Friday, August 11, 2006

Mission Field...Kid's Camp! Part 1

[This is Part One of a three part post. I felt like I needed to give a little background information in this post, for those who are not familiar with Spirit Wind. And, of course, I've added my own flavor to the story. If you've ever volunteered at kid's camp, you'll be able to identify with much of what I share.]
"...In perils of bee stings, in perils of sunburn, in perils of fevers, in perils of asthma attacks..."
2 Corinthians 11:26 [paraphrased by a camp nurse]

EVERYONE ought to volunteer at kid's camp, at least once! What an incredible opportunity to sow into the lives of what I call "The Church of Today." (I know, some people say that our kids are the church of tomorrow, but when we look at it that way, many times they take on a "tomorrow priority", as well.) Kid's camp is not for the faint at heart. You'd better be ready to go non-stop 24/7 for the 5-7 day duration of your tour of duty!

I had the honor and privilige to volunteer as camp nurse for
Spirit Wind Ministries Children's Camp this year. It was my third year with them. Years one and three with children's camp and year two with youth camp. Spirit Wind Ministries was founded by Gene and Judy Smith of Life Community Church in Christiansburg (formerly Christian Growth Center) after the Lord spoke a God-Sized Vision to Gene's Heart in 1983. The first Children's Camp was held in 1989, and since then God has done some truly miraculous things in and through Spirit Wind. We are all looking with expectation for the completion of their camp facilities in the next couple years!

My tour, this year, started at 10:00am on July 30th. This year and last, camp has been held out at Camp Tuk-A-Way off of HWY 460, south of Blacksburg. Pastor Ben, from Delaware, was the Kid's Minister. What a heart for serving God and ministering to kids! And high energy as well. I could tell from the initial Staff/Counselor meeting that we had a group of top-notch people. Everyone was excited and had a great expectation to see God move in the lives of the kids. The kids...they started showing up at around 3:00pm. They were from all over Virginia. Sixty-five 7-11 year-olds! Most of them wanted to be there, but there were a few who, admitedly, did not.

Now, I should have prefaced this post by saying, I'm not a pediatric nurse. In fact, I've always tended to shy away from peds. I hate to admit it, but they've always kind of scared me as a nurse. Their condition can change rapidly without any warning signs, and it's hard to get concrete answers when you're trying to assess them. "Can you describe the pain, honey?" "It hurts." "I know it hurts, but is it a sharp pain, a pressure, or a throbbing pain?" "It just hurts!" Yeah, well...God, you want me to be a Kid's Camp Nurse? Father God does have a sense of humour!

Back to my story (the names of the kids have been changed for confidentiality) ran from Sunday to Friday. Sunday was kind of a laid-back day for the you cabin-mates and counselors, enjoy the cookout, and so forth. As the nurse, however, you stay busy from the moment the kids arrive. Checking the Health Questionaires for allergies and medications is tops on the list. The sinking stomach when the parent hands you an Epi-pen and says that Junior's highly allergic to bee stings ("Lord, we're in the WOODS! There's LOTS of bees out here!") Or, "Sally will stop breathing within 10 minutes if she eats pecans." (But, God, we're 20 minutes from the hospital!)

Now, I know, you're probably thinking, "I thought you were a Word of Faith person! How can you think like that?!?" Fifteen-plus years in healthcare...I've seen it all. Now before you think too badly of me, let me say this...Just because those thoughts flashed across my mind, doesn't mean that that was where my faith or confession was. I would certainly never have given voice to those thoughts at the time. My faith, expectation, and confession were that no one would have any serious illnesses or injuries.
[Please join me for part 2 for a look at some of the awesome things God did during my week at camp.]

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