C is for Changes!

>> Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is really a once-a-week meme but I'm catching up so you get a 2-fer this first week of June.  Push the picture to the left to read what others have written about the letter C.  

C is for CHANGE and the CHANGE is in me!  When I first went to CAMP, I was just a little bit intimidated.  I've never been around so many who had so many physical disabilities.  You know what else?  These people don't sit around and talk about it, you know how we do when we get together:

"My back aches bad today.  The weather must be going to change."  "My head feels like it's going to explode!"  (That would be me:)  "The old bursitis is bothering me again..."  You know how it goes.

 We've all been there.  Done that.  It's just funny that I never once heard anything of the kind coming from this camp at Lake Williamson.  I suppose if you live with your disability day in and day out, you want to leave it at home as much as possible.  Many of our illnesses are invisible.  As you look at the pictures I have on FB, you can see many of theirs aren't.  They are very visible.

And I have just come full circle to what I wanted to write about. CHANGES!  The guests I met are not 'stupid.'  They are not 'dumb.'  They are not less than adequate.  Any term that anyone might want to use to describe them in a negative way may as well not do it in my hearing because they would be WRONG!  Even me describing them as a group is so wrong because they are individuals just like you and I.  They all are so different.  Different tastes.  Different ideas.  Different abilities and weaknesses.  Just like you and me.

You see the man in the red?  I may not be able to remember his name but he made a major impact on my life.  Every time he came into the craft room he prayed for me.  Once he made sure I was saved and knew the Lord, he found out other ways he could pray.  He is a prayer warrior.  He may be bound to his wheel chair but he takes full advantage of that bondage.  I'm sure he studies his Bible for hours and prays.

We don't have to talk loud in their faces or talk V-E-R-Y-S-L-O-W-Y like we tend to think we have to do.  Some have different means of COMMUNICATION, for sure but they still COMMUNICATE.  Many times it is us 'able-bodies' that are the ones that are unable to COMMUNICATE.  The ones at camp have no trouble at all talking with one another. My goal is to learn sign language so I can talk at least at a grade school level:) by next year's camp.

I saw computer type programs like CAMI has to the left.  She was able to 'talk' with it, and quite adeptly.  Something may be wrong with their vocal chords but nothing is wrong with their minds.  The guests at camp have something to say.  They have words from God.  God speaks to them like He speaks to us.  Sometimes more so, maybe because they sit still and listen much better than we do.

When I walked into camp, I thought, 'I hope I can reach out and be a blessing to these guests this week.'  I wasn't even a day into the camp when my thinking totally CHANGED and I realized that the guests were blessing me abundantly and even more than I could even have imagined.

One night we had a talent show.  It was a BLAST!  Oh, I should have used that last night for B.  The woman in the picture, with her caregiver, Nikki, is Michelle.  Michelle wrote a devotional type message for that evening.  It short but it took a long time for her to deliver it.  It was hard for us to understand what she was saying but that didn't stop God from touching us all.  The whole place was quiet and listening. Tears were running down my CHEEKS.  I think it was from her sheer determination.  I'm sure I would have given up and given it to someone else to read, but no, she kept on.  I asked Michelle for a copy.  I hope she doesn't mind if I share with you all.  Here is Michelle's message.  It's something we all need to hear:

"Be a witness for God!  How many of you would go be a witness for God? Do you think it's easy? The answer is it's not always easy to show God in your daily lives to other people. What I am saying is, yeah some people might turn and walk away when you start talking about your your faith in God; however if you just show them by your daily walk throughout your life that you are a Christian you might be able to shock or amaze people that they might stop and ask, "Hey, how did you come to know God?" And then you go from there, but be careful on how you say it or you might shun them away. I was 7 years old when I asked Christ in my heart in Pekin, however, it is very difficult for me to keep the faith. In conclusion, I would like you to consider this option. Would you like to be a witness for God and share your testimony or would you like to keep on doing about your own life without God?"

See why it's taking me so long to process my week of camp?  It's truly been life-Changing!  and you want to know a secret?  It's almost a done-deal that I'm going again to the Wisconsin Get Away at the end of June. I'm super-excited about that!  If it happens, I'll have more to follow.  For now, I'm still trying to digest all that God has for me to CHEW on.  

I loved getting to know every one of the guests at CAMP I came into CONTACT with.  My only regret is that the week ended.   More about CAMP will come.  Please email or leave me a comment if you're interested in Special Touch camp.  They always need volunteers.  Okay, done for now.  Until next time...

C is for Changes... Camp...Chew...Cheeks...Cami...Communicate!!!

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