Rixos Day 2

Today is the last day for the short trippers in Egypt.  It was a day of rest, reflection and recharge on the shore of the Mediterranean.  Beautiful blue water and white sand is a far cry from the dust and the numerous flies of Wadi but I would trade the beach for camp in a heartbeat.  This is my second time on this trip and there is undeniable endearment to Wadi Sports Camp.  While we enjoy the luxury of a resort on the North Coast, my mind cannot help but travel south to the camp where so many people are investing in eternity.  I wish so badly to be arm in arm with my brothers and sisters in Christ, having spiritual conversations with campers, impacting eternity.  Following this train of thought I happened to jump on board rather than let it pass only to hear the whistle fade in the distance, I began to ponder the impact I can have beyond the walls of camp.  Instead of being sidelined while the big play happens before me on a field I only wish I could spend more time on, I came to a familiar revelation.  I am constantly an ambassador for Christ, no matter the country or place.  Be it at work or on the golf course, or even Wadi Sports Camp, how am I living out Matthew 5:14-16? I am always supposed to let my light shine before men so that they may glorify my Father in Heaven.  Being on this trip has taught me that even when I feel I am useless or a bench player, I am really in the middle o the play and I need to give my unfettered effort for the Lord.  While I would trade sand and surf for Wadi, this is no excuse not to be living for the Lord in every aspect of life, no matter how mundane it may seem.

Thanks,

Daniel SnellD7K_3029D7K_3682fullsizeoutput_65cIMG_5056

Camp 1 Wrap Up and On To Rixos

Ben here! Yesterday was the last day of camp 😦 What a bittersweet feeling knowing everything is a last. Last majors, sessions, and X-Periods. Last pool time hanging out and having fun with campers. Today was special for many reasons. For one, this was the first day of camp that I have felt 100% and like myself! More on that later though…

 

Today the campers competed in the Man and Woman of Wadi challenge. Participants swim and run for time in order to prove themselves the fittest camper of the W3 session. This event was so fun to be a part of and to encourage the campers we’ve become so close with. Being able to run laps with campers, cheer them on, and to watch the other coaches be filled with pride at their camper’s effort was amazing and a picture of God’s love. Some of the coaches even competed and we got to cheer them on too!

 

Another special time on the last day is the boys and girls Alpha vs. Omega soccer championship in the stadium during dinner. Every camper is wearing their red Alpha shirt or blue Omega shirt and they are all cheering and chanting for their side during the match. And what a match it was! The boy Alphas came back twice during regulation and won on penalties. All the Alpha campers rushed the field and it was so cool to be a part of.

 

The final part of camp is the closing ceremonies where campers and cabins are recognized for exhibiting the foundational principles of camp. During the ceremony we sat with the Egyptian staffers who loved on these kids every minute of every day. Witnessing the exultation and sense of reward for the staffers when one of their kids was recognized showed us how much of an influence they had on the campers. Seeing the staffers take joy in their camper’s success was such a beautiful experience, and knowing that we were able to encourage the staffers all week in that work is a cool picture of the body of Christ.

 

In closing, I have to mention the health of the coaches. I was dealing with a stomach bug all week and was constantly encouraged by the other coaches to keep loving the students well, even when I wasn’t close to 100%. Missing majors and sessions at Wadi is zero fun and its easy to focus on the negative circumstances, but everyone kept me up and I am so thankful for them. Yesterday was the first day I was fully myself, and it happened just as several others were coming down with similar stomach bugs or slight fevers. God gave me the opportunity to bring some energy to the team and help others in their sickness, and teach me a lesson in serving when given much or little. God created the best team of coaches this year and I am so thankful for all we’ve learned together in beautiful, wonderful Egypt!fullsizeoutput_656D7K_3593D7K_3459D7K_3554D7K_3017IMG_0278

Wadi Camp

Hello Y’all!

