Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Service!

Half of the Dining Hall!
This summer has by far been the busiest of my life.  I started it off spending 4 weeks serving on Work Crew at Young Life's Lake Champion, a non-denominational Christian summer camp.  Work Crew is a group of 50 high schoolers all who applied and were chosen to come serve other groups of high school campers for a month, voluntarily.  I was a server in the dining hall.  There were also housekeepers, ODC (Out Door Crew), Cooks, and Pitts (the dishwashers).  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  It was the hardest work, and the longest hours I've ever worked, BUT I also had the best fellowship and grew so much closer to God.  My day at Lake Champion looked kinda like this: 
-Wake up at 6:30 to be at the dining hall by 7:30 (7:45 by the end)... and yes, it took me an hour to get ready every morning.  I love the mornings, but I'm a SLOW morning person :)
-Get to the dining hall and have our quiet time with God.  I usually did the devotional that they made for us, but some mornings I would just read and journal.
The picnic tables from the end. Sorry for the bad view!
-After that we would all go eat at a HUGE picnic table out back.  It was a wonderful smorgasbord of food and friendship.  There'd be constant laughter and shouts down the table to "pass the milk!".  Meals were such a great part of the day.  We did get sick of the food after the first week though, haha.
-After breakfast we would preset and then serve the campers breakfast!  We'd all line up in the kitchen with the huge trays and fit as many tables' food we could. (Usually 2 out our 3 tables' on the first round).  We would be running back into the kitchen for refills all meal.  Our goal in serving is to show Christ to the campers through our actions.  It's awesome to also see the change in the campers' attitudes throughout the week.  They are always more gracious and happy, and TIRED.  Haha, it was always significantly quieter in the dining hall by the end of the week.
-After breakfast we would bus our tables, stack all the chairs on the tables, sweep the floor, take all the chairs down, sanitize the tables, then set all the tables for lunch.  Usually, by the time we were done doing all that, it was time to preset for lunch and serve the campers!
-We would do the same after lunch and set for dinner.  We usually had a break to rest and change between lunch and dinner though.  After dinner, we would also mop the floor, and then set for breakfast the next morning.
One of my favorite things that work crew got to do while at camp was visiting cabins of campers.  We got to go into cabins and visit with them the first night (and bring drank of course :).  On one of their last nights there, we would return with the hopes of being able to share our Testimony with the cabin.  (Our "testimony" is how we came to know the Jesus and want to live for him).  It was the coolest experience.  I was given the opportunity to share my testimony to 3 cabins over the month.  I can only hope that I added to their camp experience. 
Because the work was so intense, I learned to really lean on the Lord for everything.  I thought that I knew what that meant before work crew, but I really had no idea.  I had to be in constant prayer and to really lean on Him for my strength and patience.  It was a very humbling experience.  Learning that was one of the most significant things I took away from work crew.  I also learned that as easy as it is to go to other people with your problems, the Lord wants you to go to Him first.  I learned to do that more at work crew because I didn't have my normal group of close friends who I could confide in.  I made some great friends there, but I definitely learned to go to God first.  He showed me so much through my time at work crew.

Once I got back from work crew, I had 5 days and then I turned around and went right back up to Lake Champion with my school for camp!  It was really weird being back up there as a camper and not on work crew.  I went up to Champion not wanting to go at all.  I only wanted to be home with my family.  God changed my heart though, and helped me find my place in the group at camp and made me excited for camp.  It was a great week and many girls started their relationship with the Lord.  One really cool thing about this camp trip was that we have many other campers on the trip who already know the Lord and who are living for him who are constantly encouraging the new Christians.  It's such a blessing to be a part of this growing community of Christians at my high school.  

Now I'm just back home frantically trying to finish summer work and get ready for school to start back up.

YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made!

-Just Plain Kylie

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