Castaway 2015

Oh boy, what a quiet almost month here at I took on an extra job in June and laid down my “pen”.

The job was to serve as a temporary camp administrator for Park Hill/Park Hill South Young Life. My goal: to get 25 high school kids and 5 adult volunteer leaders to Castaway for a week of camp, June 28-July 4th.

Details, phone calls, data entry, invitations extended, decisions made, and bags packed…all came together for the culmination of expectations and experience when they arrived last week. I came to Castaway with my kids three days before to start my three week assignment serving as a Head Leader.

(Our own family journey to get here involved a freak van breakdown and unfortunate 2 year old-ism by Oaks that landed my phone in a pool. Alas, we came, traveling safely, meeting our nanny Dana, and now live in full swing with the other assigned team families!)

Along with the Park Hill kids last week, St. Joseph and Savannah, MO high school were here with kids and leaders. My Young Life journey is 13 years long now and it started in Savannah. When I sat in the club room and heard kids stand up to share the impact of their week on their relationship with Jesus, or acceptance of God’s love, I felt like the luckiest person in the room. I was getting to see what God is doing and who God is wooing in places that mean so much to me. So many students were genuinely transformed to hear they are loved and longed for, held and called forward, healed and set free.

They all went home on the 4th of July and we got to have a party on the beach as a staff. Eli sat in the lifeguard chair with Connor to watch the fireworks, Andi and I went paddle boarding (Oaks sat at my feet) and got stuck in the seaweed- we overcame as the sunset. The weather has been beautiful and the love of a community in a place of beauty has indeed set us free to lived loved.

Eli, Andi, and Oaks are comfortable here and love every nook and cranny. Because they are loved, they are brave and bold. They push themselves to try new things and are friendly to all. Everyone loves Oaks so much he is never left alone. He dances to every song, asks people what their name is and responds by saying he is Oakley and he is 2 and 1/2.  He’s handling the love and attention well but needs a social break sometimes!

 Dana our nanny is wonderfully patient and deeply invested in my kids and the whole Castaway experience. She is a gift!IMG_4946 IMG_4934 (1) IMG_4931 IMG_4930 IMG_4917 IMG_4906 (1) IMG_4915 (1) IMG_4976 IMG_4952 IMG_4968
My job as Head Leader involves caring for leaders who come each week, facilitating the morning event of Real Life (a testimony time mostly), and many more details and small tasks. Last night I talked to a leader about kids who came with ok’s from their probation officers, then helped unclog a toilet and then found an extension cord for another leader- all in the 10 minutes after dinner. You never know what the day will hold but I have a good team and we are praying!
There’s no place I’d rather be…but am very ready for Drew to join us this Friday!

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