Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday July 30 - Day 5

Sunday is our first full day of camp. The schedule is similar to a retreat with talks immediately followed by small group time, meals and games and beach time in the afternoons. G is smart enough to know that small groups are the medium by where relationships are built and lives are transformed. Therefore, small groups are a major component of this camp.

Besides the games, our team also has responsibility for small groups, along with the Cameroonian Nav team. Out of six small groups, our team has been split so that each group has both American and Cameroonian leaders. Although not quite as straightforward, our team's job is to assist, dialogue, ask good questions and listen a lot. The relationship between teacher and student in Cameroon is a 'teacher talks, student listens' idea. Interactive discussions are not the norm but is the environment we are trying to shape.

LF and I are in JM's group. She's a fabulous lady who works as a teacher in Yaounde and has intentionally 'adopted' about 8 or 10 high school students over the years and a bunch are here at this camp. I'm amazed at our first few small group times, some of the students are sharing very deep parts of their soul. JM first met G - get this - 13 years ago when they were both on a summer YWAM project in Benin. Now, G and W live across the street from her and serve together. The wild adventure that is God's plan.

During the morning talk, ADress from our team shares his story about how he became a Christian. It's a good story, one that I know a lot of students, American or not, can relate to. I'm convinced that one day, someone in Cameroon will point back to the time here as the beginning of their story with Jesus.

Cameroonian men have this really cool handshake. It's kind of hard to describe, but its the normal shake your hands, which moves into both of your hands gripping each other like you are arm wrestling and then your fingers pull on each other as your hands move away and you end the shake by making a snapping sound as your fingers pull off of each others. Like I said, hard to explain, but very cool.

Today is also my anniversary. D is a saint for letting me be in another country on this day, the second year in a row. I would call her, but I don't see a phone booth anywhere. (haha)

Our team is a bit more vigilant during beach time today. I assign the three lifeguards to stay at the outermost line in the water so the Cameroonians will know how far is too far. I can relate to the concept of water being a new medium, whereas our students don't remember a time when they couldn't swim. Some of our kids give beginning swimming lessons to the Cameroon students.

Besides G, my two other roommates are NDne and Wlson. NDne is a closet evangelist. Soft-spoken with a gregarious smile, he comes alive when speaking about the Scriptures. Wlson spends as much time with students as he can, usually right after small group time, getting to know them and what is in their head. Both are high school teachers and both have a heart of gold.

Photos: mealtime at camp; G and ADress upfront during one of the talks; NDne, me and Wlson.

20060726Cameroon photoset

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