Never Leaving Wadi

Hello all! My name is Aubrie Elliott and this is my first time serving at Wadi Sports Camp. I am from Midland, Texas and I just recently graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a degree in Pre-Vet Biology. I played basketball all four years of my college career but somehow I coached volleyball during W3 camp! I can’t say I wasn’t prepared though, Geoff always told us to be flexible! 

The last full day of camp was this last Monday (7/15) and it was so bittersweet! The day started with majors like always, and in volleyball we spent the hour playing several different fun games with the campers! Because it was the last day, each major was responsible for handing out three awards — MVP, Most Improved, and I Am Third. The I am Third award goes to the person who is able to put others first and show Christ’s love the most throughout majors! For volleyball, the I Am Third award went to a camper who was always willing to shag balls without complaining, who had the best attitude even when he would mess up, and who was just really enjoyable to be around! I could definitely tell this camper loved the Lord just by the way he played volleyball each morning so it was so special to get to recognize him for that!

Typically after majors, the campers go to breakfast and then have two sessions before going to the pool. But instead of sessions, we had a giant, Hawaiian themed pool party! Pool time is definitely one of my favorite parts of camp because it gives us coaches a chance to have intentional conversations with the campers and staff that we normally don’t have time to do. My conversations at the pool have been the most genuine, life-giving times at camp. After every conversation I am reminded of how big and faithful our God is! The same God who loves and takes care of me in America is the same God who loves and takes care of his people in Egypt. I have always known that God is consistent everywhere, but it wasn’t until this trip that I’ve truly been able to understand what that means! About an hour into swimming, the loud music playing was interrupted by the sound of the Hunger Games whistle, so each counselor had to pick a “tribute” from their cabin to compete in the games! The game for that day involved each tribute betting coins on different hidden items. Some of the mystery items included cheeseburgers, shaving cream, and a even plain old egg! While not every tribute was super excited about their winnings, they all had such a good time and it was so fun to witness! I am amazed at the way the Wadi staff has created such incredible games and events to meet the interests and cater to the talents of all the campers!

To be honest, the rest of the day was such a blur. There was zip-lining, rock climbing, wallyball reffing, dodgeball throwing, and lots and lots of dancing! It was such a fun-filled day that it was extra hard to have to say goodbye to our campers and the staff that night. At the same time, knowing that we’ll all be together again in heaven turns those “goodbyes” into “see you later’s.” What a special gift it is to be apart of the same family with people who live across the world! By the time things had finally settled down and all the coaches were in our lounge, I realized just how much I have come to love Egypt. The people at Wadi, campers and staff alike, exceeded every expectation I had! They loved well, they worked hard, they had fun, and I believe God was glorified through all of it! Through the Egyptians, I was reminded of how much fun it is to follow Jesus and the freedom that comes from Him, and for that I could not be more thankful! They will always hold a special place in my heart!

Tonight, I am writing from Rixos Alamein, a resort on the North Coast of Egypt. It is my third and last night here, but it’s safe to say I have already consumed more coffee than every finals weeks combined! Life here is really, very simple. We eat, we nap, we burn (sorry mom), and we laugh a lot! It has been so good to build even deeper relationships with my team while being here! Unfortunately, eight of my teammates left to fly back home earlier this evening (cue the tears) while the remaining seven of us will head back to camp tomorrow to finish out W2 with the A&M team and then coach W4. I know it won’t be the same without the whole team, but I also know that God is going to do some great and mighty things in the next two weeks! I am so excited to see what He has in store for all of us next!

So, to sum up, the last two weeks have been a party and a half. I am so thankful for the time I get to be here and the relationships I have built along the way! There is no other place and no other group of people I would want to spend my summer with! Real quick, I want to shout out everyone who have worked and sacrificed to make this trip possible! You are just as much a part of my team as the other coaches are, and I am so thankful for you! 