 

I’m so happy to be able to write the blog for today! My name is Andrew Franco and this is my first time in Egypt and at Wadi sports camp. This trip has been amazing so far and I see God working through all of us. The major that I am teaching is tennis alongside Kaylee Gott. This morning like the other mornings we went to our majors and worked on tennis serving. This was a challenge because this is one of the hardest things to teach and learn in tennis. After we did some serving we played kings court and around the world. For the first couple of days we had the kids remember a verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.” So today we changed verses and now were having them memorize Isiah 43:2 “when you go through deep waters, I’ll be with you.” If any of the campers can say it for us throughout camp we will give them a piece of candy. It is so funny to see these kids get so excited about some candy, it really makes me smile to see how happy a piece of candy can make a kid so happy.

 

After pool time Hunter, Anna, Steven and I refed Kan Jam a.k.a ultimate frisbee  We refed both girls and boys cabins. I love seeing the Alpha and Omega team go head to head, everyone for the most part have good attitudes and are always eager to play. After the two sessions we were off until the championship volleyball game. This was such a cool thing to see, the best of the best for Alpha and Omega. After the game and dinner was over we played a game that has taken three years to get to this point. Hunter, Wyatt, Danial and I reffed this sort of water pong with big buckets and dodge balls. It was super fun and at the end everyone was throwing water everywhere and it tuned into a water fight!

 

This trip has been amazing and I am so grateful for this opportunity. The people here are so nice and thankful that we are here. I so happy to bring joy and spread the love of Jesus to these kids. This has been a great experience and it is not over yet!

 

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Pandemic Takes Over Wadi

Hey there, Friends!

 

My name is Lauren Bratcher and I have the privilege of providing you with yet another unique snapshot of our experience here at Wadi. I actually first came to Wadi with the team in 2010 when I was a Sophomore at The University of Texas (Hook ‘em). Being back for a second time so many years later has been a huge blessing. A few things around camp have changed, but I was so surprised at the beginning of the week with how quickly memories came rushing in to fill the gaps that had been created over time. I felt at home fast and have continued to sink deeper and deeper into the unexpected comfort of this place. Before I jump into a few highlights of the day, I want to share a fun story with you.

 

The first full day we were at camp a few of us were eating dinner outside while the World Cup quarter finals were going on. I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I turned around two equally excited and bashful eyes were staring back at me through a pair of glasses. He asked me if I knew who he was. I stammered for a few seconds and then admitted that I didn’t. “It’s me, Mena!”, he exclaimed. It all came rushing back. Mena was one of the four campers (all boys) that I coached in swimming back in 2010. At the time, he was 18 and about to head off to university to study medicine. He is the camp doctor this summer! When I coached the boys in swimming, I wrote all of them notes on beach balls and gave them out at the end of the week. In Mena’s note, I told him that I knew he would be a great doctor one day and that I knew he would use his skill for the glory of God. I only know this because Mena told me. He has kept that beach ball with him since 2010 and read it right before he came to camp this summer. Sometimes the small things we do resonate big in the lives of others.

 

Today was yet another day in paradise. No two days at Wadi are the same, which you have probably realized by now. Today for the camp X-period, the counselors and coaches faced off against the campers in a game called “Pandemic”. Instead of the usual campers vs. campers set-up, the entire camper population was pitted against the counselors/coaches in an effort to prevent a deadly disease from wiping out the entirety of Wadi as we know it!!!!…or something like that. The game ended with an epic camper vs. Pi (campers are Alpha or Omega and all staff are Pi) War Ball (think dodge ball but more people and increased intensity) game and the campers successfully eradicating the disease. Their reward? A viewing of the World Cup Finals for all of camp! The night ended with an amazing concert in the hall featuring strobe lights, lots of jumping up and down and hundreds of Egyptian campers worshipping our almighty, always the same, giver of good gifts, God.

 

This is a beautiful place. These are a beautiful people and it’s been an honor to experience God moving in big ways here. Thank you for praying. Thank you for reading and keeping us in your thoughts. Tomorrow is our last day of camp and then we will be heading to the North Coast for some rest and debriefing. Keep tuning into the blog, we’re not quite done yet! Also, please pray for health, a few of our teammates are feeling under the weather and it’s been tough on them.

