Monday night at Rally (right after sending our last update) we found out Ecuador Bike won Miss Piggy yet again….plus the OC, Brainstorming, and Run from the Devil, all in one day! But…right on “schedule”, we came in last again on Tuesday, then first on Wednesday! Jeremy said, “It’s our pattern!” to which a leader said, “The pattern stops now–in first place!” 😉 For Miss Piggy bathroom duty, the team divides and conquers, and one group goes to clean the bathrooms by the nurses station. Rachel was cleaning the girls bathroom solo (yet with her usual smile and good attitude) until the boys were reminded that they were allowed to go in the girls bathroom when it’s for cleaning! Apparently Elijah’s bathroom training has “stuck”, because he kept noticing areas that still needed work in the bathroom his group was responsible for, then took the initiative to finish it. Everyone worked with (mostly) great attitudes, and the bathrooms really did look good! Yesterday we switched tent mates around, which means every single tent got emptied, swept, and re-organized. The kids also moved all the chairs out of our section of the Big Top and swept the floor. (Faith, Alex, and Travis are sweeping maniacs!) So hopefully, our “pattern” really will be broken and we’ll finish in the top two for the rest of BC!
Yesterday was our last day running the OC. Some are excited, some bummed, but we’re all relieved at the thought of no more wet boots! Every team member got over the Wall at least once this week, even those who were *sure* they couldn’t do it. Our highest number over the wall in one day was 15! Today, instead of the OC, we worked on a giant World Map. We had 10 minutes to put as many countries in the correct spot on the map as we could. (To give you an idea of what I mean by “giant”, many of the pieces took two people to carry.) At Rally tonight we’ll find out how we did.
Since Monday, our classes have included: Carpentry, Digging and Concrete, Painting, Personal Evangelism, Puppets, Bible, Thankfulness, and Peer Pressure. The kids individual personalities are coming through more and more. Abraham got called up during one rally to “model” the Armor of God (including a motorcycle helmet as his “helmet of salvation” and an apron for his “breastplate of righteousness”.) We saw a side of him we didn’t know was there as he hammed it up on stage!
For as many boys as we have, interpersonal conflicts have been amazingly very few and far between. The kids seem to really like each other. The five girls are getting along well (which is especially important for the three who share one tent!). Some kids are still adjusting to having new authority figures to listen to, but they respond well to SBs or even just a five-minute sit out of the pool.
Tonight will be the last rally in our Preteen Big Top, then we join the teens for the last two nights. Elijah, Payton, and Rachel led Ecuador in a fun cheer last night (about Miss Piggy) that the kids have asked to do again when we’re under the *big* Big Top with the teens. You’ll be able to watch a live-stream of the combined rallies by following the link on Teen Missions’ homepage.
Things are winding down now and everyone is getting excited that there really is a light at the end of the BC tunnel! They are finishing up the last of their training classes today, then this afternoon we get to swim in the pool, followed by almost two whole hours to do laundry. That’s a big gift, especially right before traveling! Friday all the teams will help take down Boot Camp in the morning, then start “Pack Out” in the afternoon, continuing to Saturday….followed by Commissioning!!! We are getting so excited!!! Our next report will be from Ecuador! Blessings….Celeste Kraft
“Classes are great and are fun…the OC, not so much! Fall in the slough and you’re wet all day!” ~Kym
“I thank the Lord for a good team and a non-leaky tent. Thanks, family and friends for supporting and praying for me. I have gotten used to the busy schedule as well as the insanely humid weather that is making everyone stink. I’ve taken two bucket baths and I can’t wait to see your reaction when you smell me when I come back to California! I miss you all so much and I love you!” ~Faith
“I love learning music that helps others–and I also love the food!” ~Rachel
“I’m learning to love the Lord better. There’s good food here. I can sleep better. One thing I need to work on is not taking other people’s pillows. I took Seth’s pillow in my sleep, and last night took Alex’s pillow. I have good tentmates! I like it more without air conditioning. With AC in the car, I get too cold and ask to shut it off, but with the wind, I don’t have to. (Do you like sleeping in a tent?) Not so much. It’s harder to find things like my socks.” ~ Travis
“I’m learning some valuable lessons in life. Every single class and sermon is helpful, especially one of the classes that taught me I can do all things through Christ. I don’t have to only rely on my parents.” ~ Dean
“I’ve learned how to organize my tent. I like when my leaders bring us food from their cooking class.” ~Isaac
“I learned to appreciate showers and washing machines. I never really thought about washing machines before; they’re just there. And refrigerators…being able to open it up and get something whenever I want!” ~ Berea
“I’ve learned that you have to put rocks in cement. Also, God can provide… if you’re homesick, just don’t think about it…and that you make a lot of friends here.” ~ Parker
“My favorite classes were the Tabernacle Tour, Bible with Mrs. Maher in the mornings, and Puppets.” ~Elijah
“I’m learning that God puts you through more tests than I thought. Oh yeah…lots of tests.” ~ Darin