"Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate?"
"Check, check, check."
Jason could hardly believe it was happening. He checked with the leaders and they gave their approval. "Rebecca, are you sure the kids don't know what's going on?
"Positive. I told them we had a surprise for them."
Jason and Rebecca were two of the older residents of Homebound, a small orphanage. They were Christians, and were mentoring some of the younger children. They had already seen growth. Sarah came to the orphanage as a shy girl who rarely talked outside of her bedroom. Life had been hard, and already Sarah had put up a shield to protect herself.
Rebecca had taken Sarah under her wing and watched her slowly let down her guard. Now, Sarah was a leader among the younger group, the first to welcome new arrivals. Rebecca introduced Sarah to the One who really knew her. To the One who could penetrate her shell and reach into the depths of her soul and show her true life.
Sarah and the rest of the young ones stepped into the room.
"What are we doing, Miss Rebecca?"
Rebecca chuckled as she tousled Sarah's hair. "I'll let Jason tell you."
Jason held up a flashlight. "Well, we'll need one of these... and one of these," he said, holding up a lantern.
"And some of these!" Rebecca exclaimed while holding up the marshmallows.
"We're going camping!" Sarah deduced
"What's camping?" Joey asked.
"What's camping? You don't know? Well, you have a lot to learn. It'll be fun. Don't worry," Jason reassured him. "Everyone go back and get your sleeping bags," Jason instructed.
"I don't have a sleepin' bag," Abby worried.
"Then just grab all the covers off your bed," Rebecca suggested. "We're going to sleep outside in the lawn in a special little room called a tent. It'll be fun. And I'll be next to you the whole night, ok?"
Soon, all the children gathered in the room, clutching their bedding and stuffed animals.
"Okay troops. Let's move out. We'll put our stuff in the tents first. Boys follow me, girls follow Rebecca."
Soon, they met in the middle of the orphanage grounds.
One of the adults had started a small campfire and collected sticks for the group. "I'll be inside if you need me for anything. Have fun and be safe," he said, as he headed back inside.
"Time to make s'mores," Jason announced. "I'll show you how. First, put a marshmallow on your stick like this," he said, demonstrating as he spoke. "Then, hold the stick over the fire. But don't get too close. I like mine slightly brown on the outside... That's just right. Next, get a graham cracker and put a piece of chocolate on it. Then, put the marshmallow on the chocolate while still holding the stick. Like this. Finally, put another piece of graham cracker on top, and pull the stick out of the marshmallow. There." Jason stuffed the s'more in his mouth. "Pwfect," He mumbled, before swallowing. "Okay, your turn. We'll help you if you need it."
Where are the marchmallows?" Abby asked.
"You mean marshmallows?" Rebecca asked. "They're right here. Do you want me to help you?"
Abby nodded. Together Rebecca and Abby made two s'mores; one for each of them.
Jason got out his guitar. "Anyone know some songs we could sing?"
"Jesus Loves Me!"
"...Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so." Jason glanced around the small group gathered before him. "Any other ideas?"
"He's Got the Whole World In His Hands," Joey suggested.
They sang a few more songs before wrapping things up.
"Everyone into the tents. It's time for bed."
The children voiced their protest as they followed Jason and Rebecca to the tents.
Rebecca was getting everyone settled when she heard crying. It was Abby. She was about to lie down next to her when she heard shuffling and a small voice.
"It's all right, Abby. Don't be scared. God is with us even out here."
Rebecca smiled. Sarah.
Sarah continued. "Remember that song we sang earlier? Well, it's true. God loves us, even though we can't see Him. Do you want to sing it? Ok. "Jesus loves me, this I know..."
Rebecca whipped tears from her eyes as she joined in with the two girls. "Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so."
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