hosanna….hosanna…hosanna in the highest….
that song is currently stuck in my head. awesome song. i heard it for the first time at Passion 07. amazing conference as well..
i spent my last week working at a camp called Barefoot Republic in Scottsville, KY. (http://www.barefootrepublic.org/) ps. also check out the article in the Tennessean about it (Diversity camp shatters cultural barriers)
it was amazing. before going, i was very discouraged about it and wasn’t really feeling it because i just wanted to move and get all settled into my apartment and was just tired from the Bridge and just wanted to do nothing. i’m SOOO glad i got over myself and went and had such an amazing time. this was the first time i worked a camp and i’ll definitely go back to that camp and hopefully others as well. i was worried about sleeping in a cabin with a bunch of high school girls for a week but it was definitely one of my favorite weeks of the summer. along with another Kim, we were counselors for Cabin #5, les files rebelles (lady rebels in french) this week. Barefoot is a multicultural camp committed not only to the growth of teens in christ but to breaking cultural barriers and exposing a true tapestry of God‘s creation through people. we are all one in Christ and Barefoot desires to bring us all together as one at all times. it was such a beautiful experience to be able to bring so many cultures together. within our cabin, 2 of our girls were from western and central Africa, 2 girls from Mexico, girls from Green Hills, Brentwood, East Nashville, and Antioch. all in one cabin and after the initial ice breakers, they worked wonders together. before breakfast we would have our two Hispanic campers pray in Spanish and our Republic (cabin) name was in French. we learned about corn rows and one of the white girls rapped in our final presentation.
but all of the social aspects aside, God really worked this week at camp. I was worried at first because we didn’t all know each other at stuff, but this week was amazing. I saw girls being open and honest with not only each other but with themselves; the girls were really willing to be vulnerable and discuss real issues in their lives. my co-counselor and I bonded extremely well and i think the girls were able to see that and we had such unity (despite a few bumps) in our cabin.
the camp theme was “Rebel With a Cause” from one of my favorite verses, Romans 12:2 which states “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
such a fitting verse. I know i’ve struggled alot in life with just going with the flow and taking the easy way out. we talked alot this week about just how easy it is to ‘take the easy way out’ and just go with the world because sometimes its just little things. sometimes conforming simply looks like what we wear or where we go. sometimes conforming is simply ignoring the problems that everyone else is ignoring. sometimes, sad as it is, conforming to the world is simply acting like all of the other ‘church people.’ that’s a big one. this week i was reminded of books like Crazy Love and Irresistible Revolution which challenge us as christians to actually live the way God has called us to, not the way that ‘churchy’ people do so often. We are not to fit in and look and act like everyone else. on the other hand, we are not to be so radically different that we look like a cult or put off the world, we are called to be in the world but not of the world.
to me, this looks like loving everyone we encounter, taking the hard way to do whats right, loving people where they are not where we think they should be, serving constantly, giving selflessly, being open, being real ALL THE TIME, practicing what we say, admitting our flaws, sharing our stories, being vulnerable so that others will be, not acting ‘holier than thou’, not judging, not condemning, not being so wrapped up in church as a building that we forget about The Church as the body of Christ.
we are called to be different, but not a cult. too often, i see church people form ‘christian cultures’ that are so different than the mainstream culture that they look like cults. with christian tshirts and christian named companies, etc, etc. i’m not saying these are bad, but sometimes there’s a point of overkill.
back to barefoot, sorry for the soapbox.
it was so great for me to simply serve these girls in any and every way i could and to build relationships with them. its hard to get to know people over a week, but i plan to stay in contact with each of them. it was great to just see them be open and see them be vulnerable and just bond with each other. not just develop bonds with people they already knew, but form bonds with people across racial, socioeconomic, and social backgrounds and just be ONE in the body of Christ. it was great to be able to just put aside any and all differences for a week and just be real at all times with all people.
it makes me sad that we can’t do this all the time in life. we watched Freedom Writers as our movie for movie night (which you should see if you haven’t) and it made me sad that racial/socioeconomic/social backgrounds cause so much tension between us, even still. whether you’re a christian or not, i don’t understand how we can put so much attention on race especially that we see it as a reason to exclude certain people or shun certain people. we’re all HUMANS, we’re just different colors. if everything looked the same, it would be boring. period. including socioeconomic and social backgrounds, it’s clear to me that it is easier to form differences along these lines because of comfort zones. but life is not about being comfortable all the time, life is about living and loving every moment despite whatever. this summer has taught me alot about socioeconomic and racial reconcilation in the world and how it needs to happen. people need to get over themselves, that’s all there really is to it.
but, back to barefoot. everyone got out of their comfort zone and just enjoyed being one in the body of Christ and learning from different perspectives and across all types of different denominations and social backgrounds about the love of Christ and how we are called to be different and how we are called to live and love radically. life in Christ is not about taking the easy way out and this was a constant theme throughout the week. i think the girls (guys too, i just wasn’t really around them much) really ‘got it’ and i was SO excited. there were emotional times, but it bonded us closer together.
before this goes on forever, i’ll close. i just can’t explain how awesome this camp is and its mission and just everything it does. i’m so impressed by it’s leaders and by all of the staff. there were also some pretty sweet cameras floating around and it reminded me that i’d eventually like to save up for a camera (not point and shoot) that will take awesome pictures. to see a selection of some of these awesome pictures, check this out: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2014651&id=1505250007&l=7456bbe9f1
i can’t wait to see the future of this camp and how it develops and how i can be a part of it. i’m sooooo thankful that God placed it in my life randomly at an MTSU career day and that i got to go this week.
sidenote: i’m also moving completely into my apartment in nashville this week!! wahoo!!!
i’ve been ending my last several blogs with things i’d like anyone to pray about for me, so i guess i’ll do the same here. just pray that the renewed passion these girls have for the Lord does not diminish and that I will be able to maintain the relationship i’ve built with them this week. also pray that my spirit will not fade out and that i will get back deeper into the Word and that the move goes well!!
love you all!