The Psalmist gives praise to God for His changelessness. Yet he blesses Him still for the ebb and flow, the creational rhythm, the alternating cadence of his created order. Night turns into day. Fall displaces summer. “He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting” (Psalm 104:19).
The signs of change are in the air. The days are growing shorter. Children are back at school. Each weekend, the stadiums are brimming with excited fans. Even the trees seem to anticipate losing their summer garments. At camp, the horses have left. The kayaks are put away. A calm has replaced the hustle and bustle of summer camp. And the sun stained grass groans as fall and winter approach. Summer camp is over.
We give the Lord praise for His faithfulness to us throughout summer 2014. We give Him praise for our campers. Roughly 2000 children across the southeast came to experience our summer camp program! They came to ride horses, to climb our rock wall, to swim in the lake, to be in a place that was safe to be child. We give Him praise for our summer staff. Nearly 90 individuals, who came from across the eastern United States, gave of their time and energy to invest in little children. We give Him praise for his creation. As we look across the campus of Twin Lakes, we see a place where all our guests can fast from the demands of technology and find rest as they experience the beauty of God’s handiwork.
Certainly our camp program would not be successful without the support we received from our camp families. We are very thankful to all our parents entrusting us with the care of their children throughout the summer. The design of our camp program rests upon the principles of safety, fun, and Gospel. We firmly believe that a safe environment, coupled with a place where a child can enjoy their childhood, is a powerful tool for the advance of Christ’s kingdom in children’s lives. Thank you for allowing us to care for your children in 2014.
We are also very thankful for God’s provision for us. In 2014, Twin Lakes saw a number of changes that helped improve our camp program. With the addition of staff in our lakeside cabins, we were better equipped to serve the needs of our campers. The renovation of our camp office allowed us greater flexibility in the management and administration of the camp program. And what camper didn’t play in our new Octoball court at the tree house? Having a multitude of campers lined up to play or watch a round of Octoball was enough proof of the game’s success!
Even among all the fun we had in 2014, our main focus was to teach about God by learning about his house. “For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 9:1-2). Such was the sight for each camper this summer. Following our Friday night adventure where we learned about the glory of Jesus Christ through his miraculous signs and teachings, the entire camp moved into the Temple court beholding the house of God, the Temple.
But what is so special about a house? During Twin Lakes Camp Summer 2014, each camper learned about the Temple construction and its various furnishings. They learned that each aspect of the Temple served as a sign or shadow of the greater realities found in Jesus Christ. Each witnessed the power of Christ’s atoning death as darkness passed over the pavilion, an earthquake rumbled through the crowd, and the great veil that separated between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was torn from top to bottom. We imparted to each camper that to draw near to God, one must look to the One who tore down the dividing wall between us and God!
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Summer 2014 saw numerous campers come to know Christ. We thank the Lord for allowing us to be a part of this harvest.
Our closing ceremony this summer featured a song patterned from Psalm 84. In this Psalm, the writer looks upon the Temple of God and longs and faints to be in the joy of God’s immediate presence. He desires to be with his God in His house. We praise the Lord that we can look forward to one day being in the very presence of God without shame or guilt.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God … For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalm 84:1-2,10)
Yesterday was our third day of camp. It was extra special for the campers since they today had the opportunity to ride horses! The day flew by, and we had a smooth transition between activities and the kids seemed to enjoy all day!
We had dinner at the Smith’s (Allen and Sandi), where we had almost an hour of debriefing. We talked about the highs and lows of the week, what has been encouraging to see this week, the importance of camp, and much more. The team leaders ended our debriefing with some last words of encouragement in reflection of these past few days, and in preparation for our last day.
One of our Peruvian brothers shared a story of how when they were riding back to the churches with the kids, two campers (who are both mine) had told him how they wanted to go to church the next Sunday. It made my heart leap of joy to hear that.
Today was our final day of camp. We had shorter activities so that we could finish earlier because we had to make it to our plane leaving at 730 from Trujillo to Lima. We had a spectacular horse show right after lunch for about twenty minutes that all the kids got really excited about. We had a good bit of time to say our goodbyes, shed some tears, and wish our brothers and sisters a great year (and that we will hopefully see them again next year!)