 

Much Love,

Lauren Bratcher


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A Day in Alex

Hi everyone! My name is Stephen Bratcher, I have the opportunity to share with you all about our wonderful day in Alexandria and back at Wadi for an amazing carnival and incredible talent show! Today (Friday) is the start of their weekend and they have church on Fridays because Sunday is the start of their work week. The schedule was a bit different this morning with no majors. We had free time before breakfast to work out and spend extended time with Jesus. After breakfast we drove to Alexandria, the first stop was the library at Alexandria. We saw of the exterior exhibits and architecture. Such a beautiful building right on the north coast. The next stop was ice cream… of course. Geoff treated us to ice cream, also just off the cost where there were hundreds of boats anchored in the bay. Next, we went to the citadel which was used as a castle and fort, it was originally built around 400 AD. We toured the grounds and saw the beauty of the city and the Mediterranean Sea from the top of the citadel. We stopped off at an Egyptian mall and got lunch and picked up some groceries before heading back to camp. Alexandria was an incredible side trip and a really fun time to rest and be together as a team.

We got back in time for a Mexican themed carnival. Yes, you read that correctly, a Mexican themed Carnival in Egypt. It was awesome, the kids had so much fun and it was immediately followed by a talent show. Kids put together induvial acts, small groups and even acts as entire cabins. Even though there were some nerves here and there the kids put on one amazing show for their friends and the staff.

 

Some of us got to play a soccer match in the stadium with the kitchen staff and some of the grounds crew at Wadi. The language barrier went away immediately when we started playing. Somehow they convinced us to do Americans vs Egyptians. We ended up holding our own and having a blast playing with them and spending time with many of the guys who have been serving us since the second we arrived. On the way to the carnival Ben and I were talking about the match, we realized it was such a cool opportunity to play with them, it was a simple way of saying thank you and having that memory with them. I think that match will go way farther than us saying “shocron” or “thank you” in the dining hall. Sports really can do incredible things in bringing people together, even when there are times when there is a total language barrier.

 

It has been a joy for Lauren and I to be a part of this team and experience God in this place. Wadi holds a special place in Lauren’s heart. She was here as a coach in 2010. I will let her tell you more about it later. The Lord is working and is living and active at Wadi and across Egypt, We are so excited to be a small part of the gospel being heard and the name of Jesus being made known. Thank you for reading and be sure to check back in tomorrow!

 

Thanks and Gig ‘em! (…it’s funny because Anna Snell and I are the only Aggies…as of now)

For the Kingdom,

Stephen Bratcher7718087488_IMG_2197


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Another Day at Wadi

Hi Friends!

Thank you for following our Egypt journey and for your faithful prayers for our team.  We are having a wonderful adventure, God is at work, and we can feel your prayers!

Our 4th day of camp started early with a tradition at Wadi called the Cross Carry.  Each cabin of 12 campers works together to carry a large wooden cross around the entire camp property 3 times.  For this hour and a half activity, worship music in English, like “Lead Me to the Cross” and “Mighty to Save”, is played on speakers throughout the camp. This was physically challenging as well as an emotionally and spiritually moving activity for all.  Many campers were overcome with emotion after carrying the heavy cross together and understanding the significance of it in a new way.  Then they stood all 20 crosses up in the central part of camp and heard a talk from the founding pastor of the camp about what Jesus did for each of us on the cross.

After a typical Egyptian camp breakfast (scrambled eggs, beans, and pita bread), we headed out to coach our Majors for the day.  My coaching role is to float to different sports each day as they need help.  Today I joined the Basketball major with Reese and Wyatt.  This was fun to meet a new group of campers, and also challenging as they were all exhausted from the Cross Carry earlier that morning.  At the end of each major, we share a short devotional and verse with the campers.  Today we had the campers share what they had learned from the morning Cross activity.  3 kids shared openly with our group, 2 in Arabic and 1 in English.  Micky, a 16 year old male camper who speaks English very well, shared with such passion and clarity about the whole meaning of the cross.  This spoke deeply to my heart.  God is so cool like that when He teaches us truths from those we came to serve.

