Too bad the first day was rainy. Nonetheless, it didn't stop us!
Cletis led the devotionals with the students, talking about the difference between what it feels like to be welcomed into a group, or to be rejected. The conversation continued all three days, as we saw between 8 and 12 kids during this time.
So here we are the first day, after devotional time, enjoying a fun little game where you try to get the ball to go under the others' legs. I had first played it with the young adults one evening in the plaza, and figured it would be fun with these guys too.
I think it's important to include a picture of 13 year old Oriel. He and I had first bonded on the bus to camp last year in Tirol. He is a feisty one, who also loves to draw. When I met up with him again this year, I asked him how the art was coming. He smiled, "I'll show you my drawings tomorrow!"
Oriel is a boy that needs love. I used the word feisty to describe him because he is quick to joke and it is often hard to get serious with him. At one point, we had a short one on one time right before the prayer meeting and I said, "Look, I'm only here for a short week and a half. If there is anything on your mind about how things are going for you, now is the time to say it. I promise confidentiality, and even more, I promise to pray for you."
He finally paused, and began to share some of his concerns in life. You could tell it was not easy for him to share. He has a hard shell for some reason, and when I discussed things with Vanina our conclusion was the same. He just really needs to be shown love. Perhaps he's lacking someone trustworthy, or someone willing to go deeper than the superficial. I do not know. But he's a great kid, and I will definitely be praying for him!