Here is a great card game we’ve played on office retreats and stuff…. I learned it from some missionaries back when I was in high school. The game is called Black Out. (some other folks have different names for this game). It is played like spades, but can be done with an uneven number of players. (from 3-9 players)
As the summer is coming to an end, and kids are chomping at the bits to get back to school (ha!), I wanted to take a moment to share my camp experience from the summer. I had the awesome opportunity to work at Jenness Park out in Cold Springs, California as the Assistant Director for CentriKid there. I know you’re probably thinking, “well of course it was awesome, you got to work in Cali”. While yes, that was a huge plus, that is not at all why it was a great week of camp. The days leading up to camp were rough and full of anxiety, but God was there. And that was enough.
Let me give you a behind the scenes image of the days leading up to camp for our team. I arrived with 5 other teammates the Friday before camp. I initially planned on our freight shipment of equipment arriving that same day and a quick unload either that night or the next morning. Upon arrival, we learned that our shipment had not arrived, but sometimes they make Saturday morning deliveries. This was fine. We were tired anyways from the full day of travel, so we made a trip to Walmart to get some blankets and jackets to warm us for the unexpectedly cold nights. Saturday morning: We were up and at ‘em to greet the truck and some other teammates! Saturday night: we had 5 more teammates, still no truck and were supposed to set up for camp the next day. Sunday morning: set up went quickly…we had nothing to set up. Sunday night: 6 more teammates arrived making our team complete! Still no equipment.
By this point, the director and I realized that this shipment very well might not arrive til after camp had already started. We had never seen, done, or experienced camp without the “stuff” for camp. It was in this moment, that we knew camp would have nothing to do with us, or a nice colorful set, or fancy flags, or quality sports equipment, or tshirts, or nametags, or any other camp stuff. The only thing we needed and the only thing promised to us was God’s presence. So often, we think our lives, experiences or weeks of camp are blessed because of the things we have, use or receive. While these things can be blessings and can bring blessing to others, I was humbly reminded that it is God’s presence that defines blessing in our lives. Joseph, for example, after being sold into slavery by his brothers and purchased into Potipher’s house was considered successful or blessed because the LORD was with him. At the start of the week, we had no choice but to solely function in and with the presence of God, but the coolest thing was to see the staff continue in this mindset even after we received our equipment. What made camp awesome was to know without a doubt that the life-change that happened was completely a result of God’s presence and had nothing to do with the “stuff” that we think makes camp.
Cindy Woodward Smith sent in this super cute group shot!
Our very own Meredith Teasley captured this amazing shot! Here’s what Meredith had to say about it:
There are just a couple of weeks left to get your photo’s uploaded for photo Friday! Thanks to everyone that has uploaded photos already. I’ve loved getting to see so many excited faces throughout the summer!
We all know that CentriKid is more fun than you can handle!
Ready to get in on the action next summer? Have you registered for 2011?
If not, visit www.lifeway.com/centrikid to register.
*Refer a friend church that’s brand new, and get a FREE SPOT for you and for them!
*Come to LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference 2010 in Birmingham, AL in October and get YOUR spot for FREE at CentriKid 2011.
*Deposit Deadline has been pushed back to February 15, 2011. No money is due until that date.
*Reserve your spots before choice weeks fill up!
You would think that we would get tired of talking about OMC … but we just love it so much!
Today’s video post is a sample, a sneak peek, a taste test of OMC | The Official Game. Check out the video, and you can read a little more about OMC here …. or purchase your copy of the OMC game kit here.
Everybody is out at camp this week … even Courtney is serving as a Team Leader with the CK5 team at Southwest Baptist in Missouri, and she’s been blogging about each day of camp! Click to see her video blogs about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
This week’s photo roll is beginning with a staffer, Liz who is making a spiritual application from God’s Word. Thanks to Lauren Cothren for catching this moment.
Jenny Smith shared this shot that appears to be right in the middle of a shaving cream battle!
And one of our favorite camp treats … a sno cone … photographed by Chris Giddens.
The statistics on divorce in our country are staggering. Upwards of 50% of marriages will end in divorce and sadly the church is not immune to that statistic. As the body of Christ, how do we minister to kids whose stories have always included divorce or are just recently experiencing it?
The challenging part is that every kid’s story is unique. They have grown up in different environments; they have been exposed to the Gospel in varying amounts and the reasoning behind their parents’ divorce differs from case to case. Regardless of the differences, I think there are some basic ways that we can all minister to these kids.
My parents were divorced by the time I was seven and up until that point I had never stepped foot in a church. It wasn’t until after my parents’ divorce that I was even exposed to Jesus and to this day, I don’t know the exact reason why they got divorced. So, I speak out of my own personal experience in the way that my church ministered to my own heart as a young child.
Bottom line, there is no easy fix for divorce. There is nothing that anyone can say or do that is going to make it all right. But, we have an opportunity to love on kids that might not get the love they deserve and we have a chance to show them a little bit of who Jesus is. These are opportunities that I know I surely do not want to miss out on. I hope you will join me on the journey of ministering to kids of divorce.
Tori Einstein is a CentriKid staffer, Art Studio leader and Production leader who loves to invest in kids. She uses her own experience with divorce to help kids at camp open up about what they’re going through. In the off season, Tori attends the University of Arizona.