As I write this update, we are enjoying Independence Day. Well, all of us except Beth, our Canadian leader. (Don’t worry; she had a great Canada Day on July 1st!). Our celebrations began early this morning with excited calls of Happy July 4th at 5:30 Rise and Shine and a huge amount of firecrackers at Rapture Report at 6:00.
Most of our days here at Boot Camp follow a similar sort of schedule. After Rapture Report, we’re off to the Obstacle Course. We’re getting better and better at working together as a team and learning to help and encourage each other. As soon as we finish, we’re eating breakfast quickly. We can always count on Enoch to volunteer to get handwashing water for us, but we try to take turns so that’s it’s not always the same person. During mealtimes, JennaFaye and Landon will usually find some interesting topic of conversation or game or other way to entertain the team.
Suddenly after breakfast, all of Boot Camp is quiet while we stop and have personal devotions. Next we go to two Bible classes. This week Teen Missions Director, Mr. Bland, has been teaching us about maturity. We’ve also really enjoyed hearing about the truth of the Bible from Dino Pastor Paul Veit.
After Bible classes, our team either enjoys free time or works off some Special Blessing Training. Confession time: we’ve had a couple of SBs lately from disqualifying on the Obstacle Course. It’s helping us learn to pay attention to rules and instructions, though!
Next is bath and laundry time. Our former team members Kenzie, Hannah, and Rachel are usually the first ones done their bath and cleaning their clothes because they have more experience. The rest of us are quickly learning the routine, too, and we’ll all be speedy soon.
Lunch time can’t come quickly enough as our stomachs start to rumble. We often use line up orders at meals so that different people get chances being first in the food line. Savannah and Cortnee have come up with some of our most original ones so far.
Once lunch is finished, we stay at our eating site for brainstorming. Mr. Ryan, our brainstorming leader, says everyone is starting to participate and come out of their shells. Even quieter team members like Charis are now participating.
Music class is a team favourite. Nana has amazed the team with his wonderful and distinct singing voice and his love of harmony.
Drama class is next. We’ve learned three different dramas to take to the field and use when presenting the gospel. Although our whole team is full of excellent, committed actors, Owen is a particular standout. In fact, Ms. Michelle, drama teacher, told him he was the best demon actor at Boot Camp! And she hopes he only behaves that way in drama class. (Don’t worry – otherwise he’s an angel!).
We’re actually finished with drama classes now, and we’ll be starting puppets today. Who will be a standout at puppet class, I wonder?!
Blocklaying is filled with lots of practice to hone our skills. We don’t know how much blocklaying we’ll be doing on the Bible Missionary and Work school at the Kilimanjaro base, but we want to be ready. Jake, Ryan, and Victor are really quick learners here and honing their skills well.
One last class (are you tired yet?) – a rotation of different construction skills: digging, layout, carpentry, concrete, trusses… We will be ready for whatever work we find in Tanzania!
Supper and a little free time are enjoyable, but they go by really quickly. Then we’re off to the rally to worship and hear from God’s Word. By the end of each long day, we crawl into tents at 9:30 and it’s lights out. We’re ready to sleep and prepare for the next day!
God is still teaching us a lot. Here’s what some team members have to say:
I’m having an awesome experience at Boot Camp and am really learning to appreciate showers and houses. God has been growing us closer as a team and I know he is going t do great things through us this summer. Miss and love all of you at home! –Caleb W
God has blessed me in many ways. He has definitely humbled me, from the heat to bathing in buckets. He has made me appreciate the little things, like a clean t-shirt. He has also allowed me to open up and develop many friendships on my team. I couldn’t ask for anything better than this group. God has been doing amazing things through this whole week! –Alex
During this first week of Boot Camp, the Lord has been teaching me through devotions and speakers to rely on Him. He’s been showing me that even when I’m not strong enough to keep going, He will carry me. He has also given me the courage to do His will and persevere through difficult situations. –Ana
Thanks for all your prayers, friends, family, and prayer partners. Please keep on praying for us!