by Valerie Morby Posted Jul 3, 2014
Editor’s Note: This following post was written by Rebecca Ross, Children’s Pastor of North Metro Church in Marietta, Georgia, where our Camp in the City team set up camp for Week 3.
East of the Mississippi River, Marietta, Georgia is a suburb of the city of Atlanta. It was here that we first experienced the arrival of a Pine Cove trailer and a rock climbing wall. It was love at first sight.
32 college students unloaded onto the campus of North Metro Church to leave the handprint of God on the lives of host families and campers. They sprawled out about the campus unloading tents, boxes, and equipment to transform our lobby and children’s hallways to a whole new world.
On Monday morning 84 campers arrived who were all first-timers — Atlanta had never seen anything like this before! There were nervous moments of separation from mom and dad as they transitioned into tents where the bonding process began immediately. Within the hour, the voices of “the 32” could be heard in chants and songs all over the campus. “The 84” weren’t quite sure what to make of it.
It was an amazing week of transformation of body language, smiles, laughter, and hearts as “the 84” began to unite with the “the 32”. Throughout the campus, you could hear conversations about high fives, courage, sword drills, darchery, and who would dare to climb the wall. All of it was centered on The One, Jesus. Who gives us the courage? Who holds the rope? The answers were all the same, “Jesus”.
Friday brought the celebration, but along with it, a culmination of 116 voices all chanting and singing about Jesus. “The 32” and “the 84” were now the “the 116”. Parents roared in excitement while witnessing all of the clever, creative, and cool ways their child experienced God.
It has been two weeks – the tents are down, the climbing wall is gone, and the Pine Cove trailer has moved on to its next destination. What remains, though, is the imprint of Jesus from “the 32” on the lives of “the 84” – forever changed.