We just returned home the other day from the last official camp of the summer. The kids really enjoyed it, and we enjoyed working with the kids.
Some of the kids came from fairly stable families and some came from horrible situations. We thank God for the joy evidenced in their smiles as they swung on the rope swing in the barn or splashed in the waves at the beach.
One boy, after jumping from the swing into the hay after lunch, excitedly asked me, "Are we going to eat again today?" My face smiled as I reassured him that we will have another meal today, yet my heart saddened to know that he and his friends eat one meal a day...
After the young adult camp, Dan came home with a bad cold, and he was able to rest one day (Monday) before heading off to Lithuania for two days. Courtney went directly to the Hope Center (where a group from Alabama came to spend time some of the kids and work on the church building there for a bit) and returned home Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Dan came home and the two of looked forward to planning a day together (Thursday) before heading back to Wesley Camp for Children's Camp. However we were surprised to find that our electricity had been turned off...and it was still off when we left for camp on Friday. Thankfully our landlady has worked to help us - and phoned us that Friday to assure us things were in order.
Then a loooong week at Children's Camp. Both of us returned to Riga with colds - Dan on Sunday and Courtney on Tuesday. Dan spent Monday debriefing the two students from Auburn who had spent the summer in Latvia and Russia - this turned out to be a wonderfully fantastic time for all three. Court came home Tuesday afternoon, and we went out to dinner to celebrate the completion of Children's Camp. We came home last night (Tuesday) to find that our water had been turned off, as people on the floor below had water coming into their apartment. Today we had water on and off as we had different people in and out of the apartment looking for the leak. Needless to say this has been a bit frustrating.
During this summer we feel we have gained fruitful insight into the work situation here. Even though the camp schedule was quite full - and many times draining - we felt God strengthen us each day and we even experienced moments of refreshment and glimpses of joy.
As we write this, we have water and electricity and our congestion and coughs. We are off to Camp Wesley on Friday - Dan for another 10 days to work with a group from Tennessee here to work on the camp, and Courtney for a few before she goes to Lithuanian next weekend for a youth retreat called 'Chrysalis'.
We will try to put up pictures, catch-up with e-mails, and make phone calls in the weeks ahead, yet please be patient as we are trying to navigate through this time.