One of my campers gave me a letter that he had written and drawn pictures on, which is definitely something that will remember to remember him, the kids, and this whole week as a whole.
Please pray for safe travels for both the ones of us going to Jackson, and to our brothers and sisters going to Savannah, Georgia.
Pray for the Peruvian counselors that we have worked with all week: that they may use their time at camp to further invest into their churches and neighborhoods.
Also, please pray for the campers that we have poured into this week. Pray for the ones in whom God has convicted of their need of Him, and also the ones whom God has not yet worked in. Remember, God promises in Isaiah 55:10-11 that as God’s Word goes out, it will not come back empty, but it will accomplish God’s purpose. Therefore, we can be certain that God will use this time at camp today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or even in ten years. And all the honor and glory goes to Him!
When I was 6 years old, our family moved to a new house. I remember the excitement of visiting the home-site as it neared completion. But it was landscaping day that made waiting nearly impossible.
(Photo by Jennifer Grace)
The landscape architect planted a magnolia tree in front of the house, and a fig tree beside it.
I immediately pictured the majestic magnolias at my maternal grandmother's house, and the abnormally large fig tree at my paternal grandmother's house. I could not WAIT to climb these two new trees in my very own yard. Childhood hopes and dreams had blossomed, and the new heavens and new earth had arrived for my 6 year old self.
There were two small problems: my underdeveloped sense of time and ignorance of basic botany. My expectation was for both of these trees to rapidly grow and bloom. "Surely it wouldn't take THAT long."
It did take that long. When I left for college, both trees remained pathetically small. My hopes for these family trees were crushed under the weight of comparison to other trees. They never measured up.
Is this how the people of Israel felt about their own family tree? God's promises to Abraham and David held out hope to an entire family, people, and nation. Yet for years and years: nothing. Exile. Pain. Suffering. Personal and corporate failure.
Yet, the New Testament begins with Matthew's rallying cry to the people of Israel. The Messiah they had longed for, the fruit of their family tree, had arrived in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He was the son of Abraham. He was the son of David. He was the shoot of Jesse (Isaiah 11). The tree finally bore fruit.
The promise had arrived, and Matthew chose to communicate it first through...
Admittedly, genealogies are not fun to read. And they are not often preached. But the genealogy of Jesus is the story of how the Holy Spirit transformed a family tree by sending a child. One branch changed the entire tree. And we rest our hopes on that same Branch.
In the first chapter of Matthew, we are shown Jesus' family tree. It is majestic and beautiful. But once we move closer, this tree's warts and thorns are impossible to ignore.
Abraham began as a pagan, and proved himself a coward when he lied about his wife. We are reminded of the awful Tamar situation. Rahab - a gentile woman without a godly reputation - is included. And then there is the family's namesake, David, who became a murderer and adulterer, yet he remained a man after God's own heart.
The thorns of this family tree remind us that God became flesh. Christ entered a real family. The story of redemption shows us that God chooses and uses broken, sinful people. In Jesus' genealogy, we see redemption at work in the lives of real people.
How many genealogy projects have stopped short as the family tree proved shameful? I once heard a pastor ask, "If you could hand pick your own family, would you choose a family like this?" God chose a family like this.
Our hope is not in sentimental platitudes that say, "God can use your imperfect family! He has a wonderful plan for your life! Just follow these 3 easy steps to healthier family relationships."
He does have a wonderful plan. But that plan is accomplished in the form of a Person. Our hope comes in the form of a child. Redemption is accomplished when the Holy Spirit engrafts Himself into this family tree and the Messiah is born.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit" (1:18).
We must not forget this part of the genealogy. God's promise through Isaiah was for a Messiah (11:1) upon whom the Holy Spirit Himself rested with the result of fruit (11:2-6). By the Spirit, thorns become fruit and a barren land becomes a fruitful field (Isaiah 32:15).
Is there hope for your family? Are your kids too far gone? Is your relationship with your parents beyond repair? Is there no redeeming value in your family tree?
Christian, your only hope hangs on One Branch. The Gospel gives you hope that now, in Christ, you have been engrafted into a better family. The Covenant that was given to Abraham and his family is for you by faith, through grace. What does this mean for your family?
