Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Our 2nd summer at Camp Grace

It's time again for a quick peek into our past. I love these, as it turns out. I mean, just look at this gem of a picture I found of Adam wearing pink spandex and Zack looking like a little tiny baby. Speaking of babies, that's Jayci in my giant belly.

Camp Grace Again


Once again, I've been trying unsuccessfully for days to write my Camp Grace update. For some reason, I thought it might be easier to describe or put into words the second time around. Although it wasn't as life-changing for us as last year (and what I mean by that is simply that we already know inner-city ministry is where God has us, whereas last year it was a big surprise for us that changed the course of our lives . . . )

That said, camp this year was just as moving as last year - we loved it just as much as we did last year, and we felt confirmed in the direction our life has been moving.

I wanted to share some stories with you, as well as just a few of the things that God taught Adam and I this year about His love, grace and movement through His people. Of course, we all know that I tend to ramble and write long posts, so there's no way I can share all that in a single blog post (unless you feel like reading an online novel, but most people - besides myself - have far more important things to do with their time). So over the next few days I will try and share in small quantities and hopefully your heart will be moved and transformed just as Adam's and mine have been.

Kosovo and Inner City Atlanta

This summer at camp, Adam had his hands full with discipline on the boys side of camp. I dont remember it being nearly as intense last year, at least as far as issues and discipline problems go. One of the most frustrating things about working with kids from the inner city is how they respond when they get in trouble or get upset. They either get angry and violent or shut down completely. I was telling Pastor Steve how frustrated I get when they shut down because they wont tell you what happened, why they're upset or what they want; instead, they sit silently (usually in tears) refusing to let you in. I understand that it must be some sort of defense mechanism, or survival instinct where that's the only way they can safely respond to situations where they live. But Pastor Steve opened my eyes to the depths of their situation: he told me about how he went on a mission trip to Kosovo to work with war victims and children who had been affected or displaced by the war. And the kids in Kosovo respond in the exact same way that our kids from down-town Atlanta respond. I was blown away to think that these kids had experienced as much trauma as war victims - what, I wondered, could possibly be so terrible in our city?

So I began asking the kids questions, and paying attention to their responses. One of the boys who kept trying to run away described how he watched his brother shoot and kill someone. Another little boy who Adam kept having to discipline explained that he didn't like where he lived because there was shooting every morning and every night and his sister's house got "all shot up." One little girl had just been evicted from her home, and she woke up multiple times in the night crying and screaming with terror. One boy got in trouble for bringing a gun to school because he was going to use it on his mom's boyfriend who beat up his mom . . .

Realizing the depths of these kids' pain makes it easier to understand and extend grace when they respond inappropriately, angrily or by shutting down. They are victims of injustice, and I cannot help but hear Micah 6:8 echoing in my heart: "What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" 

3 comments:

  1. "Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom's cause."

    Thank you, Becca, for doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly, and inspiring us to join you.

    xoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grace can be so hard, but go so far. As always, the work you do with and for your neighborhood kids is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing the trials these kids are facing. I hope and pray God will heal their hurts and fill their hearts. Thanks for the work youre doing. :)

    ReplyDelete

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