Camp 2008. A meeting a week for a year. Trainings. Planning. Shopping. Budgeting. Phone calls. Crying. Laughing. Countless hours of gluing popsicle sticks, foam flowers, and melting wax. And now it's over. (We've already started for next year!)
Camp was ... incredibly uplifting. Impossibly stressful. And included a miracle that will be a lesson I'll carry the rest of my life.
I have never doubted that the Lord CAN do miracles. But I've often wondered if he is WILLING to do one for ME. I'm a very accepting person - my faith has never wavered when I didn't get what I prayed for. I'm okay with the "But If Not ..." answer. And lately, I've been getting a NO for so long that I've kind of stopped asking. I know, I know, it's not good. I know that the Lord WANTS to help his children. We can't do this on our own, and he desperately want us to ask for help. But lately ... I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not because I didn't think I needed it, but because I felt I knew the answer already.
So it's been pouring rain for the past two weeks before camp. And I just couldn't ask Him for sun at camp. I just couldn't . I kept thinking ... "He's giving me time to plan, make other arrangements for outdoor activities. Rain is character building. He knows what's best." And then there's the fact that December and most of Janurary were the driest Brazil has known for decades. It has severely hurt their bean crops, causing prices to soar and plenty of people to hit a financial crisis. They also depend on water for their energy. No water - high prices for electricity. And let's face it, Brazil is a third world country. These people literally cannot AFFORD to not have rain.
So I didn't ask for sun.
Then, on Friday, the skies cleared. It was a beautiful day. Saturday was equally gorgeous. My hopes soared.
And on Saturday night, the rains came down.
Four tents were literally washed away. Several more were leaking. It continued to rain off and on all day Sunday.
I should mention that the one activity for which we did NOT make a plan B was to happen on Sunday night. We had a very elaborate "Tree of Life" activity scheduled (blindfold the girls and have them hold on to the "Iron Rod," etc.) Impossible to move indoors. It was set to start at 8:30, and we were to start setting up at 7:30.
At 7:00, the skies were still black.
I accepted it. We scrambled to make alternate plans. And JUST when those plans were completed ... the clouds parted and a rainbow appeared. Within minutes, it was lighter than it had been all day.
It was as if the Lord were speaking directly to me, "I love you, Rebecca, and I WILL do miracles for you."
I felt so strongly that we should cancel our plans that we had just killed ourselves over for the past hour. So we undid it all, and literally RACED to put together the Iron Rod. We were an hour late for starting, but it was absolutely the best part of camp. Only a handful of girls had done it before, and you could see their testimonies light up their eyes. Several confessed that it was the first time they had ever felt the spirit.
It was the turning point at camp. Despite the perfect weather, the first half of camp was bumpy. The spirit of camp just wasn't there yet. The girls were dragging, disobedient and disrespectful in general. Of course we still had some wonderful moments and activities, but in general I was frustrated, bewildered, and desperately praying for guidance. And then I got my miracle, even when I didn't ask for it.
The rest of camp was unforgettable. I have absolutely the best girls in the world. They just can't be beat. I love each one like a daughter. (Maybe that's why I only have sons - I already have enough daughters!)
It is the most wonderful feeling in all of God's kingdom to watch testimonies being born. And to be a part of it is even better.
I know that the Lord CAN to miracles, and that he WILL do them for US. He does is because he loves us. Of that I have no doubt.