I got to talk to my lovely daughter for a rare few minutes this morning. It's the first time since she's been away that I've even tried to bother calling the camp phone to reach her. All other conversations have been on the weekends when she has had to drive a good five miles away from camp to get cell reception. What a treat for me. I called not just to hear her voice; I really did have important info to relay to her before the weekend.
She needs prayer.
1. She has a terribly painful ankle. It's gradually been getting worse for three weeks, and it's not like she can stay off of it. Telling a camp counselor not to walk with her group is like telling a mom with a toddler not to let him get into things. Sarah is going to an urgent care place Saturday for an X-ray, per my request and her pain. We will be going to see her a week from Saturday unless things are worse than we think.
2. She is really upset with herself for getting a speeding ticket on the way to church Sunday.
You know how it is, you're on a lonely stretch of highway and figure the only two cops in central PA are at Dunkin Donuts, but no....there is one who, while having his fourth Boston creme from his to-go bag, catches you sinning on the way to a holy moment. She was en route to Altoona from Deep Creek Lake, where she had spent the 4th of July weekend with a fellow counselor. ("Fellow" in the "companion" sense, not the gender sense:) Sarah's speeding ticket is almost 20% of the entire amount she expects to be paid at the end of the summer. She is not paid a dime until the end, and only then if the donor who has given in past years comes through again. I send her a little each week, but it ain't a paycheck, let me assure you.
She will be asking for a court date. If you've ever been in traffic court for the first time, you know how that feels.
3. She is more of a social worker than she ever expected to be in this job. I think she was imagining part-time gym teacher, part-time Bible teacher/skit actor, full-time group supervisor. But she was not prepared for girls who wake her up at 2 a.m to confess the abuse they've experienced at the hands of a family member, girls who are so hungry for attention they'll do (or have done) almost anything for it, girls and boys whose parents aren't sending them to a Christian camp to reinforce their beliefs and have fun, but to dump their kids, get them out of their hair for a week or two at a time. Of course there are kids who do come from good homes and are there for the right reasons, but Sarah has been emotionally drained from the ones who are suffering and scared. Abuse or suspicion thereof must, by law, be reported, and when the campers hear that from the counselors, they just want to clam up rather than risk telling more. What a sad, sad world we live in.
Nevertheless, she draws strength and comfort from the Lord and is surrounded by staff who love Him. And every Saturday she is able to get up to Altoona and be refreshed by her host family and their church.
By the way, she REALLY appreciates letters from home and by "home" I mean her biological AND church families. Thank you (and your children) who have sent cards and art to her; she decorates the wall around her mirror with them. On her behalf, let me say, "Please keep 'em coming."