Transformation Before & After
After being home for several weeks from girls camp I sit and try to find the words to describe this years camp. I’ve had several people inquire about how camp was… my first response has been it was good but very draining; it has drained me physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Was it worth it absolutely, do I completely know and understand all that has come from this week, no. But I am confident that God was working and moving in the lives of the 104 girls who attended this years camp.
The theme at camp this year was God transforms us, before and after. In each teaching session we unpacked how God transforms our mind, character, relationships, attitudes, and the choices we make. God had placed on many of the leaders hearts before camp that this would be the year that we would see fruit from the labor of the past years camps. Some girls seemed very open this year almost as if they were comfortable with us, of course not all were. They had many questions about their faith and trusting God. We even had a few girls who repented. We are trusting that this was a true repentance and that they will hold strong to what they have learned during camp, as they have now returned to life in the village.
These 104 girls are from the age of 8 to 16, and come from villages throughout Moldova. They are girls who attend the Day Centers that are funded by OM Moldova. The Pastors from the local church that is responsible for the Center, along with the leaders of the center choose a few girls whom live in the most vulnerable conditions. These girls come from houses where there may be an alcoholic parent living, an abusive (mentally, physically, or sexually) parent living, or they may be standing in the gap as the the parent themselves. Most of them have jobs that can range from working in the fields, taking care of daily chores around the house, or going into the local market to try and sell some type of produce grown at home anything to obtain a few lei to live on. Their lives are hard and they have no time to just live life as young girls. That is why we feel God has given us at OM Moldova the opportunity to hold this camp for them every year. This camp allows them to forget this life for one week and just be the little girls God created them to be.
Along with a team of leaders from OM Moldova we have a team of foreigners that help with camp. At camp this year we had a couple from Germany attend as part of our foreign team. We were nervous as to how the girls would react to having a male there, but God had a bigger plan any of us could have imagined. We really felt God telling us to use this opportunity as a way to help the girls heal. We had a special session time that wasn’t planned into the schedule but proved to be one of the most touching times all week. This man alongside another male who is an OM leader stood at the front of the room with their backs to the girls. The girls were then encouraged to use the images of the men at the front of the room and take a piece of paper and begin to write about their fathers. It could be good or bad whatever their memories were. After a few minutes the men turned around spoke words of forgiveness and encouragement to the girls. The girls were then encouraged to start the healing process, if their papers were filled with negative feeling toward their fathers. They were encouraged to throw away the papers into a basket. Then they were allowed the opportunity to hug the men and see what it was like to be hugged by a real father. As the time begin you could see tears begin to flow and minds and hearts begin to move. It only took the courage of one small girl to throw away her paper and cling to one of the men. There were girls who I’m sure had never been hugged or felt loved by their fathers just sobbing and clinging not wanting to let go. It was a very heart breaking time that God used these two men to begin a process of healing for these young girls. After, this time was over you could see that the girls were very compelled to reach out to these to men like never before that week. They would randomly give them hugs, want to sit with them during meal time and ask them to join in during game time. I believe God used these two men in a mighty way. I pray now that this start to the healing process isn’t broken now that they are home.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 HCSB
Please continue to pray for these 104 girls in the next few months. Pray that each time of of these girls is faced with a tough decision that she will remember that God has the power to transform the weak and broken into mighty warriors for His kingdom.