1) If you are in Christ, there is no question: the Spirit has changed your family tree
Horrible things happened within my family a few generations ago. By the grace of God we are what we are. Not having arrived at some blissful state of family harmony (far, far from it), but experiencing healing by the grace of God in the truth of the Gospel.
Our identities are not bound up in what has been done to or by our family. Those thorns were driven onto the Head of our family in the form of a crown. He bore our grief and endured our shame that we might stand in a fruitful field. (Isaiah 53:4-6, Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 32:15).
The Spirit, by entering Jesus' family, changed the very ground in which we are planted, the fabric of reality. This is how He changes our family tree. The work of the Spirit is not done as He works in and through our families to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts (Gal. 5:16-26). The reconciliation we have found with God the Father through Christ results in the possibility of reconciliation with each other (Eph. 2).
2) For those with family struggles, remember that you have an eternal family
This is true whether you are married, single, divorced, widowed, childless - regardless. For Christians, we know that often water IS thicker than blood: the covenant community (signified in baptism) runs deeper than the blood of family. The unity we have as the Church binds us tighter than family bonds (Matt. 10:35). This does NOT mean we abandon our biological families in favor of the church. In fact, it means we run TOWARDS family, secure in our standing as children of God.
I pray that our churches become places of refuge for those without biological families and those with broken families (a.k.a. all of us), as we all bow our knees before the Father, from whom every family on heaven and and on earth is named" (Eph. 3:14-15).
Today, I go back to my childhood home and see what I was too impatient to see back then. The trees are growing. They are even bearing fruit.
So it is with the people of God. God used a dysfunctional family to grow new life in his creation by sending His Spirit. That same Spirit bears fruit in the hearts and lives of believers as the Holy Spirit works to grow us into His own family tree.
Yesterday, our second day at camp, was even greater than the first day.
We made sure to shows the kids our excitement, and to make them thrilled about being at camp as soon as they got off their buses. As soon as all the buses had arrived, and we welcomed them, we started by singing great songs, led by our amazing band mixed with both Americans and Peruvians.
There was also plenty of watermelon (sandia) to go around! Here is Tuan and Alleen in the picture.
When camp ended, we got back and a few of us went to play soccer with a few of the Peruvians, and a bunch came to watch. We had a great time furthering building relationships between our American and Peruvian staffs.
We had a peaceful New Years celebration. Several of us walked down the town plaza and then watched the fire works from our hotel. New Years is probably the biggest holiday in Peru, and we still saw people celebrating the next morning.
We did not have camp the next day because, as I said, New Years is one of the biggest holidays. Instead, we were able to visit the different ministries connected with Peru Mission. We saw the woodshop were Hermes works, a clinic, a microfinance clinic, two of the churches, and the brand new clinic right next to Cristo del Restorando, the church where we also had lunch today. The work that’s being done here is not merely done for the spiritual need of the Peruvians. The woodshop focuses on teaching men to be Christian businessmen; it teaches them to be honest in their paperwork, to pay taxes (which is not too common), and to work six days and leave the seventh for the Lord. The clinic enables people in the community to get healthcare, dental healthcare, and medicine. The microfinance clinic helps women with businesses. There is, as you can tell, a view on the whole self, and on the whole community.
We had our Farewell Party today (because there is not enough time Friday before our flight leaves) along with the Peruvian staff. We exchanged gifts with eachother, had a few from each staff sharing the things on their heart, and, of course, played games together.
Their gift was a keychain, which had on the one side the camp theme picture and verse, and on the other an image of the beach west of here (there were 5 different key chains that all had different pictures of iconic Peruvian things on the back). A very nice gift, and a great symbol that will always remind us of this week and the ministry of Peru Mission.
As I looked back on the week so far, I was reminded of Genesis 11. God commanded His people to go and fill the earth with people, but they said no, and they decided to stay in one spot and build a tower high enough to reach the heavens. So God punished them by giving them several different languages so that they could not communicate. They were thus separated because they were working against God. This week, we have faced the same obstacle; we have been in a different culture where the Peruvians speak a different language. However, God has united us. Since we are working not against him, but for him, He has blessed us to be able to display our love for the others on the staff and to the kids despite these barriers.
Praise be to God for this grace.
