As I lay here and reflect on our first day with these boys, I am amazed at how God works all things together for good. Every year a new group of boys join us and every year God begins a new work in each of their lives.
Tonight the boys kicked off their week on the climbing wall. Each of them challenged themselves to go further than they thought possible. Some were challenged to get to the top while others pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and simply put on a harness and set a goal to get a few feet off the ground. Either way, they all celebrated together at the end for the many accomplishments. During our reflection time, the boys gave affirmations about each other for encouragement while they were on the wall or for determination to meet a goal they set for themselves. It was truly a “coming together” event for this group!
Later we cooled off in the lake and closed the night around the camp fire with an introduction to their bibles.
We sat around the fire tonight and I asked the boys how they felt before they arrived today to leave for summer camp. All of them responded by saying they were anxious and worried because they didn’t know what to expect. One of them was honest enough to say he was worried about being accepted by the group. One of our junior leaders, Quinntin was quick to respond, “this is a non-judgmental zone, we accept everyone just how they are.” Was an amazing response! I then asked the boys about their first day and how they felt. The overwhelming response was that they were happy to be here and excited for what tomorrow will bring. As we sat around the fire I looked around and watched as the boys were talking with their new friends…some were laughing while others were listening intently learning about each other’s lives back home.
I am now ready for bed and across the room I still see one flashlight on. A boy and his bible. A new beginning.