Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No more first day jitters, no more first day novelties.

    Today we were full on into the stream of class time and work. Again, most of the same people from yesterday showed up for our reflection time and we even had a few new people. We’ve been singing in Czech and in English and I think it helps us all feel on the same page, a bit awkward but together in front of our grace giving God. We opened with the story of Zacchaeus, the outsider which Jesus called to come and follow him. We talked about how we have a special time this week to call to the outsiders and include them into our groups. Some of the Americans also pointed out how difficult it must have been for Zacchaeus to leave the safe and secluded tree and come join Jesus and his followers in front of all of the others. Joy told us how the story made her think of our Czech friends who haven't stayed hidden in the tree, but have come down from their hiding place and taken part in the action. I can’t tell you how impressed I was when so many Czechs showed up for the second day of the devotion. I don’t know if I would say there are more Czechs than Americans, but there definitely is about an equal number, making the half an hour less of sleep worth it for all of us.
We continued into the second day of camp focusing on the theme of what it feels like to be closed out of society, an outsider cast out by society. The skit showed how Moses tried to protect his Hebrew relatives, and ended up killing an Egyptian. Instead of winning the friendship of his people, they regretted what he did and refused to call him one of their own. Yet at the same time, the Pharaoh had heard of Moses’ actions and wanted to kill him as well. Moses was forced to leave his home, his heroic actions resulting in his rejection. We were very fortunate today to welcome a guest for our “Door Experience Room,” Ondrej Kovac, a pastor in our denomination who has conquered several obstacles despite his blindness and Roma ethnicity. The kids got to ask questions and had quite a few of them. We heard about his wife and kids and how he lives like a normal person, how people help him on the street, and how he can use the computer and internet with his special program which reads aloud what he types. One very interesting thing for me was listening to him talk about how he interacts with his children. Since he cannot read books to his children, they sit together with the book, his son describes what is on the page, and he makes up stories to go with the pictures. He talked about the importance of imagination and imagery when you live with blindness.
I think today we all had a lot of personal time with the kids and volunteers. We’re starting to learn names and building more friendships. I think we’re already starting to get a bit tired, but we’re really excited to be getting to know these kids! Enjoy the pictures below! You'll see some fight shots, Engergizers, Dodge Ball, Craft time, Snacks, and discussion time.
Tuesday: Day 2 of English Camp
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