We’re back! A few weeks ago while at camp in St. Louis, MI, we discovered that the summer staffers would be at another Group workcamp in Darby, PA this week. We thought making the hour and a half drive to that particular camp would be a wonderful opportunity to continue Loving Out Loud and the see the summer staffers. Today we put that plan into action! A huge shout out to Smalls, Big Guns, Sugar, and Kay Kay! Thanks so much for accepting us with open arms and giving us that camper feel for one last time this summer.
We were successful in our attempt to reach Darby in time for the 8AM program and were reunited with our friend Doug Fields! Following the service we received the slightly disappointing news that our plan of physically helping a crew on a work site would not become a reality. Neverfear, the Big Guy had other plans for us today! The gymnasium, where the morning and evening programs were being held, was the only non-air-conditioned room in Penn Wood Middle School. In order to save the suffering campers, the staff members had decided to move the program set to the air-conditioned cafeteria. Fortunately, we were able to be a part of this project and were thrilled to assist the staff in make this thought a reality. This project consumed the morning and after a hearty lunch, we headed off with Sam, aka Smalls, to visit a few of the surrounding sites to bring encouragement while she snapped a few photographs. It was great to see such great progress at the sites and the crews and residents seemed almost as excited to see us as we were to see them. The Darby camp is kind of unique as all 49 crews are working within a 2.6 mile drive from the school so the impact of the workcamp is being felt by a condensed area. In addition the local community will follow this workcamp week with a local workcamp next week where even more homes will be revitalized.
We returned to the school to distribute popsicles to the tired campers as they returned from their sites and then it was off to Pat’s King of Steaks for dinner. I’m salivating as I sit here thinking about that wonderful sandwich… We returned to camp early enough to squeeze in a game of silent football before the evening program. Mama H, a first time camper and silent football player, had a hard time not talking and lost within minutes… Fortunately for her, the punishment was light and embarrassment was avoided.
The evening program held in the cafeteria was different because instead of sitting in bleachers, 300 youth and adults were sitting on a cafeteria floor. The amount of participants in the ever-popular pre-program Get Down dance was incredible as the entire camp became caught up in the moment and didn’t have to come out of the bleachers to participate. The music this evening was fantastic and the song choices supurb. It was very kind of the red shirts to mention us, crew #50, as a God sighting today as they were happy to have out help in moving the program set. For us, the opportunity to spend time with the staff and be a part of another camp and something so much greater than ourselves was our God sighting. A girl from one of the sites we visited today had a God sighting as well. This morning they had rented a paint sprayer but were having a hard time reaching the top of the house because they did not have a tall enough ladder. Additionally, they did not have enough ladders. As they were packing up to leave, the neighbor stopped by, who happens to be a professional painter, and he brought with him an additional ladder and scaffolding. It is continuously amazing how God presents us with solutions to seemingly impossible situations. Steve, the MC, did a phenomenal job of setting the stage for tonight’s theme of forgiveness and really shed a light on what forgiveness means to God. It was inspiring to see a slightly different perspective and delivery than we saw in St. Louis, MI.
Following the program it was time to hit the road. It was certainly difficult to leave after such a short time spent in Darby and with the staff. I think the theme of Jesus multiplying what we make available to Him is one that we have seen time and time again since departing for St. Louis, MI almost 2 weeks ago. Today was no different, from the small effort this morning resulting in a much more inviting sanctuary this evening to one neighbor’s donation of scaffolding giving a group hope and a path to completion to this weeks camp inspiring a second week in the same community. Staying aware of opportunities to put God’s love into action is incredibly important if we truly want to Love Out Loud as they are doing, and will continue to do, in Darby, PA. We wish all the campers in Darby and across the nation a great day tomorrow and a safe journey home. What a great day! We can’t wait for our next adventure but until then, keep the Faith!
Building faithful youth.