Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Last Day of Camp in Peru

When the buses rolled into camp one of them had a sign taped to the side: “Thank you very much Twin Lakes…Please Come Back.”

During the morning assembly the US team was asked to stand up front and receive gifts from the Peruvians. One of the gifts for the entire team was a large leather picture with the names of every team member engraved onto it….”many thanks always, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Peru”. We also had gifts for them and told them thank you for inviting us and helping run camp. Tears began to flow and continued through the morning at different times. We were told that we would be missed and they are so grateful for this ministry.

Before we ended assembly to begin activities, all the orphans came to the front and surrounded me so that we could thank them for coming and pray for them. Tasha, who is officially beginning her orphan ministry in Ukraine in February, prayed for these orphans of Peru (details about this ministry are coming soon).

Yuliana gave me several hugs Friday, was sad that camp was ending and asked if I would take her home. Has anyone started praying for her, yet? A family would be blessed to have her as their daughter.

These people loved camp and asked several times if we were coming back. I am not sure of a day when I have been hugged by more people…even the staff that worked at the facility we rented gave hugs, took pictures and said thanks…every one we came in contact with was impacted by what God has done this past week…I reached out my hand to shake the hand of the owner of the facility but he ignored my hand and gave me a big hug. One of the Peruvian staff members gave me a hug that must have lasted several minutes...he looked at me and said, "You people are changing our lives. Thank you."

Every day as the children arrived we would make a tunnel for them to run through…on Friday, as we got on the bus to leave, they made a tunnel for us to run through. I was asked so many times, "Are you coming back?"

We hope so. We hope some of you reading this will join us next year. They want us to expand this camp ministry to another city in the Andes Mountains of Peru as well as continue to run the camp in the desert. God has blessed this ministry in so many ways and we praise him for what he has done.

Before the campers arrived each day we gathered as a staff for time in God's word and singing. On this last day the last song we sang together was Blest Be the Tie that fitting it was as we prepared to leave our dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one our comforts and our cares.

We share each other's woes, our mutual burden's bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; while each in expectation lives, and longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain, and sin we shall be free, and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.

Thank you, LORD, for allowing us to be part of this great work that you are doing in Peru.

And thank you, LORD, that in four days we will be on our way to our dear Karina.

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