Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Greetings from Albena!

Woohoo! I finally got internet access here at camp so I can get back to blogging. There's a free wireless access point at the campground we're staying at, but it took two days to find an employee at the reception desk that could give us a password. Anyway, I'm online again and there's so much to share, I hardly know where to start.

The camp changed locations this year from Chernomoretz, on the southern shore of the Black Sea, to Albena up north. We're less than 30 miles from Romania as the crow flies.We have been comparing the two camps a bit and, while this camp definitely has more bugs and spiders, along with patches of stinging nettles, the food is WAAAAYYYYY better and our bungalows get daily maid service (beds are made and things are straightened up). All the returning team members have enjoyed catching up with our friends, and everybody is making new friends as well.

Yesterday, we woke up at 5:30am to load up the vans and head across the country. After a 7 hour trip, we arrived, unpacked, and spent the evening with the kids. This morning, we began our first full day of camp, including our 2 hour daily VBS. Our theme is "Crocodile Dock" and is a bayou, Tom Sawyer-ish theme. Vance performed as a hillbilly version of Moses as he shared the story of meeting God at the burning bush. One of our Bulgarian friends, Eti, translated everything for him to the children. This is required in everything we do, even in our personal conversations many times. After awhile, it becomes second nature to pause every few seconds for the translation. We also did games and crafts, along with breakout workshops for several different projects. Brianna got to share with the Bulgarian teens during the morning teaching session.

In addition to our VBS time, we also spend time daily with the children both at the swimming pool and the beach where we function as the safety monitors. We also enjoy three meals a day with them and some free time throughout as well as an evening service. Worship is being handled by several teens from the Blagavest church and I am assisting on the drum. Pastor Chuck and Lynda taught together on the first night and each night brings a different speaker. Both Joey and I will be given the opportunity to teach the evening service later in the week.

I will bring you more tomorrow, but now I am off to bed. The weather is hot and humid so the big decision is: a) leave the windows open for at least some air movement to cool things down a little, or b) face the heat and shut the windows to keep the mosquitos out. Fortunately, a storm is nearby so we hope the rain will keep and make option A work!

In spite of the bugs, humidity, and other challenges, the team is having an incredible time serving God and the Bulgarian people. Please pray for the Robnett family who are struggling with various illness and injuries. Also, traveling mercies for Pastor Chuck and Lynda, who will be driving to Gabrovo tomorrow to spend some time ministering to an old friend. Lynda's neck has given her some trouble while on the road, so lift that up as well. Above all, pray that God gives each of us the strength and heart for the ministry that lies before us and that doors of opportunity would open and be recognized by each of us through the upcoming week. God is amazing and we are so blessed by all that He is doing here! I will post pics and video clips tomorrow. Leka nosht...

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