Saturday, July 3, 2010


I'm currently having an American fix...I just went out with friends for Doner (not American, but very tasty) and Starbucks this afternoon! As Coldplay plays in the background of my pretty Pansiyon room, I praise God for little breaks and reminders of home at times like this. What do I mean by "times like this" exactly? Well, we left Olive Grove this morning, along with the beautiful high schoolers we've grown to love the the breathtaking turtle beach. What an experience! I don't feel like I'm yet in a place to write a huge summary about camp, but I'll give you my top ten from the past two and a half weeks:

1. The beauty of Cirali, Turkey... the Mediterranean is absolutely wonderful. Kayaking out a ways to watch the sunrise earlier this week was a sweet time at sea.
2. A killer staff. I've loved getting to know Michelle, Katie, Albi, Chris, Ashley, Jamie, Lindsay... just a few of the many friends I've made at camp.
3. My dear Janan, a camper I was able to connect with in a special way this week.
4. My biggest cultural blunder so far (the American word "sick" is a very bad word in Turkish, so I accidentally cursed my cooks as I was being served lunch...I got dirty looks and shaken heads from the Turks, but lots of laughs and a moment I'll never live down from the Americans. You make mistakes, apologize, and move on to make new mistakes; it's the beauty of learning to navigate a culture!)
5. Teaching drama! My kids did an awesome job with "Lord of Lords", our mime drama.
6. The high school party last night. It included a unique talent show and lots of fun dancing with the kids and counselors...
7. Turkish breakfast. Here's my "usual": a hard-boiled egg, two pieces of fresh bread with butter and raw honey, beaz penir (white cheese), cucumbers, watermellon, and coffee. Yum!
8. Siesta! 1:45-2:45pm each day was utterly peaceful.
9. Learning a ton about wisdom myself while leading Bible studies on wild wisdom for my girls.
10. Being constanly challenged to have a servant's attitude toward our campers. Watching them in this community was such a neat experience, as many of the campers have their closest friends there at Olive Grove. It's such a safe place for TCKs and Turkish Christians. As an added bonus (and a huge reason to praise the Lord), some of the Turkish students gave their lives to the Lord this week! Though this may seem typical of a camp experience, every Turk who comes to the Lord is a special statistic. Since my home church contains more Christians than all the believers in Turkey total, every soul won for Jesus is such a victory! Pray for them... that their choice to follow him may be permanent and strong, that they would receive the follow-up and encouragement they need.

Please also pray for my week following our tour around Turkey. I'll return to Antalya and will most likely not have a phone or computer. On top of that, I'll be staying by myself. The town is safe, but I still need prayer for getting around during that week and finding good things to do with my time. Thanks! Hopefully I'll have time for another update before that time comes. Happy 4th of July!

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