To be fair, I did spend most of July working at a youth/kids camp (I guess I'm not going to be making a "real" post about that like I have been meaning to...).
- - - - - - - - - - - -
There were parts of the first week (aka. teen retreat) that made me want to either cry in the corner or punch something. It was nicht so gut*. Not to be all "poor me", but there was one of the girls (there were only three) who HATED me. Or did she like me... some days we were fine (normal haha moments and a couple serious ones), some days she would be completely cold to me (as soon as I would approach her, she would get a rigid body posture, stare at a distance roughly 5 feet away from me, and only say something to the effect of "talk to me and I'm leaving" or say absolutely nothing at all). It was maddening never knowing which persona I would be dealing with!
And whatever! I'm a big girl! Though she was the point that broke me every time, her attitude was not the problem. The problem that had me running to yell at God was feeling USELESS. This group was a mess at the beginning of the week: bullying, exclusiveness, wordly attitudes... I instantly felt the need being cried out in every interaction these teens had with each other; they needed a strong leader! Or ANY leader period. I AM CALLED TO BE A YOUTH LEADER!!! It was torture to know the need, but at the same time know that I could do nothing to fill it! These kids had known me for all of a day, and weren't interested in acknowledging that I even existed. If I'd stuck around for another month (or years), I knew I could have an impact, but it was a very frustrating experience to learn that I am not a short-term-relationship type of leader. I NEED months/years to do my thing.
And so, here I am in the very first week of three weeks at this camp, learning that I feel useless when I only get to spend 5 days with those I'm leading. ...Can't you just feel my excitement to do the rest of the weeks?
I was pretty upset with God for bringing me so far** to do, what felt like, nothing.
This side trip is getting really long...
Needless to say, I finished that first week feeling really tired. But I found myself really grateful for the Youth Group that God has given me to lead.
The other two weeks (aka. kids camp and pre-teen camp) went significantly better! Though not exactly sunshine and rainbows, it was a lot more of what I had prepared myself for. I even found myself managing to form a couple of relationships with the campers! Yay :)
All this to say, I'm torn about how I feel about camp as a ministry. I've heard stories of how effective camp ministry can be, so I'm not saying that it isn't. I am just kind of left feeling like, maybe, it's not MY ministry.
My strength is in long-term ministry.
That being said, if God wants me to go back, I will. In a heartbeat. I know he can use even my pathetic attempts at short-term ministry if he wants to. And if I see some of the kids again, it's almost more like a long-term thing, no?
*Sorry, my family is german and though I can't speak fluently AT ALL, I do use a smattering of phrases without thinking. nicht so gut=not so good.
**Oh yeah, it was 2 provinces over.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Okay, where was I...? Oh yeah! So I got back from camp and almost immediately moved to a new house, so I haven't had time to post. Sorry.
You know what? This post has already been really long, I'll just end it here and make a new post about what I was actually wanting to talk about.