Chandler and Jackson taking over the blog today. Our team knows we have a lot of people back praying for us and our time here in Egypt. We really appreciate all of the love and support you all have given us. We would not be here without y’all, and we are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers.
Day three kicked off with a powerful scene early this morning at WSC. Each cabin of twelve campers were awoken at 6:30, an hour earlier than usual, to the task of carrying a large cross around the camp property three times. The campers worked as teams to carry the large crosses around in the sun for about an hour. They finished their march in a big open area in the sand where twenty holes had been dug for the twenty crosses. After placing their crosses in the ground the campers all gathered together to listen to a short message of the crucifixion. The message finished with the challenge of a response to the questions of “Do you believe Jesus died and rose again for you, to pay the price for your sin? Do you believe what is written in the gospel account of the crucifixion? Do you believe God loves you so much that he would do this?” Yes, no, maybe? Many campers spent a few minutes thinking, contemplating, and praying at the foot of their cross after this question. It was my first time hearing the story of the cross, the greatest story of all time, in arabic. The camp director, Shady, translated it for a few of us monolingual Americans standing by. I have heard this same story so many times and it never gets old. I was reminded of what I really deserve and what I was given instead. We are never too far in our walks of faith, too wise, too old, or too mature to sit in awe and wonder of what happened on that cross. I challenge you, the readers of this blog, to read the story of the cross today. Or are you too busy to spend ten minutes to do so? 😉
The cross walk was followed by breakfast and then it was off to the football stadium for the Civil Wars! This was honestly the most creative thing I have ever seen at any camp I have ever been to. I will do my best to be short in illustrating what “Civil Wars” was. Campers were split into five teams and were tasked with constructing two cranes each. Pictures of these massive mechanisms are shown below. As some of the team worked on building the cranes, others had to do various workouts (pushups, sit-ups, stairs, etc.) to earn points. They would then be able to trade these points in for cardboard boxes. The boxes would then be used to stack up on their tarps to create cities (stacks of boxes), but they had to use the cranes to move the boxes on to the tarps. Once the cities were constructed the teams were given 5 minutes to launch dodge balls at the cities of the other teams using giant slingshots. After the war, an evaluation of the cities was done by some staff to award one team with the honor of winning Civil Wars. The campers enjoyed every bit of it… even the sit-ups. After the winning team was crowned, it was time for lunch.
In the afternoon it was back to “majors”. I have the privilege of coaching ultimate frisbee alongside Hayden to fifteen kids (15-18 yrs old) during majors time. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of each day. Ultimate is not very common at all here in Egypt and these kids really want to learn how to play well. I don’t have much experience coaching any sport really, but these kids are really good listeners so they make my job pretty easy. Our hour to hour and a half at the frisbee major typically is run in the following structure: Stretch, dynamic warmup, paired passing, one or two short drills or scrimmage, circle up. For many of them they are playing their first games of ultimate this week! At the end of each frisbee major, we circle up and pose a couple questions to the campers. It has been so awesome to listen to their responses and get to know these kids.
Hey! It’s Chandler taking over. I am humbled to be the volleyball coach here at Wadi Sports Camp. As you can see, the kids have been extremely active throughout the day, so in majors today, Grace and I decided to let the campers attempt to play an actual game. Since so many kids love volley, as the Egyptians like to say, Grace and I like to split the class in half in order to get all 32 kids playing as much as possible. Grace took a group of 12 into the Wallyball courts, where teams play 4v4 on a racquetball court. The campers absolutely loved this game. Since the courts are smaller and walls actually work to a team’s advantage, games become more intense. I stayed outside with the other two teams and played two games to 25, the Cornflakes vs Hakuna Matata. To see the campers actually learning the rotations and making legal attacks on the ball with huge smiles on their face makes standing in the blistering sun that much more worth it.
After majors and sessions, the campers showered and scampered off to dinner to enjoy a scrumptious plate of fries and sandwiches. Campers were once again “carbed” up and ready for the night activity. iWars began on the tennis courts, where a similarity between Egyptian and American cultures was highlighted once again. Egyptians are just as obsessed with their iPhones and Apps as we are in America. 20 Apps were set up along the border of the tennis courts, ranging from Snapchat to Pinterest to Shazam and Heads Up. Teams had about a minute to complete each App task in order to receive a score between 1-10, based on how the team performed in the App determined how high or low the team would score. I had the privilege to work the Shazam App and absolutely loved it. I would play 30 seconds of popular songs and the campers would have to guess the name of the song, if they answered all 10 correctly, they would receive a 10/10. The winner of iWars was determined by the highest score after adding up all 20 apps’ scores. Seeing the cabins work together, while laughing and cheering, truly solidifies why, we as coaches, are here. God is working in mysterious ways and I know this camp is a living testament to that.
One of the most amazing things about this place is seeing all the similarities between cultures. And even though we are thousands of miles a part from one another, God works through each individual in the same way and loves us all the same. During a typical day at camp, you can hear multiple languages spoken at once, but one thing is certain, the human heart beats the same in each one of us and beats for the same God up above, He hears all prayers in every language. We are excited to see how He continues to work through each one of us, but for now, it’s time for us to rest up for yet another exciting day here at camp! Sleep tight!