We took off on a Friday evening. It was cold and rainy. The van was packed to the brim. There wasn't an extra inch to move. Six teenage girls filling the van with sounds of excitement and energy. My dear friend, Julie, following close behind in her car with two teenage boys. I found myself envious at times imagining how quiet her car might be.
Just over two hours later we pulled into the hilly, winding drive and crossed the little wooden bridge leading to our cabin. We had arrived at Camp Mowana and were ready to connect with God and listen for His call in our lives this weekend.
Before any seriousness can begin, of course the kids need to release some energy!
Acts 4:44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.
Now it is time for business! We were all together under one roof. Two adults and eight teens sharing everything and praising God.
We discussed how early Christians lived together as one family, God's family. We gave the kids a cross and a mission. They were to make it their family crest. Working together, they named their Christian family, The Laughing Lutherans, and put images on the cross to represent each of them individually. At this point we had no idea how absolutely perfect this name was for the group.
Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.
It's April and we may be ready for Spring but God had different plans and boy was his plan beautiful. I had to take a moment to sit and marvel at His beautiful creation. I can't wait for warm weather but there were no complaints from me. We were truly blessed, stepping out onto the beautiful porch to see and hear God's creation. The babbling waters of the stream and waterfalls right in front of our cabin and the snow covered branches. Then I saw it...poking through the trees. The ultimate reminder of God's blessings...a cross.
Julie says, Good Morning World!
We woke the kids with music blaring and Julie and I singing "Soul on Fire" by Third Day. The kids didn't think that was nearly as fun as we did! Maybe that was because Julie and I will not
join the church choir for very obvious reasons and the kids found that out very quickly.
We filled our bellies all weekend with amazing food and the kids LOVED the camp prayers they learned. Displaying our bat ears and singing to the tune of the Batman theme song....
"Nana Nana Nana Nana Thank you!
Nana Nana Nana Nana For Food!
Nana Nana Nana Nana Amen!"
We studied the story of James and John being called to follow Jesus and how much faith he had in these two young brothers to become something great, and how they faithfully dropped their nets and listened to God's call for them to follow.
Then God called us outside for a snowball fight!
The kids had a blast with their camp counselor playing many different games. She decided there was too much energy to contain indoors and took them back outside.
Eventually they decided that warming up by the fireplace and putting on dry clothes wasn't such a bad idea. We discussed God's voice being difficult to hear sometimes and feeling like we are walking blind, trying very hard to listen for His call of direction among the voices. So, why not walk through an obstacle course, blind folded, while trying to listen for the one friend providing the correct directions among the voices leading you the wrong way. Good thing bumps and bruises heal!
We left in the morning, maybe a little sleepier than when we arrived. Maybe the van was a little quieter, but the souls were fed and spirits renewed. We were blessed!
Thank you to Camp Mowana, in Mansfield, Ohio, for catering to our amazing group of young teens, to our church family at St. Paul Lutheran Church, in Defiance, Ohio, for supporting our youth and their efforts to raise money to pay for camp, and most importantly...thank you Heavenly Father for all of your blessings, encouragement, and support!