Oh hey there! It really has been exactly 3 months since I’ve been around this part of the internet. My apologies for the “neglect”. Life sometimes gets a little bit ahead of me at times, which leads me to no time to sit down and just write…but I am here NOW!
I believe I have mentioned before how I do enjoy being over here. For me, it’s a great way to process what God is either doing in my life, or speaking to me. I obviously don’t share EVERYTHING, but there are things that I do feel like others NEED to hear about…and well, that’s what typically happens – unless, life.
So here I am, trying to take advantage of this time I have to just sit down and write, because it still makes me smile when I think about what God did about 2 weeks ago.
I had the opportunity to lead an English camp for the kids in our community!
The ministry I work with is called Transformación. Within Transformación, we have an association called Cien por Cien Vida (100% life), where we offer various activities for the community (English classes for kids and for adults, and painting classes to name a few). Through our assoociation every year, we typically have a week long English camp for our neighborhood/community kids. With COVID last year, we weren’t able to any of our activities, let alone our camp. When things began to open up again, we knew that we needed to do whatever needed to be done to be able to reconnect with our kiddos. This is where the English camp came in.
I was approached by the leader of our ministry, Jitu, about preparing a camp for this year. His heart was to be able to have a Nature & Science camp with the focus being on creation. I loved the idea, but was at a loss on how to really go about doing so, and making everything connect….so I talked with the Creator Himself about it.
After MANY conversations with the Lord, he reminded me that I don’t have to try to fit the style of the camp into a mold, but that I can do thet things that I know, first of all. Which led me to changing the structure from the way it was for years, to including stations (ya girl was VERY happy about this idea). The staitons being an art station, a craft station, a games station and the “wild card” station (mainly because that was my station and I planned to do a little bit of EVERYTHANG in my station teaching the kiddos english words). I then landed on the theme of the camp being:
EVERYTHING WAS CREATED ON PURPOSE!
Everything was created on purpose. Every part of creation was well thought out, so it’s impossible for anything to have been an accident. Just that thought alone drove the rest of the plans for this camp.
In the planning of this camp, I found myself being even more amazed by our Creator. For me, it was pretty incredible to see how many things work well, and bring benefits to other things. Let’s take light for example.
One of the phrases that God gave to me in the planning for the day we would talk about light was, without light there is no life! I mean, you’ve learned about photosynethesis in school, so you know how this is true. But also, without Light, there is no life. Jesus is the light. Without Jesus, there is no life. Without what Jesus did on the cross for us, we would have NO LIFE!
I am the light of the worldJesus
There were many mind-blowing moments I had with God during the planning, that I couldn’t wait to have those moments during the camp. We started the camp talking about chaos vs order. We talked about how chaos does not create order. When we look at creation as a whole, it is too beautiful for it to have come out of chaos. Beauty comes from order, not chaos. We started the day with an illustration using a big box and some puzzle pieces.
My friend, Ben, used the big box (pictured) and threw a completed puzzle box inside. He then talked about how theoretically, after shaking the box and creating an “explosion”, the puzzle pieces should come together to create the picture that was on the puzzle box. Well, after doing exactly that, of course that did not happen – which showed again, that chaos does not create order. However, when we are intentional, we can create order and beauty – which is what we see in creation.
In the rest of the stations, the kiddos had the opportunity to do more things with chaos vs order. One of the activities I really enjoyed was the craft station where they not only planted a lentil seed, but they also created mosaics. A mosaic is a great example of chaos not bringing order. With a mosaic, you can take broken pieces of paper, glass, or whatever you choose, and bring those together to form a beautiful piece of art. It takes intentional placement of the pieces, and that’s exactly what the kiddos did. They took pieces of colored construction paper to create a rainbow, using the colors of ROYGBIV #iykyk.
After spending day 1 talking about chaos vs order, we spent day 2 talking about light, the sky, plants, and trees (that day was a mouth full for sure). On day 3 we talked about animals, which was a blast getting the leaders involved in acting out different animals and having the kiddos guess which animal they were acting like. We ALL had a great time laughing. On day 4 we talked about people being created on purpose and how we need each other. We then finished the camp, on day 5, talking about how we live in a beautiful world and if we want it to remain this way, we need to take care of it! It was a great way to end the camp after having looked at the beauty of creation all week, and even seeing how their lentil seed began to grow because they were taking care of it all week.
It’s crazy when I think about this week, because I remember a time in my life when I thought, “I can’t imagine myself doing anything else but teaching.” At that time, I was a classroom teacher, and I loved what I did. Teaching is tiresome, and definitely does not pay enough, but the rewards are GREAT. The rewards of seeing a child grasp a concept for the first time. Or seeing a child experiencing success, academically, for the first time. Or the reward of receiving a hug from a child and a genuine thank you.
When I left the classroom to become a missionary here in Spain, I remember thinking how I couldn’t believe I was leaving my life as a teacher behind. However, that was far from the truth.
I am a teacher.
God created me to be a teacher. What He has done was to simply change my classroom setting…and I’m here for it!
In this setting, I still get to impact the lives of children and their parents. I still get to have fun building relationships. I still get to teach songs with movements. I’ve also still been able to pull out some of the resources that were great in my classroom (S/O quizlet live).
One of the things I super enjoyed pulling out for this camp was created a work of art together through puzzle pieces. Each kiddo and staff member designed their own puzzle piece to then join them together to created one final work of art. This is exactly how it is in life – each of us are a piece of this grand work of art that the Creator has created.
I am thankful for the team I was given to make this camp happen. We did that thang! I am also thankful for the many different ways God showed up for this camp – especially when I think about the surpise monetary gifts we received to be able to help pay for the materials of the camp, as well as bags for each kiddo to take home with them. God loves His creation so much!
I am thankful for the different opportunities God has been blessing me with to do the things that I love. He continues to respond to my heart’s cry of, “here I am Lord send me / use me”. I will continue to say yes to Him when He calls me to go.
I’ve learned…I don’t need a “classroom” in order to teach. The more I continue to says yes to God, the more He will use me, and in ways I could never even imagine.
My encouragement to you…Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward you for whatever good you do (Ephesians 6: 7-8).
How has your setting changed? How are you choosing to serve in your new setting?