Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Setting up the Camp

We spent this past weekend helping our missionary friends, the Mathers and the DeWeerds, to set up for camp this coming week. They are expecting 34 boys and girls from the orphanage and around 25 adult helpers this week at the camp. It would be easier for me to give you a day by day idea of what we did. Because, let me tell you, we WORKED this weekend!

Thursday Evening - Cami calls and tells Steve that Steve Mather, Eli (their 22 year old summer intern), Renee (their 12 year old), and McKenna (their 10 year old) are already at the camp. All the other adults are arriving Sunday at supper time. She asked if we could bring supper for Friday night for the 7 of us that would be at camp. No problem!

Friday Morning - Maria's foot was still a little itchy from the spider bite, so we skipped ballet and gymnastics and just did school. I went to the grocery store and bought chicken drumsticks, pasta, pesto and tomatoes for supper. When I got back to the apartment I started the chicken to marinating in a mesquite flavored marinade and packed our bags. Steve arrived home around 12:45 and we were out the door before 1pm. It is crucial that you get out of the city of Bucharest early on Fridays!

Friday Evening - We arrived at camp around 4:30pm. We inspected the cabin for the first time and were informed that we had an actual BED to sleep in that night! Yipee! Steve Mather started the fire and we cooked our supper over the open flame. That's right you just set the pot of water right on the fire and make pasta. So basically you cook everything in a full squat. My legs were so sore after this weekend!

Right as supper was finished cooking, it started raining so we ate in the cabin. I was so thankful that we were able to set at a table, inside, to eat our meal. We even had a light so we set up, playing cards, until around 11pm.

Saturday Morning - Steve Mather made bacon and eggs for breakfast, then went over our "to-do" list for the day. My main job was to set up a kitchen for Noemi's mom to use to feed 60 people for 4 days. They have a metal storage shed that we used for that. First we had to clean all the stuff out of it, sort it, organize it, and re-store it in various locations. I went through the 6 plastic bins of kitchen stuff and threw out all the old stuff and got everything set up in the shed. The men were building two soccer goals and 8 beds for the upper floor of the cabin. Renee and I got lunch ready around noon. Just sandwiches. One of the men walked to the spring (about 1/4 mile away) to get us some cold water for lunch. After lunch someone carried up some creek water for me to wash dishes. The creek is about the distance of a football field.

Saturday Afternoon - The men finished up the beds in the cabin. McKenna and I cut the foam pads for the 8 beds, swept out the upper floor, and started making up beds for the people who were at the camp already. I also cleaned out a few more bins and set up the outside kitchen area with all the pots, pans, and long handled spoons for the cooking fire. The men added a shelf to the serving table and put up hand rails in the cabin. Around 3pm we took a break and I asked Steve M. what was for supper. His response was, "whatever you found in those bins". Yikes! Did he want me to provide a meal for three hard working men and four hard working ladies without a plan? Uh - that would be a yes. So I went to the storage shed and decided on pasta. Then I saw some tomato paste and decided I would whip up a red sauce. So I laid out an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, basil, and oregano. Then I spotted the extra loaves of bread. Oooo, garlic bread! So needless to say, supper was plentiful and eaten up to last crumb! That evening after washing the dishes we feasted on real graham crackers (from the states, you can't get them here), jet puff marshmellows (again states, not in Romania), and good dark European chocolate (we really need to increase our chocolate quality in the states!).

Sunday Morning - The Jutton family had the camp fire going and coffee on by 7am. I was sitting there deciding what to fix for breakfast so I went back to the shed to poke around. I came up with fried potatoes and onions with scrambled eggs. That was a big hit too! Then we worked on setting up some sun shades over the picnic tables. Steve Mather spent the morning cutting down weeds with a weed eater. Eli helped him some with a sickle! The camp was really starting to come together. We also set up the volley ball court and two 12 person tents.

After another lunch of sandwiches, I washed up the last of the dishes and got everything as ready as I could for the other women to walk in the camp at supper time and fix spaghetti for 30 people, as quickly as possible. I hope that the way I organized everything made sense to them. We started back to Bucharest after lunch. Around 3pm we met one of the vehicles heading to camp with all the volunteers.

They should be in the middle of their camp now. Lift them up in prayer as you think of Romania. They have a great opportunity to present God's word to these children in an uninterrupted environment. It will not return void!