Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kids Camping Weekend!

Hello Everyone!
I hope you all are doing well! Summer is on it's way!
This past weekend I had a ton of fun being involved in a local kids camp!
 I was asked to speak for the Sunday evening service, but they ended up being short a girl counselor, so I got to join in the fun for the whole weekend =)  
The weekend ran from Saturday 1pm- Monday 1pm and we had about 40 kids ages 8-14.
The kids are all part of a group called the Flambeaux (ages 11-14) and Petits Flambeaux (ages 8-11), an organization similar to scouting for boys and girls.
Our group joined together with the kids from the near-by town of Annecy for a weekend of camping about an hour away in the mountains.
And the theme.....?

You guessed it! 
Well, the parable of the hidden treasure to be exact.
So Saturday it was off on a pirate sea voyage for us,  with lots of Jack Sparrows', Captain Hooks' and maiden pirates in distress. 

Saturday we set up camp...

Center of camp, meeting point and where we ate our meals.

My lodging next to the kids
Then we got the kids active and out in the woods. They had lots of great games teaching them very valuable pirate (and life) skills. The final afternoon their efforts were rewarded with an actual treasure chest filled with gold coins- well chocolate gold coins ;-) 

The girls after making a team lunch together.

Trying to rescue the key from the captured pirate and find the treasure chest!
"Flambeaux" literally means "torch." The group's name reminds them to be a light into the world.

Sunday night FĂȘte
Sunday night we had a fun fĂȘte including a sausage BBQ, skits, music, costumes and a Bible lesson.

Pirate sketches

We had time for small groups where we were able to see how the kids were processing what they were learning and see if they had any questions, and we also had some time of worship. The song  above you might recognize, the one below is their Flambeaux song.

The whole weekend was great French practice, but especially Sunday night. I was to share my testimony and talk about Matthew 13:44, about a man who found a treasure that was worth giving all that he had.  I shared how I had once found a treasure that worth giving everything for. That treasure was being able to communicate with my God. When I was 13 at a camp, God taught me the importance of reading my Bible and spending some time talking to him every day. It changed my life. It was a treasure worth surrendering my whole life for, to grow in knowing my God, even if that surrender meant it would take me to the Jungles in Africa.

Our littlest pirate...

The Captains of the Merry Fleet

Everyone accounted one had to walk the gang plank

You know, the kids were so gracious with all my mistakes in French. They did however, find it hard to understand why it would be so difficult for someone to learn to speak their native language.
I do wish I had brushed up on a couple French phrases to have on the tip of my tongue before I left, like;
You know, everyday stuff. 

A beautiful end to a tiring yet rewarding weekend...

But the last night, as all the leaders sat around the campfire and all the little ones were in bed, and the sky was filled with a dusty, majestic shade of purple, the leader, Isabelle said she had been praying with the younger girls in their tent that night, and one of them prayed, "And thank you God for Amanda, thank you for sending her here to share with us, even though it is so hard for her to speak French...."

Motivation to finish the final three weeks out strong?

I laid my head down in my sleeping bag, smiling...

Prayer Requests:
A lot of the kids this past weekend came from non-christian homes. 
1.  Please pray for the seeds that were planted
2.  Please pray for the kids who already have a relationship with God, that they would continue to grow and start having a daily quiet time
3. For the parents of the kids as the leaders build relationships with them

Thank you to all of you for coming alongside and doing this with me. 
I couldn't do any of this save my Lord and all of you,

 Love from France,

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