With so much love,

Aubrie

 

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Kings & Queens of Egypt

Hello! My name is Kylie and this is my first time coming to Egypt! I am coaching basketball with Wyatt and it has been a blast and a half. We have french fries every single day, and for those of you that know me know that potatoes are my favorite food, so I am thriving. Everyday has also brought about its own unique challenges but at the end of the day it’s been such a rewarding experience. 

Today we had a pretty chill morning at majors. We played a shooting game of Around the World, knockout, and finished with a 5 on 5 scrimmage. I only have one girl camper in our major and about 13 boys. Luckily the two of us can keep up with the boys. I have loved getting to know who they are outside of basketball. I get so excited every time I see them in the dining hall and they give me a high five, or say hello, or ask how the rest of my day has been. Even though we’ve only known each other for a few days, you can tell that they really care about me and Wyatt, as well as the people in their cabins and our major. 

For our X Period today we played a game called Kings and Queens. The girls all got together and learned a dance routine and the boys drafted counselors and coaches to play different sports. All of us girl coaches reffed the boys games and my station was Ultimate Frisbee. Considering I have never reffed Ultimate in my life, I think it went pretty well.  The second X Period was called Sherlock Holmes, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The campers walked around to different stations trying to figure out who the “thieves” were. 

The end of the day was so much fun!! Tomorrow is our last full day of camp :): We’ve been getting ready to give out awards to our campers. Every major has 3 main awards- MVP, Most Improved, and I Am Third. For our major we put together little goody bags with candy, medals, stickers, and t-shirts for everyone. I have never met people that love candy as much as I do! I am so proud of how far our campers have come and super thankful for the relationships we’ve built over such a small amount of time. 

God has been teaching me a lot about how we serve a fun God and that I don’t have to take things so seriously. We get to worship God through laughter, playing games, and having dance parties because God created all of those things! It’s been cool to see how far God’s love has gone to rescue His children- from heaven to earth, to the cross, for me from America to Egypt, and eventually to every tribe, tongue, nation, and language (Revelation 5:9-10). What an awesome God we get to serve! I am so thankful to be here and so thankful for your support and that you took the time to read this post! 

God Bless and Hook ‘Em, 

Kylie

 

Pyramid Party

Hi there! My name is Kaylee Gott and this is my second year at Wadi Sports Camp! Each year has been so different, but both have been so exciting with new experiences. It never seems to fail that once I’m here I never want to leave, and once I leave I just want to be back. These people love so deeply and listen intently. They truly care about the people around them. I love coming here and deepening relationships with each of them. 

Usually in the mornings I am coaching tennis with Carrie, but today was our touristy/rest day. We ate breakfast at camp and then loaded the bus to downtown Cairo to see the pyramids. Being in the middle of the desert, you can imagine that it was HOT. We walked around, took thousands of pictures, and avoided attacking vendors at all costs. It was so cool to experience one of the seven wonders of the world.

We walked around The Great Pyramid and ran into a family of camels. Yup. You guessed it. We got on those bad boys. We took a walk around the pyramids for a few minutes and rode to the edge of the hill that overlooked a large part of Cairo. It was such a cool experience that I will never forget. Getting off the camels, however, was not as spectacular…. Our guide forgot to inform us that he was going to lower the camel to the ground (I guess I can’t blame him… he didn’t speak english). The camel suddenly and unexpectedly dropped to his front knees, nearly flinging me off of the front of him and onto his neck. Luckily, one of the workers caught me from the front and Myhre grabbed me from the back. It was a near-death experience, but it was worth it for all the laughs and memories that came along with the trauma. 

After the pyramids, we went to see the sphinx. It was so cool to finally experience these structures that I had always heard about. We walked through a local bazaar area with all kinds of trinkets and souvenirs and then headed to The Mall of Egypt where we got pizza, crepes, and great coffee. A few of us shopped around for a while and Anna went to Ski Egypt, and indoor ski facility within the mall. Apparently this was a popular thing to do in Egypt and I could see why. It was huge! 

