Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gull Lake 2015: Week 4

This first photo was taken at the end of week 4 in High Tide (our program for high-schoolers here at Gull Lake) and it represents well what goes on here week to week. This group won what we call "The Golden Tisk" for having the most energy all week and completing all the games with excellence.

I have never been in a place where more cheering happens and where enthusiasm is always present. It's contagious. If I felt like I was lacking energy, I would just look around me and see the other staffers and the way they were choosing joy. Just watching everyone work together and serve together with that joy was enough to get me moving again and ready for whatever was next.

Here is just a snapshot into some of the things that staffers do throughout the week...

Take families out on the sailboat.

Make snow cones. 

Play ridiculous games, like our weekly "Patriot Games" on the Stars and Stripes theme night. 

Serve in the kitchen. Kitchen staff - you rock. Seriously, they work so hard all day, every day and never complained once. Thanks to them, we have more than camp food - everything they make is delicious. 

Greet families at the door... It's tradition to give fist bumps to everyone who walks through these doors into the dining hall at meal times!

Lead Bible studies with kids.

Serve ice-cream in the afternoons. 

A lot of the times we actually do multiple jobs. I worked with Cove Kids (the littlest ones!) in the mornings, at the Sweet-n-Counter (the ice-cream/snack shop) in the afternoons, and as the photographer in between and on check-in days. We all work the meals and help with housekeeping on Fridays. We get off time from about 3pm on Friday until 1pm on Saturday. It's quite the full schedule, but it has been an incredible six weeks here at Gull Lake. I couldn't have done it in my own strength. Nope, not at all. But God surprises us every day.

Yes, today is the last day. I head back to Chicago in a few hours and then I get on a plane tomorrow to fly to Czech. It's a whirlwind and it's hard for me to fully comprehend or even process emotionally. I have grown to love all of these people here, yet I love people in every one of my heart homes too. There's no easy way to say goodbye to any of these places. So I will heed the advice of my parents, and remember to be thankful that it's hard to say goodbye, because that means that the relationships are sweet. The Lord is forever faithful.

I love how the Lord uses places and people to teach us and shape us. He has different plans for each person, and he knows how to meet each person uniquely where they're at. Although when I was a teenager and a camper at Gull Lake, I never thought I would work on staff, the Father knew this is where I needed to be these past two summers. I used to think I would never have enough energy or enthusiasm to be a counselor, but God has provided enough for each day and has taught me so much about the strength of the entire body of Christ. It's been challenging, but so rich and fulfilling at the same time.

Gull Lake Ministries - thank you, for all you do for the families each week, but for how you invest in us as staff as well. I have learned and grown and am so thankful for these 6 weeks I've had here!

For more updates on Gull Lake, and also to see photos I took of each staff member, you can follow Gull Lake Ministries on Twitter. Find them here: @gulllakemin


  1. This fills me with joy, especially since I received your letter today before reading your blog post! :) Praying for your safe return home. Mam te rada.

  2. The girl on the left of the ice cream window picture looks so much like Magda! It sounds like you had an awesome time working at camp. I'm so excited that you'll be in town for a while! I can't wait to see you!!

  3. This is beautiful, both visually with the photos but also I love how you captured snapshots of everyone's contribution and place in the body of Christ. I echo Lisa: Can't wait to see you!


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