Usually we end posts with this, but I want to start with a huge thank you to all those who have supported us through prayer, and made this trip possible by giving to it. What a wonderful and exhausting two weeks we have had. Before giving a final overview of our trip, let me finish off our week by telling you about Friday.
Friday, we woke up to another rainy day. But it didn’t dampen the campers spirits. As the campers came in the morning, I think they were the most excited we’ve seen them yet. Our upper beginner class finished off the week by talking about family (and playing some of their favorite games from the week.) As Joan said, it kind of felt like the last day of school for most classes.
After English, Abi and Morgan led the campers in some of our favorite camp songs. The campers were singing more and more loudly as the days went by. Then Ippei finished of the book of James in by preaching from 5:7-11. He touched on the issues of suffering in this world, how God uses it, and how we can make it through suffering by looking to the hope that God gives.
In the afternoon, the weather was still rainy off and on, so with the moments of sunshine we had, we went to the park and played the campers favorite game–capture the flag. After games every year, we end by sending the students off. We give them a bookmark with a note from their teachers, and we give them either a Bible, or if they already got a Bible a previous year, they get another Christian book. Some of them got Pastor Colin’s book “Heaven, How I Got Here,” translated into Hungarian.
After that came the hardest part of camp: the goodbyes. There were many tear-filled eyes from our group as we said goodbye to the campers. The following morning, we did the same with the camp director, Shaun, and his wife, Söndi, and some of the translators who had helped us this week.
That’s the nitty-gritty of the week, but as we looked back at the past two weeks together over dinner, that hardly tells the whole story. It is impossible to share everyones’ stories here, but I think I can summarize the overwhelming atmosphere of this years camp in one phrase: Meaningful friendships.
We had 44 returning campers this year, and our entire team (except for one) had been to this camp for at least one previous year (some of us three previous years). This laid the groundwork for some very deep friendships and conversations to be formed. So many students wanted to have our team members over for a meal at their homes that several groups when to two homes and for four out of five days last week, some of our teams were away on a home visit.
This year’s messages also provided some good conversations. Some of the messages from James talked about the fruit that comes with true faith. While we have heard many students make professions of faith in the past years, this gave us a good opportunity to ask them how their faith changes them. Some of them told us how God had been working in their lives, while for others’ this question challenged them to consider what their profession of faith really means.
Please continue to pray for the students of Tapolca. We are pleading that the Lord will use the seed of His Word to bring forth a fruitful harvest in the coming year. Also pray that God would send laborers into his harvest field. Pray for safety as Joan, Ippei, Morgan, Abi, and Delaney head home tomorrow. Also pray for good rest for Kamren, Krista, and I as we prepare for a week of kids camp in Budapest this coming week.