Hey y’all! Yesterday was an eventful and exciting day. We got to worship with the congregation at Cristo del Restaurador (Christ the restorer), which was our first interaction with Peruvians. It was such a sweet, blessed, and partially nervous time since I did not want to break a social rule without knowing it.
Our group went to the Davenport (Scott and Julie) missionary family for lunch where we got to try some delicious Peruvian food and fellowship with a few of the missionaries and their families.
The highlight of the day was definitely when we got to meet the Peruvian staff.
We played games together, sang songs, and prayed for each other. There was also plenty of fellowship as we all had dinner together. Language barriers for sure makes communication harder, but it is only impossible if one doesn’t even try to communicate with them.
Knowing Spanish is by no means a prerequisite for this trip. There are people who know Spanish and English who are available to help.
Monday morning started early and we were all eager to meet the campers. It was a wonderful day full of activities, dancing, singing, food, fellowship, and prayer. I got to spend all day with a group of 23 ten-eleven year olds alongside three others campers: two of them being Peruvians. There were definitely times I wish I knew more Spanish to be able to talk to the kids more one-on-one, but I start to realize how much can be communicated by one’s energy and passion through one’s actions.
Our evening ended with dinner at the Johnson family (Josh and Elisabeth), where we were able to spend time with them and encourage them as well in their hard work.
The theme verse for camp this year comes from Ephesians 4:1: “Andad como es digno” or, “walk worthy”. Please be in prayer as we try to communicate God’s grace through this verse, and the famous story Pilgrim’s Progress as we point them to Christ.
We made a bracelet at the crafts activity today that had 5 beads: green representing creation, black representing sin/death, red representing the blood of Jesus, white representing the righteousness of Christ imputed into us, and finally yellow representing eternal life given to us as a gift.
Please pray that the kids may understand this: that they may understand their need of salvation because of sin so that they may indeed desire to know, love, and worship Christ.
My name is Sebastian, and I am a part of the Twin Lakes team that have been chosen to go to Peru this winter to aid our brothers and sisters in the running of the summer camp here in Trujillo.
Here in the picture you can see:
Dylan Varner, Daniel Sluis, Tuan La, me, Mallory Stokes, Andrew Vincent, Jonathan Kelley, Rachel Fournier, Mollie Coker, Emily Sluis, Anna Kristen Mitchell, Ethan Vincent, Mary Claire Jussely, and Emily Anne Smith.
Tuan is our fearless leader who will lead the group throughout the week.
We set out from Jackson 2:20 PM and finally landed in Lima 1:20AM by way of Dallas. We had a good time and did not suffer from any complications besides a minor delay.
In Lima we met up with our partnering group from Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia as well as Alleen Tomas, the Team Administrator for Peru Mission, and her husband Hermes.
We made it straight for the hotel in Lima where we got our glorified nap of four hours before waking up to yet another beautiful day. We spent a few hours finding souvenirs in Lima and getting to know each other before it was time for our flight to Trujillo.
We have now made it to Trujillo, we are checked in, we are full, and we are ready for a good night of rest to recover from all the traveling. It has been a wonderful day of connecting with the others from Savannah, as well as with Alleen and Hermes. I know we are all thankful for those two without whom we would be completely lost.
Tomorrow will be our first day integrated into Peruvian life. We get to go to the local church at Arevalo. There we get to participate with the local congregation in the worship of our God.
After the service and lunch, we finally get to meet the Peruvian staff that we will be working with at camp. Please pray that the Peruvian and American staffs will connect well, and that we can get alongside each other in serving the same Lord for the same purpose of making Jesus known to as many that we come in contact with.
I will end with a quote from C.J. Mahaney that Tuan referenced in our meeting tonight:
"Sleep is a picture and a parable of what it means to be a Christian. Your sleep tonight will be a small but real act of faith. You'll lay your full weight on a bed, trusting this structure to support you. You can fully relax, because no effort at supporting yourself is required; something else is holding you up. And in the same way, throughout the night as you sleep, Someone else is sustaining you. This is a picture of what it's like to belong to Christ"
“I led them with cords of kindness, with ties of love” – Hosea 11:4
(Photo/Design - Jake Jones and Katy Veldhorst)
The Lakeside Assembly Hall – where our summer staff meet, fellowship, and hear the Word preached – reverberated with this theme in 2013. All summer we were urged towards a unified walk through Ephesians, and we sincerely believe that the Holy Spirit used His Sword to defend His work at Twin Lakes by granting us humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1, our theme verse).