After the mall we headed back to Wadi and looked through all of our fun pictures from the day. We then headed outside to join the rest of the camp where they were competing in a decathlon that included swimming, running, jumping rope, burpees, and other fitness tests. It was really cool to see the campers coming together to achieve a goal that they couldn’t do alone. 

After shower time, we headed to the volleyball courts where we ate dinner and watched the championship game between alphas and omegas. I always love these times because it gives us a chance to sit down and have great conversations with new and old friends. Once the game was over, the coaches headed back to our lounge to have a meeting and play some fun games together. To end the night we headed back out to the volleyball courts at 11pm and played king of the court for about 2-3 hours with some of the egyptian staff. Late night bonding activities like this are always the highlights of my days here at Wadi. It’s incredible to see the Lord move in so many ways here. Again, I don’t think I’ll ever leave.

 

Howdy from Egypt!

Howdy! My name is Gabe Munoz and this is my second year to come to Wadi Sports Camp! I am from College Station, Texas and I am an education major at Texas A&M University. 

Let me begin by saying that this is my absolute favorite place on earth. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to come back to Cairo with this team from Austin! I had been looking forward to coming back to Egypt since then end of my trip last summer and my heart is so full now that I am back in what feels like home (Hi mom and bro, love and miss you and no I haven’t seen any gorillas).

I am coaching american football with my main man Grady and we are having a blast getting to coach 18 boys. Grady has been awesome to coach with and truly has a heart for the campers. It has been great getting to lead alongside him. A big part of our major and what we have been wanting to teach our boys is that, no matter what team you are on, they are all loving brothers in Christ. Being on Alpha, which is red, and Omega, which is blue, we decided to give them all purple bandanas and sunglasses to wear throughout camp to show unity between the two teams. The most rewarding thing is when we get to actually see that reality everyday throughout camp. Even in the midst of intense competition, they truly respect and love on each other at the end of the day. And if all else fails, one thing they definitely love is candy. SOOOO MUCH CANDY!

It is hard to believe that we have just completed day 6 of camp. The days are very long, but they are FLYING by. It began with coaching majors bright and early and was followed up with some fresh breakfast. We then headed out to ref sessions and I got to ref boys combine with all of the guys on the trip (and Anna- the combine queen). I then got to ref boys Wallyball with Grace and that was really fun! During our pool time today, I participated in a belly flop contest and represented us USA coaches in that (I scored a 9 out of 10). If you know me then you will understand why that is funny. The X period today was super cool! This game was called Clash of Clans. I was told that this game was one of the favorites and I definitely got to experience why. Just like the app, the campers were split up into clans and they were challenged with creating their own living hut and making their own food for dinner. They literally had to build a hut out of sticks and make a fire to grill their own burgers. They did this by having workers, warriors, builders, artists, etc and they all had different jobs that contributed to buying supplies from a store to accomplish it all. It was around a 5 hour game that went through the evening and late into the night, but it was so cool to see how engaged everyone was. It seemed like everyone had a job and played a vital role to their clan that they felt comfortable and were interested in doing. All in all, it was a long day, but it was well worth every drop of sweat. 

As I reflect on camp for the second time, I have two major highlights up to this point. The first is the Cross Walk. Coleman talked about this a little bit in his earlier post, but each cabin of campers was given a giant wooden cross and they had to carry it around the camp for 2 laps. This was such a powerful event and I got to sit and just watch it. The campers were all silent and carried these crosses over their shoulders while making multiple stops along their path to listen to scripture in arabic. They eventually placed the crosses into the ground where holes were dug for them and they stood them up in the middle of camp. As I sat nearby watching, I began tearing up and feeling a heavy push on my heart. The visual image of these campers being for each other and for Jesus and lifting each other up was so powerful for me. The second highlight was the concert that Jacob talked about in his post. I was overwhelmed by just how much these kids need and want Jesus and a big role in that is their leaders at this camp. They were so passionate and energetic and going crazy and the campers followed. The staff here at Wadi is so dedicated to loving these kids and pointing them towards Jesus and it is so encouraging to know that there are some incredible things happening to continue growing the kingdom. I have been unsure about my future job plans for a little while and trying to figure out whether teaching and education were my calling or if youth ministry was the path for me. With these two events, I have truly felt as if Jesus was weighing heavy on my heart for youth ministry. The next generation has so much hope and so much unrealized desire of being wanted by God and I want to help them see that.

