doe river gorge is beautiful. and in the six or so years i've been coming here, it's always ablaze with fall colors and a cornflower blue sky.
not this year.
after our morning meeting, we went back to our cabins for some "cabin time." there, the students had a chance to dig a little deeper and see perhaps how the mornings stories might correlate to their own journeys.
the girl who was struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. the sporty guy who struggled with the different masks that he let people see. so much that he wasn't even sure which mask to wear when he was by himself. the girl with self-esteem issues and also what to do with her childhood faith now that she's a teen. the believer with peers without spiritual grounding. or the "normal" guy excited about sleeping with his girlfriend.
our time was gritty. really gut-wrenching. girls struggling with self-esteem. pressures from parents to excel at everything and measure up to perfect siblings. what to do with little sisters dabbling in dangerous activities. loneliness. living life radically for Jesus.
we had never had quite that much of a break through before, and it was clear that the different stories were resonating. and it was happening all across the camp.
we all blew off some steam with a little football game in the rain. guys against girls. guys on their knees. girls on foot. (with baby oil on their legs… wishful thinking that this would make them harder to get a hold of) it was muddy. it was intense. in the spirit of not wanting to be a quadriplegic, i did not play, but took pictures. the girls managed to make it out of there with a tie.
with the wet day, the activities they would normally do (zip line into the lake, high ropes, technical tree climbing, mountain biking, paint ball) took a backseat to hanging out, talking, and just being "chill." God continued to do a work in the free hours of the afternoon.