This past Wednesday I started what would become an 8 week adventure in Oklahoma at a huge Christian camp called Falls Creek. On Wednesday I left LAX and flew to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was so hard to say goodbye to all my friends and family the past week. Anyways when I got to the airport in Oklahoma there was someone from Falls Creek named Lindsey who picked me up. She picked me up and took me to meet my cousin, James, in Edmond, OK to spend the night at his house. It was so good to meet a few relatives in OK and spend time with them. They took me out to eat at a restaurant called Old Chicago. For my CA friends/relatives out there, Old Chicago is like the BJ’s Brewhouse. It was really good. I’m so glad that I got to meet them because now it makes me want to come back to OK and visit them.
On Thursday morning Lindsey picked me up from James’s house and we started our trek to Falls Creek. I woke up to pouring rain and thunder on Thursday. God did not even wait a day for me to experience the weather of Oklahoma. We stopped at a restaurant called Cracker Barrel on our way. It was a country style restaurant where half of it was a restaurant and half of it was a really cute store that looked very country. I had french toast and it was so good! Later on our way, we drove through Moore, OK and I got to see damage of the tornado from this past Monday, May 20th. It made me heartbroken to see even the little amount of damage I saw. On a lighter note apparently Moore, OK, is the home of Toby Keith.
When we got to Falls Creek, I will say I started getting nervous, but I also was super excited. I was excited to see where I would be living for the next 8 weeks, but I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect at all. I got to meet a couple people that I would be working with right when I got here. One of their names was a girl named Sheena. After a few days of knowing her, I can tell that she loves God and is really funny and nice. After that I went to my cabin, which to my surprise was empty. It was a good thing that it was empty because I had to open and unpack several boxes that were shipped to Falls Creek before I came here. It took me over an hour to unpack the boxes and my suitcase and get everything situated.By the time I was almost done getting everything situated, girls from my cabin started coming in. They all seemed nice at first but I became a little shy which was hard for me to believe. A hour went by and all of the Falls Creek summer staff started coming into the Staff Cafeteria. I know it is hard for people who know me really well to believe, but I actually didn’t try to become friends with people that night or try to learn other people’s names. After dinner we had a few different staff orientation meetings. Finally after those meetings were done we had a staff worship time in a room that was off to the side of the main tabernacle. It was so cool to worship with my fellow staff members. We got to have free coffee from the coffee shop at Falls Creek called West End Coffee Shop. I don’t like coffee so I had a vanilla chai tea. It was so good. Sometime on Thursday night or Friday night we got to meet our small group leaders for the summer and spent time with our small group. All of the girls in my small group are extremely nice and funny. I’m actually going to be spending time at my small group leader’s house this weekend. I’m super excited about this.
On Friday we had more orientation meetings throughout the day. After dinner though we had our first work area meeting and I got to meet who would be working concessions with me throughout the summer. Then we had a staff worship/prayer. While we were worshiping I realized that as much as I don’t think I do, I rely on my friends, family, and people from my church more than I should when I have a problem in my life that needs to be resolved. After I made that realization I thought that since I don’t have the comfort of having my friends from home with me at this camp this summer, I need to rely on God in those moments when I want to rely on my friends. Honestly I think this is the big thing that God is trying to teach and challenge me with this summer. I think he wants me to trust and rely on him more. I called one of my best friends that night who knows how close I am to people from home and she challenged me to not have long conversations with certain people from home for at least the next four or five weeks. I’m going to be honest when she gave me that challenge I didn’t like it but I realized that she was right. So other than that conversation with her I have only had one long phone conversation with one of those certain people and it was today. It was also because I hadn’t seen or talked to that person in a little over a week.
Saturday May 25, 2013
Today we finally began the hard labor in our different work areas in order to get ready for the next day when the children’s camp was going to begin. I got to rake leaves and other things like load up sodas to be taken to different concession stands in the camp. I’m going to be honest, I don’t normally do yard work when I am home. The only times I have done yard work recently have been on mission trips. So when I was raking leaves and putting them into the area where they would eventually be taken away I felt like I was on a mission trip. We had lunch after that and set up more things in our work area times. After that we had dinner and then a few of the other concessions people and I went to Wal-Mart to get misc things. Sadly I ended up dropping my phone and the back of it shattered. Luckily my small group leader told me there is a store in her town that sells the back of iPhone cases for only about $20. That made me happy because otherwise I would have to spend $150 on a whole new phone.
Sunday May 26, 2013
Today we had breakfast and then a staff worship time with a sermon. It was a really good message about the importance of the mountain top. After that we had lunch then we headed to our different work stations and started working. I worked from 2-5pm at the Ice Dock. The Ice Dock is basically where the different church pastors/sponsors can get bags of ice. I will be working it until Friday of it this week. The Ice Dock was super slow today and only 3 different people came up to me to buy ice. I am by myself at the Ice Dock.
Monday May 27, 2013
Today I got the most homesick that I have been all of this time. I was homesick because the Ice Dock was extremely slow today and because I’m not around anyone else. During my 9:30AM-12:30PM shift today I didn’t sell a single bag of ice. It made me lonely not being busy or having other people around me. Later in the day during my 2-5PM shift there was I think only one person that came up to me. Since no one was coming to me to buy ice I would read Erasing Hell, my bible, listen to music, play on my phone, and journal. After I was done with that shift, I had dinner and then went back to my cabin because I was exhausted. It was nice to get some extra hours of sleep that night.
Tuesday May 28, 2013
Today I didn’t sell a single bag of ice. It was extremely slow. Even though it was extremely slow I wasn’t homesick at all. The reason why I wasn’t homesick was because I finished reading Erasing Hell and I memorized Philippians 1:1-18. Being in God’s word really helped me to not be homesick. I also wrote a letter to my best friend and called someone who is really important to me today. Talking to that person made me not as homesick also.
Wednesday May 29, 2013
Today I also didn’t sell any ice except for ten bags to one lady after I was supposed to be closed. Other than that work wise today was pretty uneventful. Tonight there was a severe thunderstorm that came. It was raining really hard and windy. There was so much thunder. The courtesy staff told everyone that was in the cafeteria to go back up to our staff cabins. We have golf carts to get us to and from the main area and our cabins, so we were told if we did have a golf cart to take people up and if we didn’t have a golf cart to have someone take us back up to the cabins. When we got back to our cabins I remember laying in my bed just hearing the thunder and watching the lightning. The lightning went on for a good almost two hours. I’m going to be honest I was scared. Being from Laguna Niguel in southern California, we don’t have storms like this. Anyways I eventually went to sleep.
Thursday May 30, 2013
I just woke up and had breakfast. In a few hours I will have been at Falls Creek for a week now. I can’t believe how fast this past week has gone. By the way sorry about the long blog post, I haven’t really been journaling as much as I would like to be so this is my way of journaling right now. In the future these blog posts won’t be this long and will not be about what I did as much as they will be about what God is doing here and what I need prayer for. I will also put a blog posts with pictures up as soon as I have more time.
Please pray for unity within the different areas but also with the Falls Creek Staff as a whole.
Please pray that we won’t gossip.
Please pray for me that I don’t start to get more homesick again.
Please pray for the children here and that their ears will be open to hear what the worship band/camp pastor has to say.
Please pray for the children and students that will give their lives over to Christ this summer that they will grow in their relationship with God and that they will always follow God. Also pray that they understand how big of a decision they are making