I very much appreciate all of the love and support from back home and I continue to ask that you keep this team in your prayers as we head down the backstretch of our time here with W3. Much love to you all! Until next summer…

Gig’em!

Gabe Munoz

 

The Egyptian Carnival

Hi! My name is Kim or Myhre , and this is my 3rd year to come to Wadi Sports Camp.  I absolutely love this place, and love seeing what Jesus does at this camp everyday. The relationships we get to build daily with these campers and counselors can’t be put into words in a blog post, but I will try my best to give you a glimpse of what is happening in Egypt. 

I have the pleasure of getting to coach girls soccer for the third year, and this is my biggest group of girls yet. I have 20 soccer girls and 5 amazing counselors with me, and I am loving them so much. It’s neat to teach them soccer skills, but let me tell ya, its even better getting to spend time in the word with them each day, and getting to have real life conversations with these girls, and show them how they can relate the word to their real life. They apply the verse we share that day to their own lives, and we get to have those conversations with them.  

Today during our X period we played Pandemic ( campers VS Staff games ). This game is epic. We are trying to not let the campers beat us in different sports and games throughout camp, and at the end we play a HUGE game of dodgeball. I love uniting with counselors and coming together all with one goal in common : DO NOT LET THE CAMPERS WIN 😉 . After dodgeball we had an ice-cream social with a side of an epic dance party. I loved having this time to dance it out with the Egyptians and my fellow coaches. There was also a pretty sweet sunset as we danced the daylight away. 

Tonight was the carnival , and let me tell you the detail that Shady and his crew put into everything that is done at camp is unreal. Carnival was no exception. They hand built carnival games that the campers were able to play, they had snow cones, a form of funnel cake, which were AMAZING. ( When the Egyptians came to Texas a month ago, they came to an Express game and were able to try a funnel cake for the first time.) The carnival is a time for everyone to get to hang out and have fun, talk, mingle, and just enjoy the night. To wrap up the evening they had a talent show that campers, counselors, and coaches can be apart of.  Two of our American coaches crushed the stage, as well as one of my soccer girls, and of course the one and only Baher. I love this night because we get to relax, have fun, and have more conversations with the Egyptians. 

I wish everyone could experience this place , and these people. It truly amazes me that the same God I see in Austin Texas, is the same God I see at Wadi Sports Camp. I am in complete awe that I have had the opportunity to come back to this place for the 3rd time. It is magical, and like I said at the beginning, it is so hard to put into words how much this place means to me, but I am beyond grateful that I am able to experience it, and that I am able to have this amazing relationships that have come from Wadi. 

Thank you for  ALL the prayers and the support that you readers have given us. Jesus is doing some pretty cool things over here and us coaches are feeling that and seeing it daily. 

Until next summer….. 

Xoxo 

Kim (Myhre) 

 

Wadi Party

Hey y’all, this is Jacob and I am excited to tell you guys about my time at Wadi Sports Camp!

First, a little bit about me. This is my first summer in Egypt with the team and I could not be more thrilled to be here. I have been involved with a student ministry at the University of Texas at Austin and when Geoff presented me with this opportunity to advance the Kingdom, I knew it was something I should go for. This trip has exceeded all expectations and I know I am fulfilling the plan God has in store for me.

Secondly, I am a coach for the baseball major here at camp and what gets me excited to go to work everyday is the passion that these kids have to get better when they come out to the fields. They don’t care about how they look or what other will think of them; they play and practice with the same intensity and I could not be more proud of their progress so far. They truly make my job of instructing easier every day.

