After spending the day at the beach yesterday, we returned to the normal camp routine for our eighth day of camp. Following a brief team meeting, devotional, and stretch session, we began morning games. Today we played the game ships and sailors as well as a dancing game. Next, it was time for English class. During our first session, my intermediate class (co-led by the other Linnea) had a mystery themed day. The hour was filled with a clue-based mystery hunt to find a “kidnapped” stuffed hippo as well as various riddles and logic puzzles. Subsequently, the campers enjoyed a Balaton Bar for snack and headed to the auditorium where Pastor Rob shared a message about the resurrection in Hungarian. After eating lunch and singing to celebrate Dorothy’s birthday, everyone headed back to their English classes to begin preparing skits for Parents’ Night (tomorrow). Then it was off to games or Bible study or crafts for the remainder of the afternoon. When camp came to an end, rather than head home as a team, we split up into a few groups and had dinner at Hungarian homes. From what I’ve heard, everyone had a great time getting to know the students’ families and eating delicious food.
My home visit was with a girl named Noémi. I met Noémi last year during my first English Camp and we became friends on the train ride home from Lake Velence. Over the past year I have continued to connect with her, message her, and video chat with her. Being able to finally see where she lived and meet her family was a truly amazing experience! Although it took about an hour (and three different train rides) to arrive at her home, it was well worth the wait. Since I met her mother last year during parent night, it was a blast getting to know her parents and finally meeting her brother and pet guinea pig. Her family prepared a delicious supper consisting of: fruit soup, egg noodles, and coconut balls for dessert. After the meal, we walked around her neighborhood (which is very quiet compared to downtown Budapest); it reminded me of the suburbs back home. I could not have asked for a better home-stay experience!
Throughout the camp thus far I have seen God working in a myriad of ways. Not only have many campers professed faith in Christ for the first time, but he has also worked to further shape who I am. Last year our team was about double the size and, as one of the younger team members, I tended to follow others and let the older students embrace the leadership roles. This year, I have been afforded opportunities to grow in my leadership skills and lead by example. After being assigned to a different level and co-leader the day before English camp started, I have learned to come up with activities on the fly and embrace awkward silences. I have also felt God teaching me to set my excuses aside and be bold: volunteering to lead a origami craft session during the afternoon, explain directions for games, or help lead worship by playing the cajon.
While we still have two more days of camp left, when Friday comes I know it will be immensely difficult to say goodbye. This trip has had a profound impact on my life and the lives of so many Hungarian teens. God is truly at work here in Hungary, and it is an amazing feeling to have a small part in it.