Hello from sunny and hot Boot Camp! We want to share with you “A day in the life of the Ecuador team”.
At 5:30 A.M., our leader, Leah, wakes us up every morning. We only have a few minutes to get our boots on and get out to our seating area for count off. Each team member has a number, and we say them in order as fast as possible as a way of taking attendance quickly. Once we count off, we go check each other’s tents and clothes lines to make sure everything is neat and clean. Then we head to the restroom.
At 6:00, we meet in the center of Boot Camp with all the other teams for Rapture Report. Every team lines up, and a Teen Missions staff member shares a little news and weather with us. Lately, he’s been keeping us posted on the World Cup results, which our boys love!
After Rapture Report, we run the Obstacle Course (OC). We are working hard on communication, working together, and encouraging each other through this tough OC! On Saturday, Gabriella and Santiago went over the Wall for the first time!
After the OC, we get breakfast – probably our team’s favorite time of day, next to lunch and dinner, of course! 🙂 We are LOVING the amazing food here at Boot Camp; our kitchen volunteers are doing a great job! After breakfast, we have personal devotions (“devos”) for 30 minutes, which is everyone’s time of reading God’s Word and praying. Caden is writing out and studying the genealogy of Jesus, and looking up each of the names. He’s fascinated by their stories!
After devos, we have two Bible classes back to back. They cover topics like maturity, attitudes, and God’s Will. Then we get to go to construction classes! We’re taking classes on digging, block laying, carpentry, steel tying, laying out a building, building trusses, and drip irrigation. We get block laying every day, and the others rotate so we are ready for anything in Ecuador!
After two hours of construction classes, we get lunch, and then Brainstorming! Every day, our team is presented with a prompt, and they brainstorm great ideas based on that topic. We’ve won Brainstorming twice, so I’d say we have some creative, smart thinkers on this team! On Friday, our team designed an app to help team members continue personal devotions when they get home. It involved the app locking your phone for 30 minutes while the Bible app opened up to wherever you were reading the day before, among other details. It was a great design, with well thought out details, and we leaders were super proud of them! Earlier this week, the team won Brainstorming for designing a coffee club to help share their faith at school. They have amazing ideas!!
After Brainstorming, we get free time. We’ve gotten to swim in the pool several times for winning Brainstorming and the Cleanliness Award, so today I (Leah) jokingly started calling them the Ecuador swim team! Gabriella is enjoying beating all the boys in swimming races, and Caleb, Michael, and Caden spend most of their time jumping in, getting out, and doing cannon balls over and over. Today, several team members made it their mission to teach sweet Lilia to swim, and they all had so much fun doing it!
After free time, we get bath and laundry time. Kristen is such a champ at doing laundry in a bucket, and Chloe is always the first to volunteer to help someone else wring out their clothes (it’s a team event!).
After bath and laundry time, we get Music class. I (Leah) have been leading the class, but I’ve lost my voice, so our team really stepped up on Saturday and led each other in music. Santiago taught us how to introduce ourselves in Spanish, and he’s helping us work on pronunciation. Sweet Sophia loves to giggle with the two team mates standing on either side of her, so it’s safe to say she’s enjoying music class. 🙂 Joe and Caleb LOVE to sing, and they’ve been known to be a little sad when music class is over.
After music class, we head out to Puppet class – a recent change, since we got to have a Drama class for five days this past week! Isaac is AMAZING at drama – we can hardly take our eyes off him when he’s acting! Wow! Now we get to learn all about using puppets as a ministry tool, and we have a feeling that Sam and Dexter will put their sweet, quiet personalities to great use with puppets.
After puppets, we get dinner. Trevor is always the first to volunteer to get water to wash hands, and we are so encouraged by his hard work and love of serving his team. Dominique and Isaiah are usually the first to hop up for seconds at dinner, though Johnny and Luke aren’t far behind!
After dinner, our team members get a little extra free time to write letters, memorize their daily Scripture passage (yes, a new one every day! They’re doing so well with it!), and hang out with their friends on other teams. Then we go to Rally! Rally takes place under the Big Top, and we do cheers, worship, find out who won the OC, Brainstorming, and the Cleanliness Award, hear about the work Teen Missions is doing around the world, and hear from great speakers both on staff with Teen Missions and guest speakers as well. We leaders are so encouraged by your children’s tender hearts and desire to follow Christ in whatever He speaks to them each night.
After Rally, we have a little time to prepare for the following day, and then it’s Lights Out. We are working hard during the day to keep everyone hydrated and feeling well – pray for good health, quality sleep, love for each other, and NO RAIN!! Don’t forget to write to your sweet kiddos – they are LOVING the mail you send!! Thank you to all who are sending letters!! You should see how their faces light up when we call their names for mail!! Thank you for your prayers and your support!!
“Boot Camp is a lot harder than I thought, but it is fun.” – Sophia I.
“Boot Camp is definitely not what I expected. There are equal parts good and stressful. However, once I got into the rhythm of things, it was much easier. The night Rallies here are my favorite. I can sing all I want and my team supports me. The message every night is something that touches me or touches on my life. I’ve learned to be thankful for so many things I would never have thought to be thankful for before.” – Kristin L.