Of Whom The World Is Not Worthy … Part 2

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Of Whom the World is Not Worthy… Part Two
Saturday, August 4, 2007 (12:04am)

Current mood: determined Category: Dreams and the Supernatural

This was written Friday afternoon at the camp…
It’s quiet here in the amphitheater now. The stage is empty. The construction themed camp decorations have been removed. The debris of 98 campers and 90 something counselors and staff has been swept up and thrown away. The campers and the rest of the adults are down in the dining hall eating a last meal together before the busses arrive to take the kids back to their “normal” life. If you could call living in foster care normal. To protect the children and their privacy, no photography is allowed during the camp. Each year though their faces are burned into my mind. They are so young to have seen so much. Looking at them, I can’t even fathom someone deliberately hurting any of them. They are such a diverse bunch. Some of them are quiet and reserved, but very tender hearted. Some are incredibly talented in art or music. Some of them are athletic. Some love being with the animals. Some of them are incredibly outgoing and want to be the center of attention. But they had a few things in common. They were great at encouraging each other. Whenever anyone did anything in front of the group, everyone clapped for them. They were genuinely kind to each other most of the time too.

Every year they have a graduation ceremony, honoring the kids that would be too old to come to the camp any more. Some of them had come every year they were eligible. Each of them came forward with their counselors, who spoke, telling them what they appreciated about them, and encouraging them to remember the truths they learned at the camp. Every year that is the time that breaks my heart. Due to the nature of the foster care system, once the kids leave the camp they are not supposed to have contact with any of the adults, including their counselors. It was so hard watching the kids, especially the graduating ones, struggling emotionally with the loss of something that had been precious to them. A couple of the girls especially were really struggling. I watched them clinging to their counselors and the other adults they were close to, like they were holding on to a life raft. Even a few of the boys, who were trying to be so tough, openly wept standing in front of everyone for the last time.

I realized this year while I was watching it all, in a deeper way, why this always effects me so profoundly. When I was 12, their same age, I was trapped in the middle of my own cycle of abuse. It was such a tough age. For me, my mother’s mental illness was reaching it’s peak. There was no camp for me. There was no rescue. But like those kids, that was the time when I first really came into contact with a loving God, who met me in the midst of the abuse and the pain. It was the beginning of hope for me that still continues to this day. And, these days, where life is hard for other reasons, and I find myself weary, spending some time each year with the kids, and at the camp, where I can breathe in and just rest, does me a world of good. I am thankful. It’s my prayer that those kids will be able to leave the camp knowing that they are loved, that they are amazing, and that there is a “hope and a future” for them too.

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