Saturday, July 26, 2008


It’s hard to believe that my time here at King’s Domain is halfway over. First, I must apologize for not writing sooner. Things are usually pretty hectic here and I have not had the drive to sit down and write.

As hectic as things have been, I would not change a thing. Week one was our training week and it went GREAT! It was an awesome time to get to know about the camp, but an infinitely better time getting to know the other counselors. God has brought some truly amazing people here- He has a way of blessing my socks off through other people and I am so thankful!

During training week we did some really cool things. The first night, as a bit of an ice-breaker, we put on ridiculous costumes and went to a nearby shopping area for scavenger hunt. That was a trip!

On that Thursday we broke into men’s and women’s times (something I’m usually not so thrilled about), but this one was way different. We fired shotguns at clay pigeons (I’m not a bad shot for having never fired a gun before!) and then went out to BW’s for a banquet of wings. It was the manliest night I’ve ever had. I am surrounded by some spiritual studs and we are all making each other better men.

Week two brought our first round of campers. It was a suburban week and I was with a group of 10 & 11 year old boys. There were some really unique personalities in there. Attention levels were never very high, but I enjoyed getting to know each of them, from John, who was TERRIFIED of all bugs, to Nate who accepted Christ after being disciplined for urinating off the bridge (God works in all sorts of ways!) and Garen, a little blonde boy with all sorts of energy and random information.

Week three was our first set of urban campers. We had over a hundred, and the second most campers this camp has ever seen. Talk about insane! I went from having six boys with a co-counselor to having 8 boys all by myself. Thankfully, we have a great group of students each week who come here on mission trips to help us out. Without them I’d have been lost! As challenging as this group was, I can look back and see that it was really an incredible week. In the moment I was often frustrated up to my eye balls, but now that I can reflect on it, I had some really special kids. As difficult as they were at times, each one of them just needed a strong, loving hand. They didn’t always like how that kind of attention showed up, but it was remarkable to see how once they knew that I loved them, and that they could trust me, that they latched on to me.

One camper was Devin, who would break my heart when he was tired and cranky and say that God doesn’t love him and that he was going to follow the devil. Praise God that another amazing counselor and I got to have some conversations with him where he said that he knew God loved him. Devin made me a friendship bracelet one day and was one of my best little buddies the whole week. Ajenae (I hope I spelled that right…) was another one who at times put on a tough exterior, but really just needed to hear that he is loved, by me, by the other counselors and most of all by God. Even though Ajenae had to do more push-ups and running than anyone else in the cabin, something that made him very angry at me a couple times, he did not want to home on Friday because he said I was his favorite person at camp and that he was going to miss me. Then there was Larry. Larry was the youngest and smallest boy at camp and he was ADORABLE. I’m pretty sure he never walked more than 50 paces without being carried. He was full of life and funny comments. It was so cute hearing him singing praise songs while sitting on my shoulders. I couldn’t see it, but I hear he was up there dancing too. Haha!

It has been a Friday night tradition to go out to eat at Chipotle and then to Walmart and Starbucks to unwind have some fun that doesn’t involve kids or goofy camp songs. Let me tell you- it has never been a bigger pleasure to be with people my own age! The kids are great, but after being with them 24/7 for a few days, we’re all ready for some hardcore relaxation. Weekends have taken on a whole new meaning and I love it!

We’re going to a Cincinnati Reds game tonight- I’m excited!

Hopefully I’ll get an entry up next weekend too, thanks for reading!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Here in the woods!

I'm here! It's Summer Project 2008 at King's Domain! After spending a couple days in Columbus with family and having brunch with parents' college friends we made it to Oregonia and camp.

Yesterday I spent a couple hours with Randall, one of the men on the leadership team, playing ball at the biggest YMCA. Ever. HUGE.

Randall has already poured into me and shared his vision for these six weeks. I am really excited to learn and grow with men like him.

Last night I enjoyed some worship with Daniel (Minneapolis) and Jarred (Cleveland).

Right now, there aren't too many counselors here, but I expect that will be way different three hours from now.

This week is mainly a counselor training and orientation week and I'm really excited to get to know the rest of the people I'll be serving with.

Pictures to come as I take them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rockin' it to King's Domain

I'm inside a week until I begin Summer Project with Campus Crusade. I will be in Oregonia, Ohio, a super small town northeast of Cincinnati. I'll be working at a summer camp called King's Domain, where approx. 100 inner-city youth are sponsored to attend each week. I'm very excited to get down there and show these kids the love of Christ. The fact that I get to do that while playing outside, acting like a goofball and shooting paintballs is pretty sweet.

Some facts about why King's Domain is so needed in Cincinnati:

In Cincinnati:
  • 1 in 3 children lives in poverty
  • In the Cincinnati School District:
-50% are not proficient in reading
-Nearly 62% are not proficient in math
-More than 40% don't graduate high school
  • In 2006, the Juvenile Court system was comprised of 74% minority youth, 53% of whom were female
  • 50% of sexual assaults are on girls 15 or younger
-1 in 3 will be sexually abused by 18
-1 in 4 will be sexually abused by 14
In the United States:
  • 47% of boys and 46% of girls are sexually active
-5-10% of students are sexually active by age 13
-20% by age 15
-50% by age 17
  • 81% of students have consumed alcohol
-32% had their first drink by age 13

God's work through me will:
  • Encourage children who cannot meet the expectations placed upon them.
  • Build healthy relationships with children who are without parents, caring adults or supervision.
  • Teach life skills to children who are reliant upon theft, prostitution or drug dealing to survive.
  • Love children who have never been loved.
  • Feed children who are starving.
  • Give to children who have nothing.
  • Share hope with children who have been abused.
  • Speak the WORD of LIFE, the Gospel, to children and celebrate with Jesus Christ becomes real in their lives.

Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
[Jeremiah 6:8]