|The Gazebo where we all start and end our programs for the day.|
September 1st - May 31st each year.
|Children filling the Gazebo and listening, singing, participating, learning...|
|Girls share a Choral Reading of our scripture for the day.|
This year the camp also included children from vulnerable families who qualified for a free camp experience. Those sixty children arrived on August 1st and would spend the month there before returning home.
|These girls await the moment they'll take the stage in the drama they'll be sharing with the group.|
|The youngest girls claim a spot on the steps to the pool.|
Following the large group singing and sharing, children head off to a small group time with a team member or two plus a translator for the Bible lesson for the day. Groups meet wherever there is a bit of space to create an outdoor classroom feel.
Following the small group lesson times, the children participate in small group activities...
|Knot tying which even the girls enjoyed...|
|Archery was a greatly enjoyed activity...|
|Diane with Irina and Anna to translate|
|These will be the angels who sing "Gloria" for the Christmas story.|
Friday would be our last day at camp and our Bible story would be the birth of Jesus. Diane and I had decided to have the children do a drama of the whole story. Thursday we would have to prepare and rehearse all the children who would participate. Diane decided the girls ages 10-12 could be the angels and sing the song the angels may have sung to announce Jesus' birth. Certainly the children would know a Christmas song like that! But alas, they didn't and the Christmas songs they knew were not the Christmas songs we knew. So creative Diane, exclaimed, "we'll just make up a song they can sing." With that she began to sing in her lovely soprano voice, "Glooooria, Gloooooria, Gloooooria..." and with each time she sang "Gloria", she sang higher and with a beautiful melody. After a few times through as a solo, she engaged the girls who began to softly sing the song. Over and over again Diane and the girls sang this angelic praise to God - each time with voices getting stronger and stronger.
|"Let's compose and learn a song which the angels might have sung the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem!!!"|
|Joseph & Mary getting into costumes|
We would have Mary and Joseph, Baby Jesus, shepherds, angels and wise men.
|Angels robed in white as they sing "Gloria" to the shepherds.|
|Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Wisemen worshiping and Little girl who wanted a "front row" view.|
|The whole cast would take a bow after their stellar performance.|
But there's more to be told about something that happened during the rehearsal for the angels. Diane was handling the girls who were learning to sing the "Gloria" song so I stepped away from her and the group of girls. I was standing in the gazebo, observing Diane and her singers when a stranger walked into the gazebo, came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Gloria." And I immediately replied, "Hi, I'm Linda." With that introduction, we began a conversation which I'll tell more about in my next blog post.