eeesh. there's a lot to blog about. i keep putting it off because i don't know where to begin, but all that does is add another day to the blogging deficit. so, here i go!
last thursday night (as in ten days ago), jared, ashley, and i headed up to camp to help the rest of the team and their camp officers put on their texas night! we had the best time. we had a rotation of six activities set up - teaching the kids to lasso, a silly string shoot out, barrel racing using horses made out of pool floats (noodles), a pinata, pictures with cowboy hats and lassos, and teaching them how to line dance! ashley and i were the dance teachers and oh my goodness did we have fun. the kids loved it (we weren't so sure if they would) and all came back at the end to do it together! the irish are very easy going, we couldn't have had a better group of kids.
over the weekend, we got ready for the team to come home (made them a ridiculous "we missed you" banner and tacos), and enjoyed having our little family back together for a while. we watched blood diamond (more on that in a future post - whoa.), played uno, and stayed up late talking about relationships, church, theology...all the good stuff :). while those conversations can tend to be frustrating and create dissension, with this team it did exactly the opposite. everybody listened, valued, and encouraged what others had to say. we had such a great time learning from one another. we are so blessed.
after church on sunday, jared, ashley and i headed off to camp! where to even begin with camp? well, in a nutshell, i was assigned to the kitchen while jared and ashley were on the activity team, which turned out to be extremely essential to camp as it rained constantly and we played game after game after game inside the barn. they did an incredibly job coming up with activities that were so fun the kids didn't even notice the rain. working in the kitchen was great - i assisted two other ladies, sinead and olive, who i knew from last time and were wonderful to work with. ashley and jared had a wonderful time playing soccer, basketball, ping pong, and whatever else the kids were up for.
mervyn scott, the local missionary we worked on the magazines with, was our camp speaker and he absolutely brought down the house. he started with luke 24 when the men are walking on the road to emmaus and are met by the resurrected Jesus. Jesus proceeds to tell them all about himself, starting with Moses and the prophets, so mervyn decided to walk us through some of the things he may have told them. he took us through prophecies and articulated the gospel with unbelievable clarity. he also wrote our quiet time (small group) notes which delved further into evidence of the reality of Christ, the necessity of Scripture, and what a life with Christ looks like. the kids were truly taken to a new place this week and it was glorious to watch. two girls in ashley's small group came to saving faith in Jesus this week (hallelujah!) and the five boys in jared's group as well as the four girls in mine each articulated a clear understanding of the gospel which they claimed they had believed at an earlier time. the Lord is good and it was a joy to watch him at work. on thursday, our other team members came to help us put on our texas night and ashley and i again had a great time teaching line dancing - we were absolutely exhausted and sore after dancing for two solid hours but the kids loved it and came back at the end yet again. the week before, haley and john 0'sullivan (their camp director) sang "jackson" by johnny cash and june carter, and at our camp haley and jared sang it together. they did such a great job! all in all, it was a wonderful week, and while we were ready to return home to a house with real walls (we slept in tents), daily showers (the leaders got to shower twice during the week, the campers only once), and a few moments to ourselves, we wouldn't trade the week at camp for anything - God moved very mightily and we met incredible people, both officers and campers.
saturday when we returned home, the other team made a big welcome home sign for us and delicious chocolate chip cookies! we watched movies and caught up, then on sunday we headed to church (still pretty exhausted) and had a day off full of apples to apples bible version (not so sure about that...), movies, and more catching up. today, the half of the team who went to camp first headed off to cork city to meet up with folks from their camp. nancy dropped jared and i off in town so we could have a little bit of time alone together which was wonderful. we had lunch then walked back home and ashley went running on the beach! we'll see what happens next...