Monday, August 01, 2011

Term 6, Continued...

While I'm itching to share about Term 7, I wanted to take a moment to write some more about Term 6. As I was pondering my latest post, I realized I didn't even write about the INCREDIBLE CIA's in our cabin, as well as our staff. I think it's natural to write about the campers, as that's my primary focus of my trips there, but Term 6 I felt the Lord put me there for the CIA's. For those of you new to the world of Barnabas, I should explain. CIA's are Christian's In Action. They are typically sixteen and older, and are paired up with one camper for the entire week. During weeks like Term 7, this means you help them do daily living skills, etc. Term 6, however, it means they mainly get to be a friend to their "camper". If they need help with daily living skills, of course, they can do that too, but our cabin was a high functioning cabin because we had the senior deaf cabin. This was the same kind of cabin I was in last year during Deaf/Blind week, but it was a different group of girls, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found out was that it's fun to just hang out with everyone, and experience camp! *grin*

Each CIA brought a different personality to our group, and while it was difficult at times to accept the fact that the "campers" preferred to be with each other than with us, they worked through it and found their place in the cabin.

My heart especially leapt for Angela. Her camper was hot/cold with her all week, but I was so proud of her because she hung in there and didn't let it stop her from enjoying the other campers. On the last day she made a friendship bracelet for her camper, who didn't want it. It is a really pretty bracelet, and when I saw that her camper didn't want it, I told her it was too bad because it was really nice, so she gave it to me. Truthfully, each time I look at it, I grin. The bracelet is a constant reminder to me of a CIA that wrestled throughout the week, but finished the week out strong. Camp can be tough, and she did the best she could to hang in there. I know that pleases His heart, because it pleased mine more than I let it show. *grin*

Renee was a gal that ABSOLUTELY blessed my heart all week! She has a heart for God, and she intentionally got to know each person, and planted a seed in each one in a special way. There was one night I will never forget, as I walked up to the cabin, and Renee and Angela were talking to two of the campers. I wanted to join them, but the Lord told me to stop. One of the campers was asking the TOUGH questions about the Lord, and Renee was there, with the right answers, and I just grinned. I told Renee later how much that blessed my heart. While those campers didn't give their hearts during the week, seeds were deeply planted. I can't wait to hear what God does through & in Renee in the years to come. The world will be different because of that young lady!

Emily blessed my heart too, as she was Leigh's CIA. She just graduated interpreter school, and has a heart for the deaf in an incredible way. I know she'll bless MANY in her career with the deaf culture. She added joy and laughter to our cabin, and I'm really glad she was with us this year!

Halye was a CIA this year, and I thought she did a really good job. Last year she was a "camper" and this year she returned as a CIA. I have never been in a cabin where a camper returned as a CIA, but I thought Halye did a great job. Especially since her "camper" was a friend of hers. She admitted at one point that being a CIA is different because you get to do less things, but she still did a great job as a CIA! *grin*

Savannah (I'm mis-spelling her name, I know!) did a great job with her camper, and probably my favorite part about her was how much fun she was for her camper. Her camper's birthday was during Term 6, and she made a point of decorating her bed for her birthday, and made the day extra special for her. Savannah fit right in, and while she was homesick, she held herself together and did a GREAT job. I hope she returns next year! *grin*

While all of our CIA's were great, there is one that stood out to me! Selby blew me away throughout the week in our cabin! Selby was not initially placed in our cabin, but was moved to ours because her camper fit in better with our mix of girls than I guess she would have in the other. (That's a guess, I'm not really sure of the reason for the switch.) Selby joined us and fit right in from the beginning. My heart initially leapt for her during one of our first training sessions when a trainer, who was NOT Barnabas staff, told her in front of everyone that she couldn't handle her camper because she was labeled blind & deaf. That broke my heart because Barnabas is all about giving teens an opportunity to learn what they CAN do, not limit them! I didn't know her then though, so I just prayed. Later, she was brought to our cabin and I was silently excited! I hadn't told anyone about my frustration in training, but God knew, and I knew He put her in my path! I WAS SO EXCITED! *grin*

Selby's camper arrived, and it turned out she could see and hear a little. Selby was teamed up with another CIA whose camper didn't show up, because Selby didn't know a lot of sign language. Truthfully, Selby could have done it all, with the Lord. I truly believe that. However, she did an AWESOME job throughout the week. She has such a deep heart for the Lord, and at one point I heard her tell someone else, "I was praying about such and such during worship, and this is what I got..." I absolutely grinned when I heard that. She carried herself in such a way that I KNOW that God was pleased with her. At the end of the week I got to meet her mother, and I told her how blessed I was by her daughter. Out of all the CIA'S I've met in my years out at Barnabas, she is the one that carries the heart of the Lord in all she does. She definitely holds a special place in my heart! *grin*

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I can't remember the other CIA'S names that were in my cabin that week. That's weird to me just because I KNEW them all when I was there. But, if you add another week out there with even MORE people, and I guess it's normal to forget names.

One thing is for sure, even though it was an EASY week, we were all stretched in one way or another, and I thought everyone did a great job facing the challenges! Everyone was different leaving the gates than they were when they arrived. My prayer is that they were closer to God at the end of the week than they were at the beginning. *grin*


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