Originally written Saturday, June 28, the day after English Camp ended.
I (Krista) breathed a huge sigh of relief from the sound booth at church yesterday when we dismissed the kids at 1:30P.M.. A whole week with 40 kids, 20 volunteers, and no major accidents is a lot to be thankful for. Our maiden voyage with English Camp had gone better than any of us could have ever imagined. My role for English Camp varied from moment to moment, but mainly consisted of Volunteer Coordinator/Camp Director.
Yesterday evening, Friday the 27th, we had the closing ceremony for the kids and their parents. We served brownies and chocolate chip cookies to give them a real taste of the USA. Each child was given a certificate from their teachers for the Best Listener, Most Improved, Best Helper, Best Swimmer, etc. As we ended the evening, I noticed a woman crying. It was the mother of two girls who really love English but couldn’t pay to attend. Due to the generosity of many, we were able to go back to her and say that there are people who would like to cover the cost of the camp for her two girls. She couldn’t believe people who don’t know her would be willing to be so generous to her family. When I saw her yesterday evening, I navigated through the crowd to touch her arm and say that we had a wonderful time with her sweet girls. She was weeping and couldn’t do more than touch my hand and say, “Thank you”.
As I stood by the door, saying goodbye to the parents last night, I couldn’t help but think it was all worth it. To see our church building filled with families who had previously had no contact with our church, and some even a little skeptical sending their kids to EC, to seeing them not wanting to leave and saying what a shame that EC only lasts a week. A mother commented to me how these few days with us had encouraged her children like never before to learn English. Several moms commented on how well-done the camp was and confessed they had been a little wary of sending their kids to a summer camp organized by Christians. The mother of two boys said after getting to know us that all her doubts had been resolved.
Last Monday, we started with a little over 30 kids. By Friday, we had 40. The numbers climbed steadily throughout the week as word got out in our area and more friends and neighbors of campers started signing up. Many people told us that nobody would come, and that it would be a big financial loss. Not to our credit, we reached our maximum number of kids and will end without a loss.
We had over 15 volunteers come from California, Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina to serve as teachers for EC. A large group left on Monday, and others have been leaving throughout the week. We are so thankful for their flexibility and all they sacrificed to make EC possible. They were the key to building relationships with new families.
Thank you for your prayers and support! In spite of the many challenges, we are encouraged to by God’s faithfulness. Time and again, He asked us to believe Him and take risks in faith. We were able to serve our city in a tangible way and connect with new people to build Gospel relationships. Thank you for standing with us and making it possible to serve our local church, our city, and others in Spain!