Monday, July 04, 2011

Ember Orlando

Phenomenal time with middle school kids and staff at Lake Aurora Christian Camp last week. My friend Chris Marsden is one of the trustees at the camp and in mid March, approached me about Ember being adopted by his week of camp as the 'missionary' of the week. He's been a constant encouragement since even before Ember started so it was great fun to work together on a project with him.

The original intent was to do some video teaching since 'missions' time was only 1 hour every day. Since I wasn't leading a student team this summer, I decided that we could probably make it work to be at camp in person for at least a few days and also combine it with a family Orlando visit [you know us and Florida...] We were fortunate that Trevin Hoekzema could be an integral part of the planning and execution of this project too.

I'm most proud of the content of our teaching. Obviously, teaching to middle school students is challenging enough as it is. The content of what we chose made it even more tough - adults don't always get concepts like contextualization and global migration. But that's the part I loved the most - we taught about concepts that most adult Christians have never heard of, much less students. Like I've felt and said for years, there are significant concepts about 'missions' and global leadership that no one is teaching to students. I also loved having our two girls talk for a minute or two about their experiences and how they made a difference as 'kids'.

In terms of execution, Monday bombed. Tuesday and Wednesday worked much better, probably because Trevin and I went back and spent a good amount of time putting some visuals together, including pictures, some additional video content and more interaction. We did a quick review at the end of Wednesday and were amazed at the amount of material some of these kids could recall.

We are probably going to try to package up some of this material. Not a full blown curriculum per se, but something a little more transferable. I'll post some ideas about that later, in the meantime, let me know if that might be something you are interested in. Thanks to those of you that prayed and helped finance this. I'm keeping my eyes on the community around this little obscure middle school camp knowing that God will finish what He started.

[Twitter hashtag #emberorlando and more photos here.]

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