By GiGi, Summer Intern at Flemingdon Park
"With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." - 2 Peter 3:8
One thing we determined as a team during training was to be intentional with our kids and cherish the time we have with them. We all expressed that we did not want the summer to just fly past us without having grasped it tightly. This resonates with the little perfectionist in me and my fixation on time.
In the beginning of camp, I was really anxious about the programs that I had to lead and worried about whether my heart was prepared for the kids. Over the weeks, one important lesson I learned is to not worry. For worrying really drains my energy and hinders me from engaging with the kids. I realized my recurring pattern of worrying when I have not spent enough time on devotions or planning small group discussions or praying for our campers. I know half of these thoughts motivate me to devote more time to fellowship with God, but half of it is also excessive anxiety. Even during program time, I would feel uneasy because I want to be everywhere at once. I could not decide on who I should give attention to, or who I should try to know deeper. I pray that I learn to be present with the kids, to have peace wherever I am, and to be faithful to whatever opportunities God gives me at that moment.
Although there is so much we wish to build up in our kids’ characters, we cannot expect an immediate change. I came to realize that teaching children is a long and slow process. This reminds me of how our God is a long-suffering God. Although we reason with them, we incentivize them and give them serious talks; it is just part of their developmental stage that they are inclined to repeat the same old behaviour again and again. It is a challenge for me to stop thinking from an egotistic perspective on what I can do for the kids, but to go back to reflecting on who God is. God is sovereign, and he reveals himself according to his time. As humble servants, we should think about ourselves less and think about the God that we are serving more. It is easy to feel frustrated when kids repeatedly do not listen or to see so many things I could have done better as a leader. But we also testify to God’s long-suffering love when we are patient in our teachings and steadfast in our love for the kids. I pray that I can be present with the kids at the stage they are in and have faith in God to bring our good works to completion. I also hope to rejoice in their positive traits more instead of mulling over areas that they need growth. For we can plant and water but only God gives growth. I pray that God would let this head-knowledge sink deeper and really reach my heart.
I can rejoice in the times that God grants our small group with meaningful conversations. We discussed what we know about God and how he has worked in our lives. I have seen girls in my small group growing to be more kind to each other. I can rejoice in how God has repeatedly revealed himself to me through team devotions and my preparations for Bible time. I can rejoice in the smiles that I see on the kids’ faces ever so often and their little acts of kindness towards one another. I can rejoice in how the kids have grown to take more responsibilities and to help the leaders. These are all little things that God blesses us with daily.
During one of my anxious moments, I was reminded of Matthews 6:30-33: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Verse 33 is coincidentally also the memory verse for big group Bible time. I am amazed to see how God makes what I teach so much more relevant to me. Moving forward, may I frequently give thanks to God, and let the desire for spiritual growth be a hope for me rather than a burden.
It is GiGi's first time serving as a summer intern at Flemingdon Park. She is passionate about children and hopes to show them Christ's love.