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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

session ten: how is it almost over?

Updated: Aug 15, 2022


the last full week of campers, and there were only 30 of them. an entire camp and dining hall for 30 15-year-old campers, their counselors, and their leadership.

even though i have been through it before, it is still strange to watch a program & team & an environment that you built up and nurtured, slowly end. the fact that i have worked my last meal in my dining hall is one that i do not like to think about.

but bc this session was so small, every single camper was on dish every day. so i got to know these kids, their senses of humor, their work ethics, and their joy. i usually had 13 cabins that rotated through the dish schedule, so it was harder to remember every camper's name.

but this week, having six cabins, i really knew those kids. (it helped that one of them was back for the third time this summer) and bc they did dish so much, they knew what they were doing and got better every day. it was a beautiful picture of growth and servanthood to watch the campers learn and grow like that.

this was also my last week with one of my best friend's at camp. we worked together last summer, and it was also his fourth summer working for Sky. so it being his last week ever was emotional. it was hard to watch someone who has become a fixture of camp have to say goodbye to it. i don't think i have ever hugged a single person as much as i did with him in this last week alone. he was my go-to hug this summer, a sounding board, and one of my favorite laughs.

with everyone leaving, my cabin, which started out with 8 people, is now down to 3. three girls in a cabin made for 12. and while it does feel spacious, it feels empty. it feels quiet and dark and no longer the lively hangout space it once was.

this week was Philippians 2:17-18 (the last two verses of the passage we memorized!!)

"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."

now these verses were so evident. as summer is coming to a close, it is easy to become tired and to check out. but we have so clearly come to a point where our reliance on the Lord is so obvious. that the team around me and the programs i get to work with have so completely poured themselves out for the sake of the gospel, that the only reason they are able to continue serving in the way they have been is bc the Lord is sustaining them.

going on our 13th week here, they are so joyful and they eagerly rejoice with each other in a way that is a testament to the Lord's sweetness & providence. they celebrate the little victories, like beating the dish record, and the big victories, like campers making the decision to give their life to Christ (!!!)

off time was restful in a different way this week. we went to denver and it was like a crossover episode again. we stayed with my sister & ate at Chelsea & I's favorite restaurant & went to target & played games & ate really good breakfast food. it was a time that wasn't firmly planned, but we decided what we were up for. i got to reunite with friends i had made the last time i visited, and watch as Chelsea did the same. i got to witness the most genuine full-body laughter out of my favorite person, laughter that i know he so badly needed.

prayers for this week would be for eyes to remain on the throne, for grace & understanding to be offered in abundance, & a strong finish.

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