The Coconut Chronicles: Lessons from Kids Camp

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Kids Camp Bound!

The month of July is all but gone and we are bearing down on the insanity of back to school planning.  I can hardly believe it.  This summer has been full of fun. So much fun in fact, that Hubby and I decided that the Coconut’s desperately needed some spiritual vegetables to counter act all the candy their little flesh was getting. So last week our two big kids went off to kid’s camp. Which means Hubby and I went to kids camp.

Growing up I had never experienced summer church camps before.  I was a ballerina.  I went to ballet camps where the ballet Nazis where so hardcore and mean you fell into your bed every night too exhausted to even think about expanding the energy to move your mouth enough to talk to your dorm mate.  Fast forward to 30 years and I am thrown into a room with 6 giggly, crazy girls for 4 days. I got the easy end of the deal though. Hubby found out when we arrived that they needed him to head up the new dorm with 37 wacky boys and 3 other deans. Good luck with that. I’ll take my giggle boxes.

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Our adventure started with a 3 hour check in process and the always popular, “Lice Hunt”
that makes me a little nauseous. I think it’s because I was scarred a couple of years ago when, during this process, one of the charges I had brought had head lice. It was terrible. She became quarantined in the lice concentration camp/cubicle area while I tried to get someone to answer their blasted phone to drive 2 hours to pick her up. Anyway, memories of that little incident were still obviously fresh in my mind because I chewed on my finger nails the entire time we waited. Coconut #1 did not help matters as she was, of course, asking a million questions. “Are we all going to get lice?” “Of course not.” I answered matter of factly as I began to rigorously scratch my head.  “Can we go over there??” “How about over there?”  “Where’s the lake?”  “Where’s the pool?”  “Where’s our dorm?”  Meanwhile I’m thinking, “Where’s the Valium??”

For 4 days we chased after kids from sun up to sun down. From morning rally to power packed church services to water slides, we ran with the masses. It was exhausting. It was manic. It was life changing. I had gotten so wrapped up in the negativity of the world I’d lost sight of some things. Apparently I just needed a few days with a bunch of kids and sleep deprivation to get re-aligned.

The kids that come to this camp come from all different backgrounds. Some are bus route kids. Some have been raised in church all their lives. Some are just families that are new to Christianity. But they were all there to have some fun and an encounter with God. It was amazing to see these kids praying and seeking God at the altar, some for over an hour.  I watched in amazement as they exampled the scripture in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Never before have we needed grace and mercy as we do in this time we’re living in. But somewhere we’ve lost our childlike faith. We’ve become so wrapped up in the affairs and cares of the world we’ve lost sight of the One who holds all of our futures in His hands. We’ve allowed social media and biased journalism to fuel our emotions. We sign petitions, tell people who to vote for, point out the wrongs of those that do not agree with us and feel justified. Don’t get me wrong. I agree with doing our civic duty but if we think posting another insulting meme or video is what’s going to change the world, we are hopelessly deceived. Jesus is our only hope. Prayer is our only refuge. Love is our only solution. Agape love. The kind that caused our savior to hang on a cross for the very people that we judge and condemn with our words and thoughts.

In a world of violence and death, this year’s camp couldn’t have come at a better time for us because it made us focus on what’s really important. I was reminded by these kids not to become entangled with the things of this world. To stay the course that my Captain has set for me no matter the storms that rage around me. It was a memorial to draw near to the sacred and holy in the midst of depravity.   I went to minister to children but in all reality, they ministered to me.

So post your opinions on social media and sign your petitions but most importantly I would respectfully ask, are you a born again believer? If so, then it’s time to pray. Ask God to give you His eyes to see, to pour out His mercy, and to fill your heart with His love. You’ll reach far more people with the love of God than the opinions of men. And then once He’s filled you up, GO because the fields are white with the harvest. The hour is late and the laborers are few.

If you haven’t met Jesus yet, then I would humbly suggest you start seeking Him with all you have. These are perilous times but we have a hope. We do not have to walk in fear, because no matter who becomes the next president, the King has already overcome the world.