Here's a video of our Kid's Camp that we led for Bible Faith Mission in India. If you remember reading in earlier posts, we decided to scrap what we had planned for the camp and start from scratch the night before. It was a challenge for our team, but God was good to us and we made it through well and grew closer in the process. Check out the video summary and then get a little glimpse of Lauren midway through the camp... needing to grasp every ounce of strength to make it through... check it out.
>> Children's Camp: Day 2 of 3
The week is coming to an end and I am proud to say that we have survived numerous mosquito attacks and 12 straight hours of kids camp. Though it was long, tiring, and some parts brutal, it was still an awesome and enriching experience. Which parts were brutal you ask? The ARTS AND CRAFTS! Don't get me wrong – I love arts and crafts. I actually crafted all of Russell's badges from UP out of felt for a friend's Halloween costume. I also give Sarah props for her creativity in putting all the arts and crafts together. It was more the chaos and lack of control that I didn't like, which I admit was my fault.
The first craft was making a piñata (yes, we're bringing a little Mexican culture to the kids in India). I basically just dumped all the material into the middle of about 20 kids and let then go at it. Let's just say it wasn't the best idea since kids don't really understand the concept of sharing. The second craft consisted of creating a puppet sheep out of a white paper bag and gluing photocopied sheep parts (the face, ears, arms, legs...) cotton balls, and googly eyes to it. Since we only had one bottle of glue and I needed to gain more control, I decided it would be best to hold onto the glue and give it to the kids as needed.
- "Ma'am! Gum! Gum!" (They call glue gum)
- "Ma'am! Please! I beg you!"
- "Ma'am! Eyes! Eyes!"
- “Ma’am! I only have three legs!”
Now just repeat that for an hour straight and that sums up all of our experiences making the sheep puppets.
For those of you who know me and know of my “special” speaking skills, you would be pleased/surprised to know that through God's empowerment and with Elton's help, I delivered my first ever teeny-weeny mini sermon about Jesus feeding the five thousand and being the bread of life. Lauren gave hers on Jesus healing the sick. Speaking only for myself, it actually wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be and felt good in the end. Although, I'm not sure if I would jump at the next chance to preach given the opportunity.
As kids have much more energy than the old geezers that we are, we took them outside to play amoeba and sharks and minnows. You would think that after running around so much they would be pooped and tired, right? They actually came back in with more than enough energy left to put on a talent show for a full hour. I was pretty amazed by some of the performances, especially by the kids in my group (coming from a biased view of course). Two of my girls who would always giggle and hide their faces every time I ask them questions actually volunteered to sing! Another performance that really surprised me was the Michael Jackson performance led by Jibin, also part of my group [see video below]. This boy had all the Michael Jackson moves and totally melted my heart when he started to moon walk across the concrete floor. I want to take Jibin home with me.
We ended the night by watching Chicken Run on the projector and drawing thank you pictures for each kid's sponsor. Watching Chicken Run with the kids was great. Even though they didn't understand all the words, they still understood the movie and cheered when the villain fell into the pot pie machine and got a taste of her own gravy. I was also a little worried that some might turn into vegetarians because of the movie, but all fears were subsided when I saw them eat chicken for dinner later that night.
All in all, it was a fun day and it was such a blessing to be with them for 12 hours out of the day. They are always so joyful and happy to see us that it really touches our hearts. There are about 93 kids total and whenever we split into our small groups, my kids always rush into our meeting corner shouting, “Ma’am! Sit here! I got a chair for you!” while placing the chair next to theirs. It’s also really cute when they try to scoot in their chairs from behind to sit next to me. Elton was right: even though I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge to offer these kids, just the simple fact that I am here is enough.
That's all for now!
>> Day 2 Video
>> Children's Camp: Day 1 of 3
Thursday night was the first day of our 3 day Children’s camp. Each time we tried to work on our program, we felt completely unprepared and overwhelmed. Wednesday night Dave and I made an executive decision to scrap the pre-packaged VBS program we brought and write our own. It was a decision that was pretty much made out of desperation as the packaged lessons just didn’t make sense to us. We decided on the theme The Miracles of Jesus. It was a long night of brainstorming and we all went to bed feeling extremely uncertain of what the next day would bring.
Thursday morning during our team devotions, we all felt pretty defeated and worn out. We prayed together and acknowledged we wouldn’t be able to get through this camp on our own strength, but were in desperate need of God’s help. The rest of Thursday morning was spent cramming for that night. We literally took this VBS one day at a time.
5:00pm approached a lot faster than we were ready for. As we walked towards the building, you could hear the voices of the children singing praise songs. That sound of them singing energized me and I suddenly felt ready to go. Dave thought of doing our team introductions like they do for NBA teams, and the kids really got into it giving us high fives and cheering. We started the night off with our theme song, “I’m keeping my eyes on Jesus” a song that we will never forget, even if we wanted to. The kids loved it and did an awesome job even the first time around.
After the theme song was when the night got a bit shaky. We started with an icebreaker that was a bit more challenging than we anticipated. Each team had to race to line up in order – by height, age etc. We later found out that the kids here don’t really play competitive games which is why our icebreaker pretty much failed.
The Bible lesson for the day was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We told the story using the kids as actors. We then broke into small groups to discuss how we could apply the lesson to our lives. The application time was the icing on the chaotic cake. The language and cultural differences were a bit more of a barrier than we imagined. The kids all understood the facts of the Bible story, but it was hard to help them make the connection to how it related in their own lives. So application time turned into just talking with the kids. They were very interested to know about our families, America, our hobbies. Even though the day didn’t go like we would have wanted, seeing their smiles and their excitement despite all our mistakes was such a blessing. These kids really radiate so much joy and love and you can’t help but smile when you see them.
>> Day 1 Video
>> Day 1 Video