Over 2000 campers and LITs attended camp this summer from all over the country. Our primary objective is to plant Gospel seeds and pray that God gives the growth (1st Corinthians 3). Yet, even as we simply presented Christ through Ephesians and Pilgrim’s Progress, we saw around 30 campers come to faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God!
This kind of work is only possible if God provides an excellent staff of young people, which He has been faithful to do for years. This year, we were amazed by the group of students we worked alongside. Listen to how God worked in their hearts:
"I made it through camp by God’s grace and mercy - reaching the end of myself and clinging to the cross of Jesus.”
"God taught me that I can’t do this on my own. He is faithful, and He loves me."
"I joined a staff united around a common goal, and encountered the magnitude of God’s love and the power of the Gospel."
“The summer was the best summer of my life. God unified our staff like never before. I have never felt so close to so many people at one time, and it was such a sweet joy to walk alongside of so many friends for eight weeks. I can't thank God enough for the friendships, encouragement, laughter, and love that He gave me through this staff. They taught me so much and it was such a blessing to serve together, cry together, work together, relax together, eat together, learn together, teach together, worship together, and just do life together."
“God has used this staff tremendously in my life, and knowing you all has changed me. We started with a huge group of unlike people with different personalities, beliefs, and experiences, and over a quick two months we were tied together by embarrassing moments, incredible worship, difficult campers, and constant weariness. If that was all that tied us together, the goodbyes would be too much. However, we are bound together by the love of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-13). That is the tie that can never be broken (Romans 8:37-39). Blessed be Christ, the tie that binds.”
As we look back on this summer, we thank God for the opportunity to make this kind of impact on campers and staff. We are thankful for First Presbyterian Church, who make this possible. We will see people in the Glory because of what God has done through Twin Lakes over the past 40 years. The unity we experience at camp is but a small taste of that which is to come.
This glorious hope revives our courage by the way
While each in expectation lives and longs to see the day
From sorrow, toil, and pain and sin we shall be free
And perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity
“Blest Be the Tie That Binds” – John Faucett, 1782
Summer is in full swing at Twin Lakes! Campers during Overnight Camp 1 experienced WOW week - full of secret, surprise activities for the whole camp. We had fun in the sun and just a little liquid sunshine (rain), but it didn't slow us down at all. For WOW week, we saw a surprise Fireworks show and a Candy Drop from a Hot Air Balloon! Finally, our ON1 campers all went home with an "Eat Mor Chickin Dawgs at Twin Lakes" t-shirt.
One of the newest additions to Twin Lakes this summer is our human foosball court. We took the classic rec-room game to the next level - making it jumbo sized and even more fun with the addition of water sprinklers!
Our camper photographer had this to say about one experience on the new foosball court:
"Today, as I was passing through the tennis courts, a group campers were playing human foosball and having a blast! The tennis courts are out in the open and get very hot without the sprinklers going, yet I noticed one of the counselors was not wearing her shoes. It turned out that she had given her shoes to one of the campers, who had left her own behind at the pavilion.
For some reason this story stuck with me throughout the week. This is what camp and our lives with Christ are all about: sacrificing ourselves and our comfort all for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (1 John 3:16) "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)
This counselor didn't have to sacrifice her life for this camper, but she did sacrifice her own good for the benefit of the camper. As we share Christ's self sacrificing love with these campers this summer, we have the privilege and challenge to walk with them and before them in the same way that He walked."
I was initially shocked/confused at this request, but she goes on:
"I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.
They're not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can't do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What's more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it.
In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me.
It is not my job — and it is certainly not yours — to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage...
...I want my girls to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success.
I want them to believe in their own abilities and be confident and determined in their actions.
I want them to accept their limitations until they can figure out a way past them on their own significant power.
I want them to feel capable of making their own decisions, developing their own skills, taking their own risks, and coping with their own feelings.
I want them to climb that ladder without any help, however well-intentioned, from you.
