Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Reunion, English Camp 2013

The first Saturday of the camp is usually when we get acquainted with our hosts and the volunteers for the camp. Now that this is our tenth camp, we know mostly all of the Czechs who are volunteering and the new people are some of the family members of our American Team who are here for the first time. So for many of us, today was more like a reunion than a meet and greet.  And this was the best type of reunion. High School and college and even family reunions are usually with people who you have been forced to get along with or people you feel like you need to impress. This reunion was filled with the joy and thankfulness, that everyone here has already been changed or influenced in someway by the camp. Seeing these people again is like reconnecting with some of the most important people in your life.

The theme of our camp is Open: open doors, open eyes, open hands, open ears, open hearts. Our Czech volunteers were waiting upstairs to surprise us. We came in and sat down in the sanctuary, and after we said the first day of the theme loudly, "Open Doors", they opened the doors, and came in with their hand over their ears and their eyes closed. Then we said the second theme, open eyes and they opened their eyes. We said the third theme and they opened their hands to give us apricots;) we said the fourth theme, "open ears", and they uncovered their ears. The fifth theme and they came and gave us paper hearts. 
I felt like they showered us with such a great Openness that it overwhelmed me. The first year, our main goal was to make people feel comfortable inside the church walls.  Many people held preconceived notions of what the church was about, and they were very cautious about whether they would be forced to accept our ideas or whether we would be open to learn from them as well. 

We have all opened our hearts to one another and been changed for the better. As you look at these pictures, they almost look like capturing moments of life long friends. Throughout the week, I will be posting some pictures here and others on Facebook. I will do my best to post as I can on this blog, because I am eager to share the joy of learning alongside these talented and fun people! Thank you for joining us by reading and seeing the pictures! I hope that your open hearts will also be filled with joy and thankfulness for the work the spirit is doing among us!

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