It seems every time I write one of these, I am reminded how fast time goes! Just yesterday I was looking in my calendar, thinking it was March.
July means “summer” and, for me, “summer” means “Sumatanga.” I have been doing some kind of volunteer work at our United Methodist camp since 1980 (talk about time flying!). From being a counselor as a high school student, a staff member while I was college, and an Elementary Camp Director as an adult, I have served in over 50 weeks of camp. Why?
Now, as the oldest person there (literally!), I hike, I play, my knees hurt, my back hurts, I sweat – why? Because every week I see children and teenagers made into lifelong disciples! The people I work with were campers when I started. My Co-director was a counselor during my first years on staff. Every summer I see parents bring their kids back to the place where they met Jesus. These parents want their children to begin the lifelong road to discipleship.
At Sumatanga, we have a saying (well, maybe I’m the only dinosaur that still says it), “Fun, safe, and holy.” It’s the best description I have ever heard for what we do. We have fun, keep kids safe, and show them Jesus’ love!
I’ll do this until I die! And sometimes, when it’s 100 degrees, and I’m on my 15,000th step for the day, I think, “this just might be the year!” Then a kid or counselor says or does something that reminds me why I do all the sweating, hurting, laughing, and loving.