We left the comforts of home this afternoon and arrived at our home-away-from-home around 4pm. While driving north, the boys began to get to know each other and learned about the many things they have in common. They connected really well and were even singing and laughing together as we arrived at The Ranch!
In the 9 years we have been running these summer camps, we have never had a group come together as quickly as these boys did today! Within the first few hours, they became like friends who have been hanging out for years!
We were even able to get them to all get together and pose for a group picture! Unheard of on Day 1! Usually, it takes the teens some time to become comfortable enough to accept each other; but not this group!
Mr. Ron taught some of the boys to play chess and they loved it! “It’s a Thinking game” he kept reminding them!
My favorite part of day 1 is always the climbing wall. We had two boys, Nolan and Neavon, who said they were not going to climb the wall because they are afraid of heights…the leaders challenged them to stretch themselves out on a harness…not only did they put on a harness, but they continued to stretch themselves until they were halfway up the wall! What an accomplishment it was for these boys to overcome their fears and get up on that wall!
We ended this hot day with our feet in the water learning how to navigate the Bible. We discussed the old and New Testament and how to find specific books. We also took a few topics like forgiveness and confidence and showed the boys how God has given us His word to help us in any situation.
As the day comes to a close, the leaders are sitting around the table tonight debriefing the day: discussing strategy to impact each of these boys in a BIG way during this short time we have them and praying for each of them. Please pray for continued energy for the staff and the days can be tiring. Pray that God will give them the right words for these boys at the right time.
We have also had a few of the boys mention that they do not believe in God. So be in prayer that their hearts would be softened to His voice and they would see Him very clearly during their time here and after!
A few of the boys have also expressed home sickness, so pray for strength as some of them are away from their families for the first time.