Sitting on the edge of the bed I slipped off my dusty shoes. Taking the soaked sweatband from the brow of my head, I hung it on the knob of the nightstand. Removing my clothing to prepare for a shower I glanced at the clock across the room. It read, 12:57 AM.
Whew! That was quite the day. Only two more like it and the week will be over. Hang in there girl. With God’s strength you can do it.”
Slipping into the cool sheets after a cold refreshing shower, I let out a sigh. Relief! It was short lived though. Every muscle, tendon, and ligament began to complain as my body was finally laid to rest.
The roosters were the first sounds I heard twenty hours earlier as I came from a sound sleep that morning. I dressed quickly and quietly, so as to not wake the others who had no need to get up this early.
I was the Camp Cook and there was much to do. Opening the door of our apartment and stepping outside, darkness filled my vision. The fresh smell of a new day dawning gave me pause.
A security light glared 200 yards away. I hurried across the yard, always mindful of the many creatures that could be in my path. As I got close to the kitchen, I gave my usual loud morning welcome, “I am coming into the kitchen, if you are in there, it’s best you get out.” (This was an open-air kitchen by day and not exactly “tight”. There was always the possibility something might have found its way there during the night. . It was a greeting I would rather not make.
Other women coming to help with kitchen duties soon joined me. At 8:00 AM, a breakfast of huevos rancheros, arroz, frijoles, tortillas, atole, café was ready. .
After ringing the morning bell the Director gave instructions for each team to make a pyramid. The one making the biggest, most stable and best pyramid was awarded the privilege of going through the meal line first.
Ah, the hilarity that accompanied each meal time line-up. Laughing, joking, shouts of support, cheers of victory and finally the award of privilege and then…prayer.
As soon as the kitchen was cleaned up from breakfast the preparations began for the noon meal: hotdogs, coleslaw, chips and brownies. At the same time preparations began for grilled chicken and baked potatoes on the dinner menu. . Forty pounds of chicken, recently thawed needed to be cut up. One hundred and twenty potatoes, washed, cut in half and wrapped in foil needed to be prepared. There was a tossed salad to put together and one of the camps favorite desserts, ‘Sopapilla Cheesecake.”
While the cooks and I worked on food items for the day, there was a constant need to refill 5-gallon water coolers with ice and fresh water. Camper and staff interruptions were frequent in the kitchen: requesting aspirin, a band-aid, a permanent marker.
The camp was abuzz all day with various activities: Bible classes and chapel services. In the afternoon paintball, go carting and bow shooting competitions.
While we worked in the kitchen some outburst of laughter came from the youth during their “team time.” One time a random rap about Jesus broke out in competition between two teams. I grabbed my camera.
Lunch and dinner passed as a flurry of activity for those of us in the kitchen until the evening worship service.
Tonight the young people had been challenged to listen to God, not the voice of the world. One responded to the challenge given to be blindfolded and walk around the campus. Unknown to them upon their willingness to participate, they would then have the whole camp population shout to them orders of where to go and how.
“ No, take a right.”
“Oh no, you are going to walk into a wall.”
At one point, the young person stopped and stomped her feet repeatedly at the frustration of so many voices and directives. Ah, the point was well made.
Following up the exercise with more words, the preacher gave a call for commitment to Jesus Christ.
Five young people came forward in response to the message giving their lives to Christ. Their baptism took place in the irrigation canal that very night.
Prayers, singing, repentance and commitment to Christ finished out the day.
It was an exhausting day physically. It was an exhilarating day spiritually.
Title was from a quote of C.T. Studd
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