Hello from Tennessee! Our group of 16 made it to Knoxville around 10:30 on Sunday night. Camp began on Monday afternoon with singing and dancing and all around excitement for the week to come.

We’ve had a great week of learning, laughing, being together, and making new friends. Our theme for the week is Christmas Presence. Our themes for the day have been Hope is for Everyone, Love because you are beloved, Peace Be With You, and Joy to the World. We have experienced Christmas and the excitement and joy it brings. We’ve sung Christmas carols, we’ve had a Christmas party, and even played some winter games.

The best thing about the week by far is the wisdom I’ve learned from our kids. The first night when we talked about hope, one of them said, “Hope you feel deep in your heart. A wish is just something in your mouth.” The next night when we talked about love, one of our youth said, “If you don’t feel love and you feel bad, it’s hard to love others. But when you know you are loved, it’s easier to love others.” Last night we talked about peace and the calm that comes when we breathe and relax and how when we feel peace, we can share that with others. I am so amazed and impressed by these youth. It has been an honor and privilege to be with our 12 youth and 3 adults this week. A huge thank you to David Stevens, Scott Leake, and Deb Gray for joining me on this Christmas adventure.

Verse for the week: “The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14