Today, we took a break from all sports in the morning to allow the campers and staff to get some much needed rest! I was sad to not see my campers, but thankful to get sleep and be refreshed for the day to come. We had a blast at the pool and played a modified game of “keep away” with the Egyptian kids and counselors. We held our own, but they put up quite a fight, haha. All of camp then was herded to the soccer stadium to partake in a cool event called “Extraction”. The premise of the game is to have cabins extract, sell, and manipulate the market for oil and their pricing to leverage their group’s “corporation” against the other groups. The game incorporated themes of competition, entrepreneurialism, finance, bartering, and interpersonal communication. I found it fascinating that this particular game blended many real world problem solving applications to the world of physical competition. Afterwards, we attended a concert by a contemporary in-house Christian band. It was really interesting to hear both songs in English and Arabic, with all of the campers diving into the lyrics and dancing to the music. So many campers had a great time as indicated by the giant smiles and laughs on their face as they exited the Old Hall and retired to their cabin for bedtime.

My time here has been short, but I feel as if I have spent a month here and have immersed myself with all of the locals. Can’t wait to continue working and serving the kids, staff, and the entire camp.

Hook ‘em,

Jacob Potter

 

The Crazy Adventures in Wadi

First of all-HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYDEN!!!! Whoop!!! It is midnight in Egypt. We just had a cake delivered to the camp, Greg is playing guitar, Coleman is showing Wyatt something on his phone that is playing “Eye of the Tiger” and other than that, all is good in the world!

Earlier in the week I was on the top of our building reading in Psalms 19. “The heavens declare the glory of the God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” David later writes that “the sun rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” The sun was rising over camp as I read that and it made me smile knowing how hot it would become. However, my weather app has updated everyday since then that it would be significantly hotter than the previous day…so I am now looking for verses that have to do with a cool breeze or clouds or anything. 

So my day started with football majors down on the old field with Gabe…this is Grady writing by the way, just in case you were wondering. We have 18 boys eager to learn the game and compete against each other. I have been here a number of times and it truly does fill me with joy to work with these young men and hope and pray I can reflect the Lord to them. From the football field we went to breakfast to eat eggs and beans. I then reffed beach handball with my fellow coaches Kim and Kaylee. In the sand the heat comes from above and below! Our other coaches were clutch in bringing us water in-between games. Pool time came at just the right time at that point! Hayden and I set up the game yardees (or yardis) which involves a pole with a small platform which balances a plastic bottle of…coke…definitely not beer. You throw the frisbee back and forth trying to knock off said bottle of beverage. If you successfully knock off the bottle you get points but the other team has a chance to catch the bottle to save points. Hayden and I promptly lost to team Dubs after we set up the game…bummer! 

After pool we had a nice fish fry. I love that they will have rice and French fries. Break time brought a nice nap as the temperatures really got oppressive. Afterward the campers payed some sort of a capture the flag type game around the whole camp. Apparently there was a small scuffle but nothing too bad. Hayden, Wyatt and I then reffed an intense game of basketball between the Alphas and Omegas. I believe the Omegas won. 

By the end of the night the campers had a “Hunger Games” challenge. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the game, but I’ll do my best. In a very dramatic scene, a line of fire was lit with a bag tied off to the side. If a string was cut the bag would swing across the fire and ignite. Campers were chosen to answer trivia questions about the history of the camp and if the answer was wrong the string was cut. I think that was what was going on…it was in Arabic and a lot of theatrics were involved. I’m pretty sure one of the questions was, how many times has Geoff been to camp? And I think the answer was 12. I may actually be way off the mark on what was going on but it was fun to watch the spectacle! 

It was a great day! Gregg and Cate shared their story of how their year has gone and how they came to be in Egypt. And then we ate cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to Hayden. I can’t tell you how much I love this place and these people and these fellow coaches! I feel blessed beyond words and I hope a very bleary eyed coach can do his best to describe the love I have for this place! And I assume if you are reading this you are invested in some way and I am absolutely grateful beyond belief. Thank you so so much! Shokran! Ana bahebek!!! 

-Grady