Posted by Christine Szekeres in Interns on March 26, 2015
About three and a half years ago I found a place that changed my life, a place that has helped to shape me into who I am today. The people there redefined my view of Christianity and taught me about who Christ is and what his love is capable of. The place I’m talking about is the high school I attended during my sophomore and junior years. I was blessed to be poured into on a daily basis by the teachers, coaches, and the rest of the staff. During that time I was going through a lot at home and it was a time that now when I look back on it I can see just how much of a blessing that school was for me. That school is where I started to make my faith my own.
Turn the page, and I am in a different place in nearly every sense of the word. So much has happened, so much has changed, but I haven’t forgotten the place I found years ago. No longer a high school student, I am currently interning at a new place. This place has also changed my life, and this place even now as I’m writing this is constantly helping to shape me, helping me to grow in Christ teaching me how to live a life glorifying to him. This place is SAMBICA, and it too came into my life at a pivotal moment. God brought SAMBICA into my life when I was struggling to remember what I had learned just a year prior, when I had just finished teetering on the edge of holding on or letting go of my faith. A fire had been lit and what I needed at that moment was a chance to share that light with as many people as possible. I needed to pour out and I needed to be poured into, I needed a family in Christ. I needed SAMBICA.
Since becoming an intern at SAMBICA I have been blessed with a multitude of opportunities to work with youth of all ages, to laugh with them, to teach them, to listen to them, to be a light to them. It has been amazing to see God work through all of the people here at camp and to watch as little sparks begin to appear. One of the ways that I have been able work with the youth is by going on school visits. There are a few visits in particular that I know I won’t soon forget.
A little over a month ago Coach (Matt Wimmer), West Beach (Gerald Bouknight), and I had the privilege of visiting The Bear Creek School for their first ever volunteer service fair. We went there to tell the students and their families about different ways they could volunteer their time to help out at SAMBICA. What was really special about it was that at the same time we were able to talk with them about our mission and vision and explain the purpose behind what we do at camp and how in there volunteering they would be able to help us to do that as well. One of the other awesome things that I was able to do is reconnect with some of our campers from the previous summer. Gerald and I got to sit in on a camper’s choir rehearsal and I was able to help one of our campers revise a personal narrative in their English class!
During this same school visit I remember walking down the hall and seeing it lined with student art. They had recently done a project where they used words written in different fonts and sizes to create images. One that caught my eye was a silhouette of a girl all by herself, the student had used words like, “sad, alone, listen, and fear,” to create the image. However what was even more powerful than this picture was what was written on the piece of paper that hung next to it. On it the student had re wrote those words but in between each row of them she had written 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” As we left Bear Creek I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic as I recalled that place I found a little over three years ago.
Fairly soon after our visit to Bear Creek, Coach, West Beach, and I had the privilege of visiting Seattle Christian for their high school chapel service. As soon as I learned about our upcoming trip I couldn’t help but feel extremely excited. This visit was unlike the previous one as this time coach was to be the speaker at their weekly chapel service. Coach spoke to the students about how God’s love NEVER fails and I couldn’t help but feel emotional as I looked around the full multipurpose room as students listened intently, laughing at the right time and nodding their heads at different things. It was a familiar and beautiful sight to see. My heart felt full as a thought occurred to me, these students had found a place.
Towards the end of Coach’s talk Gerald asked the students to write down on a note card something that they needed prayer for so that we as a team back at SAMBICA could lift them up in prayer. After the students were done him and I went around and collected the folded notes. Later that week we shared the notes with the rest of our team, we read the prayer requests out loud and then one by one we prayed for those students and students everywhere. Afterwards I realized something else, these kids were going through a lot just like I had been during that stage in my life, and God with a love stronger than we can comprehend had blessed them in a similar way by providing for them an avenue to be poured into. During that chapel service I realized I had somehow come full circle. God has blessed me once again by giving me this opportunity and others like it to bless others as I have been blessed.
Written by Mackenzie “Bingo” Davis
Posted by Christine Szekeres in Elementary Events on March 9, 2015
A few weeks ago SAMBICA held the first ever Mid-Winter Break Camp! It was an amazing week full of the laughter and joy of kids. Here are a few collected stories from the week:
Yummy! Our kitchen crew did a great job of making tasty deserts each day for lunch. Not only were they delicious, they were also very creative! With a theme of “Under Construction” for the week, the kitchen team created deserts that had each camper anxiously awaiting desert after each lunch.
First S’more! With all the beautiful sunny and dry weather, we were able have a campfire one day and build s’mores! We had one little camper who had never had a s’more before due to a food allergy. Our team wanted to give her the opportunity to taste that gooey goodness for the first time so our chef searched for a cookie that this camper could eat. As she built her first s’more with all of her friends watching her smile the “chocolate and marshmallow grin” was the best moment all week!
Daddy! Nate, one of our interns and a counselor this past summer, loves working with kids throughout the year. He had an amazing experience this past week that the campers might never have known about. At one point the campers started cheering, “Nate is a daddy, Nate is a daddy”. Wait, he’s not a dad! But in the moment, he felt the most precious gift of responsibility of taking care of these campers. He may not be ready to be a dad yet, but what training he is receiving by taking care of these little ones.
Everything! On Thursday, we had two campers that were able to join for just one day. They had never been to camp before and were in awe of all that was happening. Neither of them were shy and they jumped right into the action! Abe asked one of the campers what her favorite part of camp had been that day and this little girl had to think for a long minute. What is she going to say? She slowly turned to Abe, looking up with a huge smile says, “Everything.” Ok, no really if you had to pick one thing what would you pick? “Everything”.
Written by Liz “Happy Feet” Pearse