Friday, 20 September 2013

How Was Africa?

"How was Africa?"

Now that's a vast question. And rather hard to answer. So here's my best go at it:

I had a very unexpected last Summer of my ministry with BlueSky. Approaching this past Summer, I only felt anxiety and apprehension as the camp season came ever nearer. I remember feeling burnt-out and not prepared to perform what was required of me. (The Lord does know how to break us down.) 
       I remember sharing my spiritual status with all the collegiate camp staff at the beginning of the Summer and asking for prayer to live in the Word and hearing many others seeking a similar request of the rest. Finally, someone pointed out that we were a room full of broken people brought together by the Lord to do work in the name of Christ. It was the beginning of refreshment to know how broken his servants are and how unified and confident we can be in the name of Jesus. 
       I started to feel more ready, more able to fling my heart back into the work I was in Kenya to do. Staff training commenced, we all got to know each other better, and camp came together in a huge way. As is the way with every summer at BlueSky I've been a part of, the sessions only increased with each week pushing the limits of how many campers we could host and how much the camp staff could handle. The first two sessions being the smallest, with 90+ and 110+ respectively, were a mixture of the easiest and the hardest as we worked out all the programming difficulties, but were able to find some semblance of rest due to the low number of campers. I also found them to be a culmination of my ministry as those two sessions were largely attended by the two schools I had been the most intentional about. 
       The Lord was present! He was made known. Kids with hard heads and harder hearts started the week defiantly joking and pressing the limits to see how their counselors would react, & ended the week making a public profession that Jesus had awakened them. Kids I had been meeting for lunch periods throughout the school year (excellent visits mixed with some that got me depressed thinking they would never know the love of Christ), came to camp expecting nothing but fun with friends, but instead had their freakin' worlds flipped upside down when they saw the unadulterated love of Jesus. It was an amazing time to see the name of Jesus being proclaimed to the students I'd been around so many times but unable to speak blatant truth to, due to not wanting to be kicked off campus for proselytizing. I can't begin to express how freeing it was to walk around campus after the Wednesday night Cross Talk while all the kids were star gazing and to sit down with them so I could speak about Jesus. They would ask questions. I would do my best to express the inexpressible. It was freedom in Christ.
       The first two sessions, although arguably the culmination of my two year long ministry, were only the beginning. We had much more Summer to go and many adventures along the way, including, but not limited to, trips to rural Kenya, a crazy sickness that spread throughout all of camp staff save 5 people, trips to slums, trips to street kid ministries, getting t-boned by a matatu (an 11 passenger van), going to court (with a short time in hand cuffs), exploring some of the beautiful wilderness of Kenya, and going back to camp for three sessions in a row, with a record breaking amount of campers each week.
       The last three sessions were crammed with campers. The numbers reaching 150+, 160+, and 170+ respectively. It was borderline insanity by the final session. All in all, I believe we had over 720 kids (hundreds of whom had never been to camp before, or heard the truth of Jesus) come through camp. The Kingdom of God was made known in Camp BlueSky. What a way to finish my time in the ministry! 
       BlueSky is an incredible ministry. Kids from all walks of life and religions of the world, coming to one place to hear the Truth, the Word of God, in a way that may never be offered to them again. The Lord's Word does not go out and come back empty handed. I never would have been able to experience the ongoing work of the Lord in that community were it not for the work God has established through BlueSky. I have been blessed beyond understanding by this time of my life and am sad to see it come to an end. My time with BlueSky has shaped my understanding of God's love. 

Thank you, to all who supported financially and prayerfully, for contributing in a much needed way to the BlueSky Youth and Camp ministries. BlueSky provided a possibility for me to join in the work going on in Nairobi. The family of God provided the opportunity to pursue the calling God has laid on my heart. I never would have been able to go and stay as long as I did without the aid and support of the overwhelmingly loving family of God. Thank you, all, for participating in my life and ministry over these past two years and three months. If you ever see me in person, please ask me, "How was Africa?" I would love to tell you more.