I'm updating a little late but better late than never huh?
The last week in Taiwan we had a highschool english camp. Similar to the first english camp with elementary kids our first day was rough. However, the highschoolers were much more reserved about using their english around us unlike the elementary kids. Suddenly those little kids that were shouting out english words with candy as their only reward turn into teens and incentives are futile. I tried to remember my teen years. For a moment I forgot about that feeling of worrying about looking cool or feeling stupid around your peers if you did something bizarre that didn't seem to fit in an imaginary box of whats acceptable. After some thought it all came back to me. I remember the drama, the act, the desire to fit in somewhere. Where does our confidence go? Where do the days of resilient bodies and minds go? At what point in our youth do we decide to internalize our carefree being and result to fear that binds us? I don't remember when that happened to me but I do recall that at some point in my adolescence I became afraid to express things that really mattered like my faith, my values, and pure sillyness. In my youth I abandoned God and chose to follow a path of my own ways for a period in my life. After I had made all the mistakes I wanted to make I once again had the true desire to follow Him whole heartedly. I came back to that strong faith and pure joy that allowed me to have child-like faith and have life in abundance as He promises.
A group of us wrote a skit for the kids the first day but it actually flopped because the kids couldn't figure out what was going on. It's kind of funny to think about how crazy they thought we were because they had no clue what was going on. The next day we came back with another skit that got our point across without confusion. It was an opener for Wendy to talk about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. After some conversation with them we discovered that they were teens just like most of the american team and like Scott and I once were. The american girls taught the Taiwanese girls how to make bracelets while role playing conversations. The guys did an all english field trip down the street. Scott and some other americans shared their testimony through a translator. By the end of our second day we all had quickly grown attached to eachother.
The last day the americans were feeling completely ready to head back to home. Personally, I loved being there but that last day I had to ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with energy and joy. I didn't feel well and my mind kept going to Iowa and what I had to do when I got back to work. We ended the day with watching the "Lifehouse" skit. It is an incredibly moving skit and everyone in the room was touched by it. We ended the week on a high note. We passed out Bibles and english cd's. We took a lot pictures and exchanged contact information.
One of the girls that I became close with was Ivory. She gave me a book and wrote an amazing note in it that expressed what good friends we were. It was the last time I would see these kids for a while and I was really emotional about it. It was surreal. We were really leaving this place now. The impact that we made on these kids we may never truelly know but the impact they made on me change my heart forever.