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English Camp at Burime

Last week, Nicole & I helped with English camp at Burime. We had 30+ kids!

The theme for the week was Noah. They learned a little section of the story of Noah each day leading up to the rainbow at the end and the promise that God will never forget us and he has amazing adventures planned for our lives!

The memory verse for the week was Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Lucie kept the kids on the edge of the seat all week during the lessons.

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Elio did a great job translating!

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The kids had an amazing time. Jacob led worship which was awesome yetagain.

He even had dancers this time!

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Neil had some games planned to get some energy out of the kids.

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Some were messy

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Some required patience

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And the youngest, most energetic, never-focused-more-than-2-seconds kid won!!

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Some required teamwork

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Others required coordination

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Some were just fun to watch

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But the kids loved them all

Then the kids went to English class. Elio & Nicole taught the beginner class.

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James taught the intermediate boys.

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I taught the intermediate girls.

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Jacob & David taught the advanced class.

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Next week is the final week of camps and I’m happy to be ending on next week’s camp for 2 reason. 1) It’s with the kids at Burime 2) We are making a movie!!!

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English Camp

A team from the States came over to do a 5 day English camp last week. The kids came at 3. Camp started at 3:30 with an English class then a game/craft/skit time before the closing rally which had music and a message.

I wasn’t in any of the English classes but I heard wonderful things about them!

The games all looked fun (I was photographing/videoing so I didn’t get to play).

It was a fun week for the kids!

Two guys from the team spoke each evening with an amazing translator. The guys had awesome messages each night but the translator added an extra layer of awesome. He would change things to make them more Albanian and more understandable and more relatable to the teens. It was great.

God used all 3 of these guys and the other people who shared their testimonies throughout the week to work in the hearts of these kids.

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Quite a few kids already had a relationship with God but many other kids committed their lives to Christ by the end of the week. Next week, the kids are invited to come to a weeklong course where they will be learning the basics to kickstart their new active lives in Christ.

Please be praying for these teens that their passion and desire for Christ wouldn’t end with camp. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. But that the journey they started this week would be continued throughout the rest of their lives.

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The Return of Ben Ji Min

I had another Ben Ji Min sighting at camp last week. I’m going to share some pictures at the risk of looking like a stalker.

His sister was attending & the poor fellow didn’t meet the age requirement. He was 5 & the camp was for 11-14 year olds. So they wouldn’t let him in even though he came at 7:30am knocking on the door ready for camp which started at 9.

So he and his brother had to stay outside. When the camp kids were outside in the afternoon, they came over…Beni came over on his little yellow scooter in his little yellow shirt.

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They really wanted to come in and get in on the fun!

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But they were stuck on the outside looking in…

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They wanted in because they knew what was coming…water balloons! So the boys on the balcony threw a few over the gate to hit little Ben Ji Min who shouted out, “Osama (his brother) come quick! They’re hitting me again!”

Then when his brother would look, the boys would stop throwing them as if nothing had happened. Though the wetspots and balloons on the ground were kind of obvious.

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Finally, little Ben Ji Min gave up and went home on his little yellow scooter.

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Next year little Ben Ji Min, next year. Camp will come again next year…

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CEF Camp [Week 2]

Last week was the second and final week of CEF camps. We had nearly 50 kids show up to camp!

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While the schedule was the same, nothing else was! The crafts were different. The movie was different. The lessons were different! Continue reading

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Ben Ji Min

No matter what camp you work at, there are 3 types of kids. The trouble makers, the well behaved kids & the kid that steals your heart. Ben Ji Min was the kid who stole my heart.

He is only the cutest little kid ever (next to my nieces of course).

The first day of camp, I heard everyone calling him 3 names. Ben Ji Min (Ben-ye-mean). But I never could catch all of them. But the names sounded Chinese so I thought he had a Chinese name. (There’s a rumor going around that I thought he was Chinese. That is just a rumor. I only thought he had a Chinese name. There’s a difference. A big difference!)

I found out that he was a 5 year old attending a 6-10 year old camp. They let him come because his brother and sister came. His father is German and his mother is Albanian. And I thought he had a Chinese name.

The second day of camp, I still hadn’t caught his name but he looked like Russell from Up so I called him Russell. At the beach, he came running over to me to ask if I had a stick. Random. He seemed pretty desperate to get a stick. He said they found some fish and he wanted to catch one! I guess he needed a stick to go spear fishing!

The third day of camp, I found out that he in fact does not have a Chinese name. His name is Benjamin but in Albanian you pronounce it Ben Ji Min (Ben-ye-mean). This was an embarrassing revelation for me. But I moved on. Because now, I could call him by his name!

