I’m at North East Iowa Christian Service Camp this week, hanging out with some awesome middle school students from Eastview (and all over NE Iowa), one of our sponsors, my daughter, as well as other adults. I’m leading a family group of 11 kids. My favorite thing about them is that they want to be together. My small group is made up of kids from different youth groups, cities, towns and churches. Yet, at each meal, we sit down together, because we want to be together.
Here are some things that I’ve learned about them so far (nicknames, of course):
Grouchy is an awesome girl, this morning when another boy wasn’t able to shoot rubber bands right during a game, he left the stage crying. Grouchy went and sat with him, consoling him, just being his friend.
Crazy kind of keeps to herself, she lives in a small town, and she wished that the rest of her family knew Jesus like she did.
Jackin’ is a wonderful young lady, quiet at first, but now, knows just about all of the kids at camp. She comes from a tiny town really close to camp. She’s Africa-American, and her family is judged for it. She says that her family never eats a meal together, not even on Thanksgiving.
Macho is a great girl. She’s friendly and has a lot to say during small group.
Chainsaw…we, I know chainsaw really well. He is loud, constantly drawing attention to himself, kind of annoys some of the other kids. But, when he prays, man…it’s pretty sweet.
Juciy, another kid that I know well. Solis, stable, wants to do the right thing. Sometimes, he forgets that the others look to him as a leader.
Kicking. Oh, kicking. She comes from a family that is in the middle of a job transition. There is some uncertainty with what God’s going to do. But, God’s got this, and I’m certain that He is faithful to us, always.
Joining is a great guy. He told me yesterday that he was abused as a small child. In fact, he was punted across the room by a parent. Each and every time during small group, he speaks of an amazing God that loves him.
At this camp of 50+ students, there are hundreds of stories, just like the ones above. They’re not just here, but in our churches, our youth group, and our cities and towns. Our challenge is to love them, and to let them know about the hope that only comes from Jesus. Are you in?