issues, deep hurts, and sins in their lives with some of our staff…God is graciously giving us open doors as only He could!
One of my favorite things has been to watch as one of our staffers live out her beautiful design here. Shirley, or “Sparks Fly”, probably didn’t know when she signed up to go with us that she’d essentially be our translator for the week, but my goodness has she ROCKED it! Not only is she able to smoothly converse with people here, but God has given her boldness to ask students tough questions, as well as the grace to respond with compassion. Her heart is for the broken. She displays the Gospel so evidently with her very life! And I’m super grateful she helps us every time we need to explain a game!
Speaking of games, we played a lot of them today! We did a couple rounds of activities classes followed by Bible study and lunch. Then the Nicaraguan staffers led out on some fun water activities as we Pine Cove staffers ran baseball and football on the beach. The afternoon came to a climax with more swim time in the lake which seems more like an ocean to most of us! Through lots of splashing, games, and laughs there is also lots of time for conversations. Our Spanglish may be choppy, but we’re super grateful for some small bits of communication with these sweet friends who have captured our hearts so quickly. Saying goodbye tomorrow will be tough.
Since these are older campers, the final activity and bonfire from first session had to be slightly tweaked to impact the campers in applicable ways. The game was more complicated, but got the same point across – we’re not perfect and in desperate need of Someone who is perfect who can rescue us.
The final stage of the night began with some worship songs as those of us on staff lit candles representing our faith in Jesus. As campers and staff felt led, they would come up to us all standing in a line in front, and ignite their own flame. As soon as the candle they were holding with lit up, they joined the line and sang to the Lord a song of praise. Tears sprang to our eyes as we saw several symbolic pictures in this moment.
First of all, Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). 1 John says that God is light and there is no darkness where light is. That’s an incredible truth – there is no darkness in light! He clears away all sin, all brokenness! That’s what He does in our lives: He illuminates the forgotten places in our hearts and warms us and changes us and brightens us with His presence. Secondly, in Matthew 5, Jesus tells us as believers that WE are the light of the world! Because of what He’s done for us, we now radiate to the world our new selves – free and redeemed!
So as my candle dripped hot wax onto the tile floor and I shared my tiny flame with these sweet campers, I was humbled by the fact that it was again a picture of the Gospel. I couldn’t light my own candle – Someone had to bring light to me, and that light stayed and grew in me and gave me the ability to see. Along with others who have the light, we stand on the front lines of the battleground, holding out the light, the darkness never defeating it. When we share the light with others, the Lord is using us (why, I have no idea! #grace) and He illuminates them also! They join the ranks and are welcomed into the company of others who possess the light! We saw many campers cross the line and publicly display their trust in Jesus!!!
After an extended worship time with many tears and hugs all around, we ended up back on the beach for the bonfire. One of the leaders commissioned the oldest campers for becoming leaders themselves next year. We ended the night with some classic Pine Cove club songs and, of course, one last dance to Riot to end the full day!
Tomorrow we will finish up camp, begin our goodbyes, and transition to some tourism before heading back to the States on Tuesday.
Bye for now,
The NicaROCKuan Team (aka Camp Rock)
Also- FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS DANIEL!