Last weekend, I found myself volunteering at an 8-11’s activity camp which by the way, was incredibly fun! Pitching in with all the other leaders to serve food, clean up, lead activities and go crazy with the kids was incredibly enriching. However on this particular camp, were a few children with ADHD and various other disabilities. Trying to encourage these kids and keep them under control proved difficult at times but out of it came something incredibly praise worthy…
One girl, Peace (I have changed names for child protection reasons) often didn’t want to get involved with the other campers and this often meant that us leaders took it in turns to play with her, or sit and chat with her. At times she would become frustrated if things weren’t going the way that she wanted them to, or if one of us had to run off and finish a job in the kitchen. Sometimes she was disruptive or angry with leaders and other times just in need of some 1-1 attention and care. Needless to say, with all of our other jobs and so many other campers to care for, at times it felt like a strain to constantly provide what Peace needed…
However, we knew that this effort was important, and that we are to never grow tired or weary of doing good. When Peace became frustrated, we knew that she simply couldn’t understand. When she felt upset, we knew that it was a privilege to be able to show her the love of God. We continued to care for Peace and pray for her throughout the weekend, and our main leader Johnny began to share one morning how by agreeing to have Peace here with us, it had meant that her parents were able to have their first break in a year! Perhaps we weren’t seeing results where we were, but in the background God was doing brilliant, praiseworthy things through us.
It didn’t stop there, as we came to our final day and I teamed up with one of the other support team members to lead the craft activity. Peace joined us and not only stayed for the whole session but earned her first gold medal for helping us clear up afterwards and getting stuck in with all things glitter and glue! As the other campers happily made cards and other crafty things, Peace sat herself on the other side of the table, completely focused and set to making not one, but two thank you cards for our team leader, Johnny. She coated them in glitter, and wrote inside one, “Thank you Johnny you are my best friend!” In the other, she emphasised again, “Thank you, I will miss you because you are my best friend.”
Here was Peace, clearly displaying her gratitude for the care and attention she had been shown this weekend! Even when at times, it seemed like we weren’t succeeding, God was moving in Peace’s heart and allowing her to see the compassion that He has for her! It was a very humble moment!
From this I encourage you – sometimes it feels like our efforts are not producing results. But be humbled by the promises of God – He will complete what we are doing, and honour our efforts to produce something truly praiseworthy!