The fourth day of camp, Ben Ji Min told me he was burnt…as in sun burnt. Only he really told me he had a tiger. They sound very similar in Albanian and the craziness of having a tiger never made me think that he actually said he had a tiger. Until he pulled a tiger costume out of his backpack. Then I realized he did say he had a tiger. A tiger suit. That he brought…on beach day!!!! We all went back to the beach…even Ben Ji Min and his tiger suit. But he didn’t go swimming that day because there were fish in the water.

The last day of camp, he brought the tiger suit back. Lucky for you I got a picture!

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Oh Ben Ji Min, I’m going to miss you next week at camp!

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CEF Camp [Week 1]

Last week, I helped at a kids camp for 6-10 year olds hosted by CEF [Child Evangelism Fellowship]. Nicole & I took 12 kids from our neighborhood. Almost 40 kids attended the weeklong camp.

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Camp started at 9am with a devotional time followed by breakfast: byrek! Then we had worship, a Bible lesson & craft followed by lunch. Then 3 days we went to the beach after lunch and one day we played a variety of games before we played soccer. Friday we had a party after lunch (movie & games)! About 6 each evening we would take a sandwich and head home…physically tired but spiritually charged!

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like helping at this camp because Continue reading

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Bible Camp

Last year, we started having a Bible-bowl type contest. The kids really liked it and took off with it. For about a month and a half they would study a Bible passage. Then the teams would come together for a day of serious competition. I mean it was serious.

But even so, they were all good sports. They would memorize scripture & answer questions about the passages they studied. Then they learned the books of the Bible. Then we introduced sword drills to them (racing to find scripture faster).

Then we decided to kick off summer with a Bible camp for them. We had a week long Bible camp with 4 different stations and we studied Romans 12 all week. 28 kids attended and were put onto 4 teams: red, blue, yellow & green.

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Jacob & Corey led worship each morning before we got started.

It was amazing to be able to worship with these kids. They would sing loud and proud and it was great! Here is a taste of the worship time.

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Lucie practiced sword drills with the kids. I helped them learn memory verses.
They didn’t need much help. They learned them by the second day!

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For 2 days, Allan taught the kids basic fundamentals.
Who wrote the Bible, why and how we read it,
what it teaches us and some prophetic themes throughout.

This was a great opportunity to give some really good basic knowledge not just to the believers who came but also to the kids who are Muslim but don’t really know the difference between being Muslim and Christian.

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The other two days, Sheri taught the kids how to study the Bible on their own.
They even applied what they learned and wrote questions for the competition!

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Matt & Caryl went over Romans 12:1-8 with the kids each day.

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They even talked separately to the girls & boys
about holiness, modesty & relationships.

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Arba & Nicole went through Romans 12:9-21 with the kids.

On Friday, we had the competition they had all been studying for during the week. The kids had written the questions and you could tell they had been working hard all week. At the beginning of the week, some of the kids didn’t know Genesis was the first book in the Bible. By the end of the week, they were finding all the books of the Bible just as fast if not faster than some of the kids who had been practicing for previous competitions!

The kids had pretty much the whole chapter of Romans 12 memorized by the end of the week and I think they answered almost all of the questions right today! They blew me away!

After the competition, each team performed a skit. Each team was given part of Romans 12 to put together a skit to show what those verses looked like in real life today. They did an amazing job!

Then we let the kids share something they learned this week if they wanted. A couple shared some verses that they thought were hard to apply in life or how much they have learned. For many, it because a time of thanks for everyone who had been teaching and working with them this week. And I am so grateful for everyone who helped too! But most of all, I’m thankful for God who showed up in wonderful ways this week!

This week I saw kids who didn’t know each other become friends.
I saw kids meeting together on their own outside of camp to practice.
I saw kids growing together spiritually.
I saw kids growing in their relationship with God.
I saw kids applying scripture to their lives.
I saw kids having fun learning about God.
I saw kids excited to be learning about God.
I saw kids HAPPY!

I’m just so proud of them for how much they learned this week, how hard they worked and how much growth I saw in each of them! God was definitely with us and working among the children this week.

These kids [are] the church and even though they are “just kids” they are going to be movers and shakers in Albania. I know God has big plans for them. Bigger than I can even dream of. And I can’t wait to see how they will be used by God to shake things up in the Kenet!

After adding all the points they earned from games and contests throughout the week and the points from the final competition, there could only be one winner…but we still celebrated everyone’s accomplishments afterwards with a pizza party!

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1st Place: Yellow Team

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2nd Place: Blue Team

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3rd Place: Green Team

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4th Place: Red Team

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All the kids (minus 1) after the competition today

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After working so hard all week, I think we were all a little crazy!

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