A chance to be a kid: An iThemba camp story

IMG_3426“I’m surprised that we’re treated like little children here,” the nine-year old girl told one of the iThemba staff.

Uh oh. The kids think our camp is babyish.

We spend months getting ready for iThemba Kids camp- planning fun activities, thinking up new games, getting crafts donated. This year I wrote the curriculum for the small group times and morning devotions. Kids saying camp is for little kids is an Epic Fail.

But then, the girl went on:

I really like it! When I’m at home, I’m the one who is always responsible for everything, for cooking, for cleaning up, for putting my little brothers and sisters to bed. When I’m here, there are people who look after me, who clean up, and make sure I’m tucked in bed. This is really fun!

When I was nine, I said I never wanted to get any older, because nine was the perfect age (and once you’re ten, you’re practically a boring teenager).

When I was nine, I had a Mom and Dad who loved me, who put me to bed at night, who were there for me when I was scared of the dark (and taught me Jesus was there in the dark with me, too).

When I was nine, I spent all my time reading books in trees and talking to my imaginary friends.

When I was nine I complained about being overworked because I had to wash dishes and clean my room (and sometimes even vacuum under the bed!)

When I was nine, I went on my first overnight camp, and found out that Jesus had a plan for me (even as a nine-year-old) and he wanted to use me to share his love with others.

I’m so glad this nine-year-old girl from Sweetwaters was able to experience the love and care of someone else looking after her for a change. I’m so glad that the iThemba mentors had three whole days to pour the love of Jesus into her life through words and actions (and silly games!) Join me in praying that she’ll stay connected to a Life Group after camp, that the mentors will be able to have good camp follow-up, and that she’ll find out Jesus has a plan for her (even as a nine-year-old) and he wants to use her to share his love with others.

The two minute video showing some highlights of this year’s kids camp. (If you wonder what I do all day… things like this!) 


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