Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Day four at Olive Grove! I love my girls; I have seven 10th graders. We get to meet together each morning from 9-10 to do a Bible study and they have some really insightful opinions about wisdom, which is our overall theme for camp. We’re studying animal “bios” in combination with Bible stories to focus on a virtue necessary to wisdom each day. For instance, we studied the grizzly bear mother who looks after her cubs furiously in combination with the story of Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament on Monday. In both of these illustrations, we learn about loyalty, which is something a wise person must possess.

I enjoy being a younger counselor because it’s a really unique role for the high schoolers. While they definitely respect me (which I appreciate so much), I also emphasize to them that I’m still a “teenager” who can relate to them and remember high school trials and stories well. I’ve also made some great friends among the counselors here at Olive Grove. At least half of the staff lives in Turkey as workers. The other half is from Texas (or so it seems)! I enjoy my roommates, who are the other high school girl counselors. I’m even planning a couple of days in Greece with Michelle for our time after camp.

Working with TCKs has been such an enlightening experience for me. A theme I’ve seen developing with my girls is a sense of minority (or even loneliness) in their towns. Christian friends, especially of a similar age, are very hard to come by in Turkey. Though this is something I’ve known, I’ve not before considered how much of a role this lifestyle of small community plays into the lives of TCKs.

Last night, I was able to give a talk on responsibility (the virtue of wisdom we’re studying today) to the 7th-12th graders. I included a lot of personal stories as I ventured into explaining what holistic responsibility is. I talked about physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental responsibility. I included stories of Dillon, Anna, Laura, Mom and Dad, Nathan, and myself in my lesson… so if any of you are reading, thanks for the examples of responsibility you are to me! TCKs in Turkey definitely benefited from your influence on my life last night.

I’ve only been in Turkey for one week, but it feels as if it’s been a month! I miss milk, ice, and flushing toilet paper down the toilet, but other than that, Turkey is far too beautiful to mention any serious complaints. We eat melon with every meal, have the best fresh bread delivered to our Pansiyon daily, and are treated to something authentically Turkish every evening for dinner. I’ll have to cook a big Turkish dinner for y’all (I mentioned all the Texans, right?) when I get home.

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