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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

session eleven: ball help

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

session eleven is always a weird way to end the summer.

my camp ends on monday night, && that is the start of the week for everyone else. its a strange feeling to be winding down when everyone else was just gearing up.

its a week of uncertainty and floating. of a team being broken up and moved around. there was a lot of room to reflect. after a summer of almost consistently being surrounded by people, there was a lot of alone time. i spent two days deep cleaning my dining hall, scrubbing carpets & windows, sweeping the pantry & porch, && throwing out bad food. i chased out jeffrey, our neighborhood chipmunk, dealt with power outages mid-vacuuming, and no water due to septic work.

but this time allowed me to look back on the summer, write goodbye letters, listen to sermons, and pray over all of those who had already headed home for their next season. a time for reverential awe of the Lord, responding to His kindness in worship.

yet alongside all of that quiet, there was abounding laughter. since i was on shutdown duty, i got to float around. helping with odd jobs && just be an extra set of hands. my days were full of time spent with our activities team and retail team. i got to have some of my favorite conversations of the summer, see places on camp that i hadn't yet ventured to somehow in my three summers on that mountainside.

i finally got to join family camp counselor friends for morning coffee in town, three mornings in a row. i got to say goodbye to a dear friend as she headed to AZ for school, do bible study with a girl i so adore, and have a car ride with her just to verbally process this summer together. and i got to join (what felt like all of camp) && spend our last morning we could be there together, laughing && just enjoying the environment & community that sweet little coffeehouse cultivates.

while yes, this week is always weird, it somehow allows me to ease into leaving. bc i have spent the last month of camp saying goodbyes, the last night isn't so sad. the Lord answered my prayers for goodbyes to be made joyful, bc what a joy it is to have something to miss!

this week was the Messianic covenant! this is the final one. this covenant is one that is the end all be all, the ultimate hope and the promise of salvation. it is the covenant that was foretold many times over in the old testament, the story of the coming Messiah, the One who would save us all. it is the promise made between the Angel of the Lord and Elizabeth, telling her that her miracle of a son would lead the path for the Savior. it is the promise made between the Angel of the Lord and Mary, promising that she would miraculously bear a child who was the Son of God. how encouraging that the Lord chose these women to bear the promise of the world in their wombs!

zechariah! this week we were reading chapters 4-6, diving into more visions, five more to be exact. ones that speak of issues of purity, of prosperity & peace, His authority over evil, hostile agents of judgement, and prophesies the crowning of King-Priest Jesus. we learned that God's spirit is only at rest when His enemies & the enemies of His people are judged. that when satan accuses, Christ pleads. talks a lot of the coming Messiah, calling Him the Branch (much like John 15!), the perfection & fullness of wisdom of the Messiah, and the peace that His reign will bring. so set your eyes on the Messiah! (which so perfectly aligns with our motto for this summer: eyes up)

off-time didn't exist this week. it was a saturday full of cleaning. of wiping down mattresses && scrubbing bathrooms. of getting hair out of drains && folding bedding, cleaning windows, sweeping porches, and packing up every trace of us living in that sweet house.

a final night to dress up && eat good food. to sit in this sweet community && soak up the true significance of living in biblical unity on the side of a mountain for three months. a final message encouraging us as we go home and face worldly temptations and frustrations, how we are to respond to trials and tribulations && the purpose for them. a room of tearful goodbyes && a whole lot of see ya laters.

it was a final sunday morning on camp. of moving all of my things out onto the porch, being able to sit && watch church with a view that i have come to cherish. a message about what Christ accomplished with His death, burial, && resurrection. it was enjoying the weather of my mountain summer home, hearing sounds of friends packing up their cars and leaving, laughter carrying through the trees.

it was an old friend picking me up, && a drive home that was just what we needed. to decompress && process, to laugh && listen to funny songs, && to just sit and watch as the scenery (and temperature) changed as we drove.

praise the Lord for the opportunity that this summer was! thank You Jesus for refinement && being entrusted with the trials. thank You for answered prayers, that goodbyes were joyful, and that the finish line was kind!

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