Stumbling into the far corner under the bed I tripped on a soggy sock and knocked my head against the mattress. No time to waste, I silently scrambled to press myself against the wall.
I heard the sound of giggling, yelling and the knocking of knees and elbows against bed frames and floors.
Nothing like nine middle schoolers playing Marco Polo on dry land, in a pitch black dormitory. Well, technically five middle schoolers, but for about thirty minutes us four accompanying “men” were for all intents and purposes twelve year olds (albeit larger and hairier). It was late Saturday evening of the StreetWorkz annual retreat and it had been raining hard since we arrived the night before. We were entertaining ourselves before lights out--or more accurately "bedtime", since our Santa Cruz camp had lost electricity a few hours earlier. This meant that all afternoon, dinner and evening planned activities took place not only inside, but in the dark!
Yet God is good, all the time. And all the time God is good, and faithful, and creative and always working on a whole other level. The redwoods were a little richer with the rain, the good food and laughter kept us warm, and the several dozen folks praying for us from around the country did something to the atmosphere. There were the twelve college adventurers from Grand Valley State University who executed and made the camp work, the thirteen StreetWorkz students at their best and brightest, and us three BCM staff members all rolling with the punches and having a fun, soul-building and memorable weekend. A trip to the boardwalk, multiple physically interactive Bible competitions, searching for the Kingdom of God/heaven with a concluding Sunday morning church service, unsurprisingly left us a little changed.
We have Jesus ultimately to thank, who shows us the way. The Sunday morning after Marco Polo, three of the boys washed the hands of their fellow students. Another of their peers dried hands and another read the following out loud:
“In Heaven, in the Kingdom of God, the first is last and the last is first. In church we practice what we do in life—we serve others first. Jesus washed the feet of his friends and he taught that in order to be a leader in life, we must commit to serving others. This is why we wash each other's hands. To remind each other that to serve is to live like God.”