Today’s post was written by students on the Utah Missions Trip
Josh: Hello Naperville. Today was a great first day of activities in Salt Lake. In the morning we started a week long summer camp for kids. Usually I’m not the greatest with kids and as Saturday and Sunday went by I prayed to God that I could relate to the kids and be the light of Christ to them. As the kids camp started I had small conversations with the kids in my group. But as the morning went on and a few more kids came along into my group I started to relate to them. As snack time came along and we had to ask small group questions to the kids I was able to have great conversations with them about the story of Moses which was the story of today. I asked them the questions and we were able to have good conversations about Moses and Jesus. As the day ended I was happy that I was able to connect with my kids. I can’t wait to hang with them tomorrow and spread the love of Christ to them even more!
Kayt: Yesterday when we were assigned age groups, I had a strong urge to switch from 8-10 year olds to 3-4 year olds. Despite my urge, I had a weird feeling that God wanted me there so I stayed. However, when I arrived today, it seemed like I was doomed. One of my girls switched out of my group then a little girl, ushered in by her mother, was holding back tears looking furious. She sat down and I saw her mouth some not-so-nice words as she crossed her arms and huffed angrily. Oh no, I thought, one of my kids switched out of my group and another one hates that she’s here. I focused my attention on her and attempted to sympathize. “Your mom forced you to come?” I said and I sat nodding as she explained her mom dropping her off to countless different camps throughout the summer. Thankful she didn’t have something specifically against this camp, I told her she can just hang out with me and doesn’t have to participate if she didn’t want to. At first, she stubbornly refused to engage in game time but thankfully, my fears only lasted until snack time. As we chowed down on our frosted graham crackers, she was fully engaged in conversation, laughing, and telling me about her life. Later at craft time, she turned to me and said, “Kayt, we have to be the best group.” On the outside I smiled and agreed, but on the inside I was praising God for keeping me in this age group. In addition to her remarkable switch in attitude, I received a goodbye hug by the one boy in my group, and the other girl bragged to her friend that I was the most amazing leader. Please pray as we continue this week that I will be able to pour myself into these three kids to help make a difference in their lives.
Jorah: Utah is beautiful. It’s even filled with beautiful people. Everywhere you turn creation punches you in the gut, knocks the wind out of you, leaves you breathless. But honestly, this trip has exceeded my expectations many ways other than the natural beauty. This morning after watching the sun rise over the mountains, a couple of our team members and I went to the local park in South Jordan to set up for our first day of Kid’s Camp. I find it interesting and frankly kind of rad that no matter where you go on earth, kids never change. The culturally distinguishing factors that brand us as we grow older, are virtually nonexistent to children. I have found this to be the case no matter where I have traveled. Kids have a way at looking past the cultural blinders. They just care about you and who you are and why you are here and what your favorite ice cream flavor is. This blew me away as I asked questions to the eight-year-old girl who was more stunning than any Hollywood celebrity, yet completely unaware of her blinding beauty. Because of her unawareness she was friends with everyone, not taking a second glance at how they looked. I was struck again with their “abilities” as the boy with the baseball cap and shy eyes was smiling and playing with his peers in a matter of just three hours. He didn’t care if they were girls or boys or older or younger or had different beliefs than him. He was where he was. Why wouldn’t he embrace it? I am not a super astounding kid person. Typically, kids run from me because I ask the wrong question or don’t necessarily enjoy cuddles and hand holding. But today, by the power of God, I connected with my kids in my group. We talked openly about Bible stories. We talked about what those stories told us about God. We asked how these stories can affect the way we interact with our friends, parents, and siblings. Tomorrow, I will head back to that community playground at the crack of dawn, and invest in the precious six kids I get to hang out with all week. I just pray God will use me ways I couldn’t even dream of if I tried. Please be praying for our team as a whole. Pray that God would open doors, that conversations will be had, that we would become increasingly and exceedingly sure in our faith so that we might defend it well and true. Your prayers so far have meant the world to us. I can speak for all of our team and assure you we would not be seeing the success and growth we have so far without your support. Thank you.
What an amazing group of teenagers! And adult leaders. The student updates are great and I love the pictures. Olivia where are you I think you’re hiding!