Big news ladies and gentlemen: I have a new wardrobe for the next couple of weeks.
Insert drum roll…
Yep, that’s me in a sari. With Agape, my most wonderful translator! Like seriously, (rabbit trail), this kid is AMAZING. He’s 14, speaks perfect English and Telugu, and is the most energetic, happy, go-get-em, motivated person EVER. He jumps at any chance to help, usually before you even ask. And he’s hilarious! A real joy to be around. Also heads up – my future child may someday have the middle name of Agape. It’s so beautiful!
Anyways. Sari about getting off track. (Yep, you know that this is the real Amber – too many stupid puns!) My first day in a sari was good. It was a very complicated thing to get on…Paige pretty much literally dressed me today. But she promised that as time goes on I will get better at it! It was quite airy and cool (well, as cool as you can be in 110 degree heat) and pretty comfortable.
Anyways….today was ALSO the first day of CAMP! I have so much to say about today but will probably save it for my journal and try and keep this short.
There are 10 CCH homes here this week! (The other 10 came for the first session 2 weeks ago). Today was a bit of a registration/get settled day, so the real stuff starts bright and early tomorrow (we leave at 8:00).
We arrived around noon and first off ate lunch. The afternoon was spent with Paige, Ripka, Tabita, Agape, and some others keeping the kids occupied after Sean and Courtney checked them in. We had balloons (our helpers blew them up and Paige and I tied about 100 of the crappiest balloons I’ve ever dealt with…our fingers were in pretty poor shape by the end of that 20 minutes!) and a bubble machine to occupy these kiddos. They LOVED it!
The kids then had a bit of free time while we finished a few things, then the evening session started with worship.
I will NEVER, and I mean NEVER, get sick of being in a room full of people worshipping wholeheartedly in another language. It’s just a phenomenal thing that even though I don’t know what they are saying, God does. And He is being honored. It’s humbling to think about the fact that I don’t NEED to know what they are saying (though I would like to) because it’s not about me. Besides, I’m not sure how anyone could watch 100 kids worshipping in a more sincere way than most of the “best Christians I know” ever have and NOT be moved.
After that, we went over an introduction to camp then passed out pillows to the kiddos! These kids have literally NEVER had a pillow before. Now they do! Complete with a pillow case with their name on it!
One of the homes that showed up late, after worship had started, was Tangaturu. These boys lived in a home that we visited last year and I had a special bond with. When we did VBS at their home, we taught them “The Marching Song.” One of the boys and I played around with each other quite a bit when it came to the “here we go, here we go, here we go!” part. Every time after this that he saw me (in church on a Sunday morning I believe and then again at the 2nd Saturday celebration) he came up to me several times and would say “here we go, here we go, here we go!” It’s a bit goofy, but it was a connection and I love that it meant something to him!
I didn’t expect any of the children to remember us. I figured that it had been a year, there had been other teams through, no big deal. I wasn’t going to remember every one of them and didn’t expect that they’d remember me either! All week long that has been proved wrong – people telling us that they remember meeting me last year.
Over the past few months I held out hope that the little boy from Tangaturu would remember the “here we go” connection. Though I didn’t really think he would, I had thought about it and him several times.
Tonight, as Tangaturu checked in, a boy walked up to me and said “here we go, here we go, here we go!”
Talk about a big moment in my heart! The fact that that boy remembered me and remembered that connection made a huge impact on me. I am SUPPOSED to be here, in India, for this very moment. I am here to make a difference, to make connections, and to love these children.
We had dinner, loaded up, and are now downloading pictures, charging our cameras, showering, and preparing to zonk out in bed. I am flat out exhausted, but LOVED today and can’t wait to see what the next three days hold!
Jody – I’ve been thinking about you a lot over the past couple of days…there are many similarities between Junior Camp and VBS at Westside and what we are doing for these kids this week! Shout out to you for all your hard work for the kiddos of Kansas! :)
Here’s one last photo for you from today. These little guys were the CUTEST thing all lined up to go take a bath. :)
Thank you for your prayers! Please keep praying for cool temperatures, good health, safety, for everyone to have fun, and that I will learn to wrap my own sari VERY quickly ;)