Italy – Midweek update

Buongiorno! We are about to embark on Day 3 of camp here in Mestre. It has been a great two days thus far. It has been extremely hot … in the 90s … but the camp has run really well.

First days of camp are always interesting as we get our bearings with what exactly both the kids and the coaches can do. Plus, we usually have additional kids sign up the first day. This week was no different. We have had between 59 – 65 kids each morning. They continue to brave the elements to join us. Some of the kids are returners from previous years while most of them are new. The coaches have done a fantastic job of getting out there and mingling with kids, getting to know their names and their stories and modeling Christ for them. Being a basketball community, it is important that kids get good instruction each day. However, the greatest impact to date has been the spiritual input. Multiple parents have come forward to share how much they appreciate the spiritual instruction. Their kids are having a great time learning basketball and hanging out with us, but it is the message of the Gospel that is making the difference. We praise the Lord for that and ask that you would be praying that it would continue!

They have been long and hot days! A typical day for us … get up around 7 am; eat breakfast; arrive at the bus stop by 8 am; take the 4/ bus to the park, arriving at 8.30; shoot around with the kids until 9, when camp starts; break for lunch at 12.30; half the kids eat lunch while the other half go to the pool; have kids rotate through various stations, including the Bible lesson station, until 2.45; run camp from 2.45 – 5 pm; dinner at someone’s house; back to the park at 7.30 for a game; home at 10 to shower and Team Time and then to bed between 12.30 and 1. Then we get up and do it all over again. They are very busy days, but the Lord has sustained us and continues to give us the strength for each day. Dehydration is certainly a threat, so we are doing our best to drink fluids all day.

Wednesday is always a tough day because we are halfway through camp. So today the challenge will be to stay excited, keep the kids excited, and make camp interesting and fun to break up the “monotony” of the first two days. We are excited to see how the Lord is going to work today! Everyone has found their niche and is giving it all they have. Even Chris, who is bound to a wheelchair this week with his Achilles, is doing a great job encouraging the team, bringing spiritual encouragement and instruction to camp and just modeling Christ from the “sidelines.”

It will be a full day today and again tomorrow and Friday. Friday night we are having a closing program and inviting the parents to come and take part in the program at 5. We will also be playing games tonight and tomorrow night.

Thank you so much for taking us before the Throne of Grace each day! Do not stop now! This is a tough place to serve. We have faced some opposition, but we are excited to be serving in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!

Chico for the team

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