capernaum: take one

so much has happened in the past three days that i don’t know where to begin.

DAY ONE: arrivals

we started the day out with lunch and an all camp meeting. here is a picture of andrew, the speaker, on the stage in the marina (our club room). for all you visual people out there. speaking the gospel for him is just like breathing. it comes out of his mouth so naturally and so often. it’s a blessing to have him around.

everyone was so excited to be here. i have never experienced a capernaum week, so the joy, the rawness, and the reality that these kids are more themselves than i am sometimes was just beginning to be revealed to me. it poured down rain for most of the welcome. i don’t mean like-it’s-raining-and-let’s-go-play-in-it rain. i mean walk-outside-and-in-two-seconds-you’ll-be-drenched-in-this-not-fun-falling-hard rain.

DAY TWO: wiffle ball event and ambulance calls

where do i begin? seriously. you won’t believe all that this day holds. it’s daunting to me to even try to think about what to write down. let’s begin with the wiffle ball event – it was beyond hot. i wore grey. bad decision. i had a sweat baby (sweaty stomach showing through my grey shirt) all day long. at one point, i was using towels to wipe off my whole body in the bathroom because i was so sweaty and my shirt wouldn’t soak up anymore sweat. gross i know. i’m being vulnerable here. i get a radio call to pick a girl up after the wiffle ball event and take her to the infirmary. for privacy and liability purposes (thanks young life) let’s call my friend anna… she is 19 years old and from midland, texas. she is beautiful with long flowing brown hair. i wish my hair was that long. she has down syndrome. anna got a little heated during the day’s activities, so she needed to be checked out. took her to the infirmary. drank some water. had some cool rags on her. someone went to find her leader. i kept talking with her. she was shy, but she told me her favorite color, that she had pets (wouldn’t tell me their names), and that she loved her new capernaum t-shirt all the campers got. erin, her leader, came. we tried to leave. she started to collapse again. so we sat her back down. after a while. we leave again. me driving the cart, erin on the other side of her, and anna in the middle. we make it into her cabin and almost into her room – she drops to the floor. erin and i catch her. we lower her down. her eyes kind of roll in the back of her head. erin and i look at each other. woah, she asks me what to do. i say i don’t know let’s keep her sitting up and talking to us and i’ll radio john (the emt). in between my radio call and him arriving. she almost starts to seize. we lay her down to let her body go it’s own way. her back arches. her eyes never close, but she can’t see us. since she’s gone to the floor there is no verbal response. i am talking to her. i am rubbing her arm. nothing. her eyes move sometimes. erin is tearing up. john gets there. erin and i step away to pray together. she is really crying at this point. quickly we decide to call 911. erin says anna is dramatic and never this quiet. she is only on birth control and has no history of any medical issues. this is erin’s first capernaum trip experience. while waiting on the medics, anna gets a little worse. we clear the radio of all communication. we cover anna with cold towels. she is hot. we clear the bus loop. a head leader and i go to get her health form from the office for the 911 responders. we find the trip leader. we  are jetting all over camp preparing for what’s next. what is next? will she be ok? john asks for his paramedic bags out of the infirmary. how did i get in the middle of this? i am not equipped. the firetruck gets in. the ambulance not too far behind. they roll her out. give her oxygen. she’s gotten better. she’s smiling at all the firemen around her. of course she is! she waves goodbye to me. she continues to have episodes even now at the hospital, but she is stable. we pray after she leaves.

then, a work crew boy somehow ends up in an ambulance on his way to the hospital. same paramedics respond. at this point we are beginning to be friends. it’s only four o’clock at this point. whew. we are also getting the hang of responding as property staff to medical emergencies. he spends the night. we pray after he leaves.

amidst the dance through the ages, a friend, let’s call him michael, has a seizure. work crew and summer staff are blocking him off from everyone else. johnny and i get the firetruck and ambulance back towards the marina. we are friends. i hand them two copies of the health form. i know the routine now. we pray after he leaves. he had another one this morning and has since returned. i saw him at southwind idol tonight. jolly as can be. he loves water. to drink it. to roll around in it. to splash any and every puzzle.

DAY THREE: a day by the pool

i slept til noon today. it’s my day off this week. i decided i would hang around camp. best decision i made in a while. ate some lunch. then went to change to read by the pool and relax. thought i’d probably talk to some campers because they are SO outgoing. it shocks me. i love it. no one is a stranger. they want to know and to remember your name. why are you here? how old are you? where are you from? do you have any siblings? i kept trying to read one thousand gifts, but was drawn into the campers. a girl came beside me and talked to me for a long time about “what’s next?” “what are you doing next?” “what am i doing next?” – her sweet leader was like “honey, let’s leave this girl alone with her book.” tonight that same girl saw me and came up to me and held my hand for about 5 seconds, smiled, and walked away. pure joy just radiating from her. what if i lived that way? her actions spoke louder than the words she didn’t say. we connected through so little. another friend, a boy this time, came and laid in the chair next to me. i had one knee bent and one straight out. he kept trying to position himself like me. we chatted for a while. how many times he went down the slide. what was his favorite part of the week. where he was from. who knew later in the day i’d be riding the slide with him. precious boy he is. let’s call him chris.
distractions got the best of me so i went over to the lifeguards to stick my feet in the water and talk to them for a minute. a minute lasted 4 hours. i met a friend who introduced himself to me as “troy.” as in troy from high school musical. we sang high school musical songs all afternoon. he would call me momma. he flirted. he pushed me in the pool. we arm wrestled. i taught him how to arm wrestle and then he won. he didn’t understand he needed to pin my hand down. he was playing the opposite game. it was funny. he would burp and we would teach him to say excuse me. his leader convinced him to let him push troy in the pool. so he did. troy couldn’t swim. jeff saw this and dove down quicker than i realized as i had already gone down to get him back up to the top. scared jeff and i big time. the lifeguards didn’t know what had hit them. it happened so quick. troy came up laughing and all jolly. typical. he didn’t even care. shoo wee, jeff and i just looked at each other like oh my goodness. then, my friend, we’ll call him jim, began a splashing game. below is his picture. he’d jump off the diving board towards where i was seated and just drench me. belly flop. cannonball. can opener. you name it, he did it. i loved it. he’d come up out of the water laughing and so full of life. he did about 5 rounds of splashing, then jeff came out and we all headed to the slide. me, jeff, jim, chris, and some other friends. i’ve seriously never seen anyone fly down the slide the way chris did. i’m convinced that boys’ bare backs make them go so fast.

nannie came out after work – so fun. we slid a time or once, actually. lots of laughing and playing with our new friends! i loved this time because we don’t get too much time together. our schedules are pretty opposite of one another’s. thankful for that time with her. this will be a good memory to have with us.

i want to tell you all about southwind idol and how precious it was. that’ll be a post for another day. big things are happening this week down at southwind. christ is working as much in my heart as he is in these campers. sometimes i forget that. how could i? he is so big. so powerful. so sovereign. so caring.

susan comes in a few days! so excited. as does the zach carson. some familiar faces. that will be a blessing. i’m thankful we have another week of capernaum after this one. truly.

thanks for caring,



One thought on “capernaum: take one

  1. Pingback: { guest services } « simply living in the spirit

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