[U’10] July 12, 2010 – Old and new faces and places

July 13, 2010

Hi all,

We’re @ Camp now = no wifi = no computer = back to “typing” on the Crackberry. Oy vey. Excuse the abbrev’s & spelling errors…

We’re back @ the same site as last year; it felt to Sunny & I like our 3rd home away from home, but this time twas better bc we were here from the start. Getting on & off the bus w/everyone, settling in w/ all, finding our linens, etc. makes us really feel like part of the family.

Bad news first: the girls had their 1st smell of the squatty potties. Half-seriously: pls pray for them. =)

Good news:

our room is quite comf, and we’re settling in well. It was a really leisurely day: move in, hang out, explore the beach & river, then lunch = yummo! Then, as always, more swimming and hanging out. I told Sunny today: for the first time since arriving, I feel relaxed. Despite the raw rooms, the potties, the ‘quitoes, etc., there’s something about this place that’s almost immed relaxing. It’s clear this is a place of rest for NHC & their rest becomes ours too.

And, as we relax, so do our rel’ships. Convos flow more easily, late-nite chatter blossoms, etc. It’s cool. We like it.

And it’s even better that now, 4yrs in, there’s more to talk about. There r ppl to catch up with. It’s fun to introduce old friends to Chae & JH & Raimund, & to see the girls meet their teenaged counterparts & connect… It’s fun to practice our Russian & learn some more. And frankly, it’s kinda nice to let go (or be forced to let go) of our upper middle class Westchester stds, and get dirty & smelly. Bathing in the river? Not usual, but also kinda nice to not have to concern 1self w/shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, shower pouf, shaving, face wash, etc etc etc. At the end of the day, we just need to not be grossly dirty, right. Right!

We had an early eve worship: ladies performed body worship & JH preached from Romans 5.6-8. It was a great sermon, very convicting & inviting @ the same time. Tomm in sm-gps, we’ll discuss the teaching; we’re each in sm-gps. Pls pray for all of us & the sm-grp times. Pls also pray for JH: he’s preaching every nite this wk. Pray for strength, illumination, loosened tongue, God’s Wd to come thru loud & clear & true. He’s also working w/a diff translator (just 4 the sermons) bc our Sasha is leading worship & we don’t want to REALLY overwk every1 on our team! Sergei is great – a godly young man who is a professional interpreter & possessing of a wicked sense of humour. Still, it’s less than ideal for JH to have to adjust 2 a new interpreter 1/2way thru so pls pray for smooth communication, no misunderstandings, and tongues guided by the Holy Spirit. And for JH, pls pray also that the time & energy required to prepare properly & well for eve worships won’t interfere or impinge on his time, desire & ability to get to know folks here & develop his own friendships.

After dinner, ppl played soccer, volleyball & just hung out some more. Times like these, it feels like there’s so much for us NYers to learn: how to relax, how to play, how to exercise & sport, how to talk w/ea other, etc. Following “baths” in the river, we hung out in the dining hall for tea, cookies & the American mini-chocolates we brought, & we got to talk more deeply w/folks while the girls played intense Uno w/the other kids here. It was a sweet time of fellowship…

Our team won’t be having regularly programmed am & pm mtgs here. If nec., we’ll gather during free time in the afternoons, but 4 the most part, our sole aim is to rest, fellowship, & be part of the building of the Body here, just as our sisterhood dictates. Pls pray 4 our team: no diminishing of affection, trust or reliance just bc we’re not around ea other all the time; great opps for us to be used apart from ea other thru the talks we’ll have, the sunbathing we’ll do, the meals we’ll share w/our Ukr friends. Pray for protection over ea of us, physical & spiritual, mental & emotional. Pray for our hearts to still be melded to ea other’s, & for our 1st care to be for ea other.

Tomm, Tues., JH will preach after dinner on Rom 5.18-19, & I will share. Pls pray for us, and for Oksana (my translator while @ Camp – U07 will remember her from our winter trip!) & Sergei (JH’s translator), & for our Sasha as he leads worship.

Pls pray for growing, deepening friendships. Pray for fun & laughter. Pray for ease & deep comfort in hearts of hearts. Pray for all of us here, incl our – YOUR – Ukr friends who anticipate our arrival every year, who pray for u tho they do not know u, who send their greetings & love to u even tonite.

One last thought b4 turning in: 1 of the themes that’s been developing here these days turns on freedom. I’m reminded of II Cor 6.1-2: working tog w/him, then, we appeal to u not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, in a favorable time I listened to u, & in a day of salvation I have helped u. Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. This is 1 of my most beloved passages in Scripture. It’s all in there! And as I look back on this 1st day of Camp, remembering the nonbelievers here, our believing & faithful friend here, JH’s sermon & invitation to come & see who this Christ who was slaughtered so that we don’t have to be is…. I’m made to consider that freedom is at hand. Today, perhaps tomm, maybe Wed or Thurs is the favorable time, the day of salvation for some, for all of us, in 1 way or another. My prayer is that none would receive the grace of God in vain, that we His ambassadors would speak on His behalf well & true, that we’d become the righteousness of Him (5.21), & that hearts would be widened (v.13). Would u pls join me in that prayer over this week?

God be w/u as He is so obv w/us. We love u & miss u.

c., on behalf of U10


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