North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA

August 1, 2018 | Kids Camp Prep Day

Today was such an amazing day. Thank you God for creating such a blessed day! I’ll be honest. For the last few days I have been struggling and loosing focus on why I am on this trip. I’ve been battling illness and pain which has easily caused me to loose sight of why I was on this trip in the first place. I became so caught up in the me. Questioning God as to why he would send me to an unknown land only to allow me to “suffer.” It’s amazing how we can quickly become inwardly focused. And that’s what Satan wants. He doesn’t want God’s plan to be fulfilled. He doesn’t want the orphans of this world to be shown the love of Christ and to be given the opportunity to have a Heavenly Father. He wants the orphans to be oppressed and fatherless. But God certainly has bigger and better plans. This morning as I prayed to God to help me refocus these lyrics came into my head from Rachel Chan’s song Even Here: I know your pain, I hear your cry, And I have been there too. And I promise not to leave you. Soon you will see what I can see. Child, keep your eyes on me. You’re right where you should be. But don’t fear anything, ‘Cause I’m here and I can bring you joy, Even here I’ll bring you joy. There’s a reason for everything, In each season I can bring you joy, Even here I’ll bring you joy. No better words could have hit me this morning. I am right where I should be. And even here He will bring me Joy! And did He ever succeed. We started our day as a group with a devotional asking God to make us steadfast, holy, grounded and rooted during our bus ride to Day 1 of Kids Camp! Shout out to Cassy for leading. Once arriving to the site of kids camp we broke into our smaller teams -- everyone from North Way is partnered up with someone from another church from around the world. We had a time of group prayer and the spent time learning games that we would be playing with the kids. I volunteered to be a part of the skit that we would be doing on Thursday on the prodigal son. So during a free period I got my first theatrical rehearsal! We enjoyed a nice lunch on the beach where the team enjoyed great conversation and growth as a team. Much of the afternoon consisted of prayer walking around the Independence Resort before the kids arrived. …And then the much anticipated arrival of the kids! It was pure JOY seeing the kids faces when they saw the hotel. I was greeted by some of the best hugs I’ve ever received from several of the kids from the Kampong Thom home. Shortly after the arrived we ate dinner as a large group on the beach. Some of the kids have never been to the ocean/sea before. So to see there excited was awesome. To help you picture it, it is the face you make when you see the presents under the tree at Christmas. We spent the evening worshiping and hearing a message from Mark Geppert. He spoke on God the Father. And explained that even though the kids may not have and earthly father, that they have a Heavenly Father that would never leave them. The evening ended with the team praying for those kids that accepted and wanted Jesus as the savior for there lives. This was such a powerful time for me. Being able to pray for the kids and knowing that they are the future of Cambodia and the world. That they will help to spread the love of Christ throughout the region. Does it get much better? Thank you God for helping me to refocus on You today. —John Hollenberger