Another fun part of our camp day is Pool Time, which happens for an hour right before lunch each day.  Campers and staff swim, listen to fun music, and play different yard games around the pool area.  My favorite is the game 9 square,  so I spent most of pool time playing with a group of energetic campers and some of our American team.  This time is fun, relaxed, and a great time getting to know each other.  The relationships are the BEST part of camp.  These joyful people are so accepting and loving to us.  They share their stories and their faith openly and with authenticity.  I love that!  I am challenged to be more like my new Egyptian friends in this way when I come back home to Texas.

This afternoon we played a camp wide game of Dragonfly.  This game was a little like flag football and capture the flag mixed together.  The Alpha Team competed against the Omega Team while wearing flag football flags.  The goal was to try and score the most points by running from their side of the camp to the other team’s base without getting their flag pulled off.  This game was FUN, FAST, COMPETITIVE, & EXCITING.  As a Nurse, these type of camp games where campers run at full speed across the desert terrain with many obstacles to avoid make me a bit nervous.  Especially considering the closest hospital is in Cairo about 1 ½ hours away and the fastest way to get there is in your personal vehicle, not an ambulance.  Thankfully, we made it through this game with only minor scrapes, bruises, and sore muscles.

My time in Egypt has been more fulfilling than I ever expected.  From the day I arrived here, I have been surrounded by the PEACE of God in many ways.  From the love for Jesus each staff member has, to the openness of the campers to their American coaches, to the physical and spiritual safety of those who have the privilege of coming to Wadi, God’s presence is felt in powerful ways.  And I know … God’s hand of favor is on Wadi Sports Camp in Egypt!

We love yall!

Carrie RichFullSizeRenderfullsizeoutput_981fullsizeoutput_990

Day 5!

Wow. Where do I even begin to explain something as great as a day at Wadi!!

This experience has already been so incredibly eye opening. The people, the events, the team, the experiences; I wouldn’t swap my summer days with anyone else in the world.

We ended the day yesterday gathering in the hall for a concert. The Egyptian band played worship songs while we danced and praised together in both English and Arabic. It was such a special experience to be worshipping with a completely different culture while praising the exact same God who offers us the same comforting spirit. That experience was something I will remember clearly forever.

Today we got to start our mornings off with our majors (mine is tennis). It has been a really cool experience to already see the progress the campers have made in their skills and the relationships that have formed through these mornings.

Later in the afternoon we did a Decathlon. Each cabin had to send a camper to each station around the camp that included jump roping, shot-put, archery, swimming, and many more. Once they finished one station, they ran with their cabin to the next until they reached the last station: carrying of the cross. Spread out over a large sand area were large wooden crosses; one for each cabin. The final test was to carry this cross, probably around 60 lbs, around the camp with your cabin. Seeing these campers work together to do such a symbolic gesture really put things into perspective. It made me stop for a minute and reflect on the day where this action was done by only one man.

Later in the night we went to an arena that had been built for “The Hunger Games”. All the staff, campers, and coaches gathered around a moat filled with water, surrounded by tiki torches, and accessed by planks. Throughout the night there were different challenges that campers (or tributes) from each cabin participated in. Some of these challenges included shooting arrows at a competitor, or knocking each other off of pool floaties. The detail and effort that these administrators and staff put into this camp continues to amaze me. I can clearly see the heart of God at this camp and in these games: He finds joy in seeing us laugh, watching us enjoy life, and seeing us enjoy each other.

There have been very long days so far, but they still seem to go by too quickly. I am trying to take in each moment, each experience, each conversation, because I know I will miss this place as soon as I say bye to it. I am looking forward to the next week ahead of us, and know for a fact that God is up to something good.

-Kaylee (KG)

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