Because they can. I know it. And if I give them a little space, they will soon know it, too.
So I'll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, "BE CAREFUL," and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward.
Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather help them learn the skills they'll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, "I think I can, I think I can", and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I'm much too far away."
Have you ever felt this way as a parent?
Honestly, I have yet to experience this - which is why I am glad to read Baker's perspective. It is a profound joy for me to help my daughter in any way that I can.
But she is 6 months old. Eventually, I will have to take a step back and let my daughter fail or fall. I expect that to be more painful for myself than for my daughter.
The Fundamental Difference
There's no way to be sure from this article, but the impression I receive is that the chief end of this exercise for Baker is her daughter's self-esteem and strength. This is not an inherently evil motive. But it is not enough.
You see, no amount of self-esteem or strength will help my daughter through the trials and temptations of life. Only if she is living for the here and now, survival of the fittest, be the best you can be (etc.), will these character traits pay off in the end.
The fundamental difference is that children must gain healthy independence from mom and dad, but must also be nurtured in necessary, total dependence on Jesus. Without this, we will raise a generation of confident, strong lost girls and boys. Without dependence on Jesus, children are destined to discover and embrace a world of self interest. Without dependence on Jesus, our children will learn to trust no one but themselves.
So let your children fall and fail. But whether in the home, on the play ground, or at summer camp, make sure there are Christian mentors to comfort them when they fall, and point them to the God of All Comfort when it hurts. Point them to the only One who loved them just as they were - failures before God's standard - and teach them to rest in the perfect success of Jesus on their behalf when they fail.
A Personal Challenge
So parents, if you see me on the play ground with my daughter, remind me not to help too much - for her own good. But also remind me that it's for my own good to let her fall, and to rest and trust in Jesus when I fall and fail as a parent.
We're home! Thanks for all of your prayers. Due to the hectic camp schedule, we were not able to live-blog our mission trip. However, we'd still love for you to hear the story of Peru Camp 2013. Keep up with us the next few weeks as we reflect back on God's faithfulness during our trip.
It's not a trip to Trujillo without quality time on Bob the Bus. Here's the Point Pleasant and Twin Lakes crew on our way to camp the first day. We love our partnership with Point Pleasant and Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA. Read more about IPC on their website
Herbert sporting his Twin Lakes Peru from a few years ago on the first day of camp. Our first day was held at the church in the Arevalo neighborhood in Trujillo. We sang, and rotated through 4 games and a bible lesson with Pastor Ricardo. It was an excellent day of "opening ceremonies" as we looked forward to camp at a facility just outside of town.
Counselor Dylan Varner from the Amarillo color group - taking care of our youngest campers in Peru by partnering with Peruvian counselors selected from 3 Presbyterian churches in the area.
Hermes did a great job as our MC for camp! He and his wife Alleen McClain de Tomas have been pivotal in the success of camp over the past 5 years. Alleen felt the call to missions when she went as a participant in a Twin Lakes in Peru mission trip. She and Hermes now serve in administration, short-term team facilitation, and in musical and economic development in Peru. Follow their mission on Facebook and on the Peru Mission website
Allen Smith leading music for camp. Allen and Sandi are missionaries in Peru with their 4 girls. While in seminary, Allen served as the camp pastor at Twin Lakes, and felt a call to missions shortly thereafter. The song he is teaching here is an original based on Jonah chapter 2. Allen was a driving force behind the first Twin Lakes Peru camp, and we are very thankful for his service. Visit their website and their Peru Mission page
Teaching the kids of Trujillo the ever popular 4-square! They loved it.
Pastor Ricardo Hernandez teaching the book of Jonah and helping the kids with bible memorization.
After this first day of camp, we finished out our New Years day with a long, leisurely hang-out on the front steps of the church. Transportation can be tricky on New Years, after all. We then had an adventure finding a place to eat!
In it all, God was good. Even in waiting, we bonded as a team, and took a moment to rest. It was refreshing and fun to sit in the cool night air, share stories, kick the soccer ball, and reflect on the trip's adventures thus far. At summer camp in the states, it's often the mundane, simple moments - saturated in God's word - that make such a lasting impact on hearts and lives. Thousands of miles from home, the story was the same.