Day By Day
We've been running camp for a few days now and it has been pretty busy. We wake up each morning, get ourselves ready for the day, run downstairs in our hotel and have a quick bite to eat - typically eggs, bread, fruit, fruit juice and/or coffee. The 32 members of our team pile onto the bus with all of our supplies and travel across the busy morning streets with it's honking horns and weaving traffic, to Rey Sol campground just outside the city in Moche. This area has been developed to allow tourists to visit the Huacas (Temple of the Sun and Moon). As a result, there are many primitive museums and cafes, residences, farms and event venues, like the one we are using. It's a great place to hold camp. The grounds are beautiful with green grass (highly unusual in a desert), trees, bushes, and flowers. There is a children's playground, pool, pavilions, a stage, outdoor kitchen and eating area in the front of the facility. In the back, there are large game fields, along with swing sets and restrooms. Towering behind camp there are two mountains that provide the perfect backdrop for all of the fun games, songs and activities that take place each day.
Speaking of activities, each day the campers have a rotation of 5 different activities - Pool, Arts & Crafts/Bible Story Time, Sports, Octoball, and Super Fun Games. Each activity provides an opportunity to read scripture and offer an object lesson to the group. Our prayer is that through relationship development with each camper the things that are taught this week will make a lasting impression on their hearts and lives.
The meals have been fantastic! Peruvian food typically consists of some sort of chicken and rice. So far at camp we have had chicken pasta with vegetables, roasted chicken with french fries and a beautiful salad (that we couldn't eat..."just say no" to the water), and a Peruvian chicken dish today that had potatoes covered in a cream sauce with shredded chicken in it and rice as a side. All have been excellent!
The camp day is bookended with assemblies. Morning assembly follows our traditional welcome tunnel for each church group. This assembly involves energetic songs and entertaining announcements about the day, and afternoon assembly with more songs, Bible skits, and gifts for each camper and counselor - celebrating camp's 10 year anniversary!
After finishing the day and telling the campers goodbye, we quickly clean up camp, pack up supplies and hop back on our bus to head to the hotel for a luke warm shower (that is always appreciated after a dusty day of camp), and a little R&R for about an hour or so. Then it's off to a missionary home. Dale & Susan Ellison, Stuart & Meg Mills and Hermes and Alleen Tomas have graciously opened heir homes to us this week. Having some unstructured time around the table speaking only English is welcomed at the end of each day.
Our final bus ride takes us back to the hotel for the night. Typical nightly activities at the hotel are hanging out on the balcony playing cards and talking, tackling a team project for camp, or "harassing the dogs" that live behind the hotel. That is, unless it's New Year's Eve - which means there's very little sleep to be had anyway due to fireworks all around the city, car horns everywhere and neighborhood karaoke parties that last for the following 24 hours! But, that's a story for another day.
I hope this helps you to feel a little more informed about what we've been up to so far. There's not much time to sit and think. But, when I've had time to do so this week it's been evident that God has provided this opportunity to each of us for specific purposes in each of our lives and is constantly at work for His glory and our good. I'm reminded of a verse from one of my favorite hymns, "Day by Day."
"Day By Day" - Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
Every day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares he fain would bear, and cheer me, He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid,
"As thy days, your strength shall be in measure," this the pledge to me He made.
We are held in the hands of our Lord and Savior. He is near us with tender mercies for our lives each and every day - they are new every morning. Jesus is with us and knows our every need and cares for us better than we can care for ourselves. He counsels us and protects us, because we are His. But, each day is its own, with new lessons to learn, new trials to face, and new joys to celebrate in. Each day is an opportunity to look to the one who provides everything we need and sustains us as we go. We lean on Him and His strength in order to do anything worthy. It is He who is working and not us!
This week has been a joy. We are seeing the fruits of many labors over the last 11 years. Thank you for your interest in knowing how God is at work in Peru through Christian camping. We are all excited to continue to tell about the opportunities that God has given us while we have been here, as well as the ways that He is at work in our own lives.