Well another amazing week has come and gone. We had the opportunity to bring several youth with us this year that had never been to Catholic Heart before. It is always a joy for me to see them grow over the six short days that we have at camp.
They start out a little nervous about the unknown and a little hesitant about having to work with a group of people they have never met before. As the week progresses, they come out of their shells, they smile and laugh at inside jokes with kids from their work teams, and they shine with joy and praise as they join in the songs and dances during praise and worship time.
And then there is the straight out shock and surprise that all of us adults get when we see their reaction to adoration. They are reverent and lost in prayer in Christ’s presence, many of them long after they are allowed to leave. We are further shown their devotion to their faith as the line for confession continues through the allotted time and then more time for confessions has to be set up for the next day.
Part of the last night is reserved for the residents that have been helped all week to come and express what the work that has been done for them has meant to them. It is such a powerful testimony for the kids to see how much it really does mean to give just a little of themselves for another.
The funniest thing happened this year at the portion of the program where the residents get to speak. The first lady got up to say thank you for the hard work her team had done and how she had the very best group of kids at her house. As she finished, another lady who had been helped got up and said we would probably not like to see two little old ladies fighting but she was up to it because her group of kids was the very best. Everyone laughed as she finished talking about how grateful she was for the work that had been done for her. The next lady got up and promptly called each of the other two ladies by name and said she would have to jump in the fight because she had the best group at her house. It was hilarious, and maybe you had to be there, but love and gratitude was lying across the auditorium like a ton of bricks.
As the final day of work, then praise and worship winds down, we all get ready to pack up and head out the next morning. We leave very different people than who we arrived as having given of ourselves, having shared in prayer and worship, and having been filled with God’s grace.
The kids leave filled with feelings of sadness because they don’t want to go home just yet; but they also leave with lots of new social network friends.
Because the group that we had this year, very few of them knew each other before the trip, now I believe they would consider each other as good friends. New connections in Christ are an amazing thing for young people to have. It’s so good for them to know that they are not alone in their beliefs and values. And it is so good for them to see that they can make a huge difference in someone’s life.My prayer for them is that they remain close to God in their personal lives and that they always remember to “Be Seen” in Christ.
Me, sweaty and dirty working on the walkway.
|Final group shot before our trip home.|