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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

session ten: && what about it??

this session was strange in almost every way.

it was our last week as a team at ranch, with only 17 campers. and 8 counselors, that's almost a one-to-two ratio.

it was a hilarious final opening show, full of turning counselors into cookies and chasing actual deer. it was a scavenger hunt for bible study reveal, it was a crazy hail storm in august. it was story time with shnorlock, && spending lots of time in the snack shop.

it was laying out in the sun && finally finishing my book. it was silly skits && improv about spikeball, silly handshakes and dominoes. it was water fights in the dish pit && mario kart on a friday night.

it was waking up early and staying up late to say goodbye to friends who have become family. counselors who made me feel like a part of their team, including me in their joys, && inviting me into their hardships. each one of them made me feel known, and pushed me towards the throne. they all served with strength that was not their own, all firm in the understanding that it is the Holy Spirit in them that equips them for this work. they all sought out counsel from the Lord before any word was spoken, quick to pray && listen. they served with joyful hearts && set an example for their campers for what worshipping with your life looks like. i am so grateful for every single one of them for making this summer so transformative and silly goofy.

much like session 10 last summer, every camper was on dish every day, && i also changed it so that dish was only 25 mins before a meal. so while i didn't have as much time with them in the dining hall as i did with other sessions, the frequency was a game changer. they got to do bible study && have a pickleball tournament in town.

there were constant goodbyes, making it feel like we lost another one every day.

but there were also really funny moments alongside the hard ones. like doing silent disco outside and howling at the moon.

we finished out our 1 Peter study! in 1 Peter 5, where we talked about humility and how to do that properly. this scripture gave us instructions for what the internal posture of Christian leaders should be. that we should shepherd gladly && willingly, according to His will, work eagerly && serve as examples.

this week was the Davidic covenant! this covenant is a continuation of the previous ones, with a promise that there will be a descendant of David over God's people, that there would come a messiah in this lineage. the Lord works in us despite ourselves, building covenants on each other, still enacting His justice. just think! if David had gone to war like he was supposed to, he wouldn't have seen Bathsheeb! he greatly sinned bc he wasn't where he was supposed to be!

this week we did Barnabas letters, && if you don’t know what those are, i’m gonna give you a run down real quick. they are a form of encouragement and reflection && exhortation. everyone gets a sheet of printer paper and writes their own name on the top of it. then everyone passes their sheet to the person to their right and writes something, whether that is a story, or a prayer, or scripture, or just words of encouragement. && you rotate until everyone has written on everyones paper (a.k.a. you have your own paperback)

what a sweet moment it was, just taking intentional time as a team to pour into each other, pointing out scriptural truth we have seen in one another, && the spiritual gifts they are each using to benefit the kingdom!

zechariah! funny how he is known as the most cryptic author in the Bible, with the majority of his writing being that of visions. but what a beautiful thing that the name Zechariah literally means “the Lord remembers”! this prophet is one of restoration, a message of encouragement that He not only cares about the temple, but about His people’s lives. through these visions in ch 1-3, He makes solemn promises, exhorts His people to return to their land, and promises to use Israel as a channel of blessing.

off-time felt thrown together, but in the best way. it started as a small idea to go thrifting, and grew into sweet group of people that i normally don’t get to see that often just running errands together. we jammed in the car, singing along, laughing & telling stories, getting stuck in a construction zone.

we thrifted && found some much needed items, fashion shows in the aisles included. we went to target, talking through the book section, debating different home goods, picking out movie snacks, and sharing shopping tips. we got much needed chipotle and chick-fil-a, && had heart-to-hearts on the ride home. we ate our food while watching Harry Potter && got to have a night spent reflecting on the summer and writes encouraging notes for one another.

it was a final sunday morning routine. sleeping in, watching church, and saying goodbye to friends. the parable of the pharisee && the tax collector being brought to a new light, talking about the remedy for spiritual pride, and how prayer should be full of exaltation and not self-praise. a family time where we had silly conversation and hot dogs and cupcakes to celebrate healing. a lunch of silly faces, and hugs, && encouraging each other to power through this last week.

prayer requests would be for the finish line to be kind, to soak up our last moments here, && to remember whose we are!

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