Wednesday morning was unlike the other days of the week because Camp Gathering time was in the morning, right after breakfast as opposed to the usual evening time the campers would meet. Many of us were especially intrigued in the gathering time due to the illustration given by the speaker. The theme of the day was “Courageous Obedience.” The Speaker showed a video clip from Toy Story two when one of the main Characters, Woody was taken with some other toys he met, the person who found the toys was going to sell them to a museum; but Woody’s friends came looking for him. When they found him they reminded him to look under his shoe, when Woody did he saw the name written “Andy,” the name of his owner on the bottom. It reminded him who he belonged to. The speaker was trying to remind us not to forget who we belonged to. He gave the example of Jesus declaring that there would be a church built on a rock, and Peter would take part in that. Even though Peter denied Jesus three times and forgot who he belonged to, Jesus didn’t forget that peter was His. What a message to leave people thinking!
Excited to head to the Beach, out to dinner or wherever the groups wanted to go, they went about the half day of work with great enthusiasm and Charisma. By this time of the week, it was clear; many of the groups had grown quite close to their homeowners. One group had even used their own church fundraising money to add some finishing touches to the house they were working in. These touches included floating candles for a bathtub, new curtains, a new vacuum cleaner, and some fresh paint to name a few. What a conspiracy of Grace! Another group was so motivated; they decided not to take a half day. Instead, they worked into mid-afternoon to finish the job and finish it right! They fixed the skirting on a mobile home, and fixed siding that was falling off as well as rebuild front steps. Wow, what hard workers! Sounds like a great work day to me!
The groups were set off to eat dinner on their own, including places like Golden Corral, Chick fil A, and even some family owned Ice Cream shops. The groups came back feeling relaxed and filled with laughter and memories of a great day!
Soon enough though, it was time to go to get some rest to begin their last day of work!
The campers woke early for their last day, breakfast was served, lunches were packed, and they headed out to finish what they started!
As we traveled around to each work site, it was amazing to see the progress from the beginning to the end of the week! A man went from not being able to see the color of his furniture, infested with a plethora of bug families, to a clean, bright, painted, and soon to be exterminated home. What an accomplishment! A woman started with a porch that needed painting, to a home that shined bright white on the outside due to a power washing and new paint, with a painted porch and a cleaned up yard. One group had a camera crew from the Local News filming the end result and broadcasting the work of Christian Endeavor in Supply, North Carolina. This woman’s home now had a strong porch, a remodeled master bedroom, and a functional kitchen. The accomplishments of all the groups were astounding. Working hard till the very end!
After a hard day’s work, it was dinner time. Several groups had invited the home owners to Thursday evening Camp gathering time. Each person was required to bring their own rock, big enough to fill the palm of a hand. The speaker wanted everyone to use the rocks as a symbol of the weight of our sin from our past, holding us down. As we held on to the rocks, the speaker gave the illustration of our arms becoming weaker as we held onto the rock tighter, holding onto the sin longer, eventually leading to an ultimatum, that we must let go of the rock, letting go of our sin. A large, wooden cross was put up on the altar; below it was a small board of plywood, in which everyone was instructed to drop their rocks on, dropping their sins and leaving them behind at the cross. The speaker left the audience with one last challenge, that we ask ourselves who we were going to serve, and if it was the one true God, in order to be saved by the blood of Christ, we are to leave our past sins at the cross, thus our actions of dropping the rock, created our own “Ebeneezer,” a significant moment in our “Strong Narrative;” which tied in with the last day’s theme “Courageous preservation;” hoping we would have enough faith and courage to follow Christ and preserve our faith by letting go of what used to weigh us down.
Following Camp Gathering time, the home owners were invited to an Ice Cream Social, which led the campers to an evening of energy. Also, being the last night to make care cards, free time consisted of speed care card writing, mixed with fun, laughter, and who knows, maybe there was even time for devotions!
After a great ending, to a great day, it was time to say their prayers and head off to bed!
The last morning has arrived! Breakfast at 6am; but all the groups were ready to get going, one group even leaving at 5, getting ready for the long drive back home! The rest of the groups left shortly after breakfast, grabbing their care card envelopes, and joining in prayer with one of the site coordinators, they were ready for the journey. What a great end to a fantastic week. A wonderful week of seeing Jesus in Disguise in every one of these 99 campers!
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