It’s after midnight again, so this will be briefly written but full of pictures for you.
We completed Days 4 and 5, and tomorrow will be our last day of camp.
We finish camp after lunch, but before we leave, the students will take the Lord’s Supper and witness the baptism of two of our students, Tom and Eric. Pray for these men as they continue to face persecution as they follow Jesus.
|Richard (on the left) was my partner for the week, and Eric is on the right|
|This is Tom with Pastor Mike from Iowa|
I don’t think any of the students have ever seen a baptism by immersion, so this will be an important day for many. Pastor David (my family's pastor) has been helping at camp, and he will baptize them in a river that is nearby.
Speaking of Pastor David, your prayers have made a difference this week for him, and you didn’t even know it as you covered ALL of camp with prayers.
David, his wife, and the church have set up two homes in Arua to take in kids off the street. The boys’ home has about 13 boys, and the girls has about 3 girls. (I haven’t been to either in a while, so I’m not sure of the current count).
|This is David (in white) and his wife Medline, dedicating their daughter Melody to the Lord last year|
|David (in green) helping at camp|
Pastor David and the house parent try to rehabilitate them through love and the teachings of Jesus. Most of the children are grateful for a home, but sometimes the rules and structure do not agree with the children, and they run away again.
This week, while we were at camp, one of the runaways broke into the church and stole two new microphones and a stabilizer that had been recently purchased. The boy sold them in town.
Pastor David got the call at camp and went to see if he could track them down.
Because of your prayers, he found the dealer that bought them, and by the grace of God, that child had only sold all of that for the equivalent of $13, so Pastor was able to re-buy them with no problem.
Without knowing all the cultural struggles these kids are fighting against, you can’t even understand how much your prayers have helped them to have open minds to listen to God’s word with new understanding. Unfortunately, some are still choosing to fear man more than they fear God, but the seeds have been planted, and God’s Spirit can continue to grow them.
Isn't it a blessing to see these students having time alone with their Creator?
The great thing about these two pictures are the sheep surrounding the students.
Our second story on "Assurance" was told the day before with lots of bleating at appropriate (and not-so-appropriate) times.
The story from John 10, says if we are His sheep we will listen to Him and follow Him. If we don't believe Him, we are not His sheep.
For learning our last and 5th story of the week, someone had a good idea...
Since we've been training these students to go out and lead their own groups, we decided to start immediately.
These 12 students (2 from each group) were chosen to learn the story early, with Doug, so that they could be the ones to lead their group.
I will attest to the fact that Story 5 is the most difficult and took me the longest to learn. But can I tell you these kids did it in less than 24 hours!!!
I won't type the stories here for you, but let me give you their word counts:
438, 287, 444, 419, and 384.
We are talking a TON of memorization.
These students basically memorized 1972 words this week!!
It was amazing to watch and see.
So, today, after learning Story 5 on "Being the Church," the students cut loose a little bit for some picture-taking.
|Lawrence was in my group, and it takes about 2 seconds to realize you are going to love him. He is so fun to be around!|
|A faithful teenager, Courtney, came from Iowa and helped lead a group. She was amazing at telling the stories, too. If you are a teenager, don't doubt your ability to make a difference!|
|Here is Richard's and my group. The front row is: Jesse, Emmanuel, and Molly. In the back is: Lawrence, Ivan, me, Comfort, Richard, and Hope|
And finally, we finished today by taking a group picture with the hopes that we can get copies made in town tomorrow morning and hand them out as the students leave.
(Stan and Pam Wafler, fellow workers that live in Arua, took this picture, so they are not in this particular picture. We switched off with them, but you can see the other picture on facebook.)
Our amazing 8 volunteers from America brought not only the stories in their hearts and servant attitudes, but they also brought many blessings for the students.
Each attendee got a backpack, a water bottle, a pen, and a small first-aid kit.
Tomorrow, they will all get a head lamp and extra batteries as they leave.
Thank you for your prayers, and since you are still awake, you can continue to pray for tomorrow.
I will give you an update on the last day tomorrow night, if I can keep my eyes open. It's now 1am, and I am feeling it!!