Steve prayed. I prayed. The parents of our grandchildren prayed. Our friends prayed. We prayed together as a group. The prayers were primarily for the health and safety of all of us during the week but also for good times of bonding, loving, and developing more layers to our relationships. And God heard our prayers. We didn't have to apply a single Bandaid.
1 Peter 3:12 - "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer."
Psalm 145:18 - "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."
1 John 5:15 - "And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him."
Colossians 4:2 - "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."
We prayed for safe travel as they came to us and for their hearts to be happy. We especially prayed that we could offer a positive experience for these children at a time when everything around them in the preceding months had been gloomy and dire.
In the previous years, we had a "Clipboard of Fun" full of attractions to visit and restaurant reservations. It was a true challenge to come up with fun things to do when so many places were closed, and the restaurants that were serving guests were doing so with tremendous restrictions. Finding activities that 11 children (ages 5 to 15 with 4 of them being teenagers) could enjoy is always a daunting task, but we adopted the attitude of "all for one and one for all" or "take what you get and don't pitch a fit." :) Their cooperative spirit was remarkable.
Our swimming pool is both a lifesaver and a potential hazard. They LOVED it and were able to swim six different times, including once in the rain and once at night. I can't swim, so Granddaddy was the designated lifeguard. Amazingly, no one got sunburned. One swallowed too much water and threw up a little in the pool. He was fine, but we quickly got everyone out, cleaned the small mess, and added more chlorine. God watched over those children.
We went to Corinth, Mississippi to visit several Civil War sites and enjoyed stopping at the Crossroads Museum. The part of the railcar in the photo was fine and dandy, but the other end had a couple of yellow jackets. Our youngest camper is severely allergic to bee/wasp stings, so much so that an EpiPen goes with him wherever he goes. We quickly got him and all the others out of harm's way. God's protection was obvious.
Because of the circumstances, the kids had a chance to use their OWN creativity more than in past years. We did more crafts, played more games, and even made a couple of music videos -- things we haven't always had time to do.
We gave one child some children's Tylenol for a headache one night. We gave one some allergy medicine when he woke up sneezing and sniffing one morning, and we gave a dose of Benadryl to one who had rolled in the grass and gotten a lot of ant bites. But, that was it. Nothing short of a miracle to us, and powerful answers to all of our prayers.
Thank you, God, for getting us safely through our 13th Cousins Camp.
1 Chronicles 16:34 - "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."