Youth Haven – Weeks #2-3

Our second group of campers that attended Youth Haven seemed to really have a great time. All were first-timers, and I heard a few of them say, “I wish we could just stay here and not have to go home.” It was neat to hear them saying their Bible memory verses on the trip home. Then, there was their enthusiastic singing.  Oh, the singing! Apparently, they learned this song. The lyrics they sang the most were, “I can’t stop singing. Whoa, whoa. I can’t stop singing. You have saved my life.” 
This morning, Aleisha and I dropped off our third group of campers. Pick up went quickly, and traffic also moved along nicely down I-10. We got to the Picacho exit about 30 minutes early, so I decided we would take a bit of a “scenic” drive to kill some time. I headed north (I think), where there was a lovely variety of desert, crops I didn’t recognize, desert, corn, desert, desert, and more desert. I had told the children the drive was just a bonus.
It was about 10 minutes into our “scenic” drive that one of the children had the courage to finally ask, “What is a bonus?” They were probably thinking they could’ve stayed in Phoenix and seen more interesting terrain.
Registration is quite a process at Youth Haven. We drop off the permission forms, then campers undergo bag checks and lice checks. Next, the children meet with a staff member to verify information and turn in any medications they brought. Then, they take a swimming test.

Please pray for our group this week. Some of our girls were quite apprehensive in going through the registration process, and I could tell that their minds were whirling with the newness and unfamiliarity of it all. When all of our group had finally reached the swimming test phase, I decided it might be best if I slipped away quietly. I was halfway across the yard when one of our campers started to follow me, looking scared. We went back to the swimming area where I asked one of our older, veteran campers to take our new girls under her wing, then managed to say a good-bye and leave.
I trust that God has a purpose for each one of our campers being at Youth Haven this week and also know that the staff is compassionate and caring. I can’t wait to hear the stories, verses, and songs when we pick the children up on Friday!

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