During my time at Camp Sugar Creek I had experiences that helped me in my personal and spiritual growth, day by day. I was going into my 3rd year of study in Mission Work with Children and Youth, but I still had many new and fantastic things to learn!
The privilege to serve
I liked the daily camps for children most of all. Maybe it is because I was a student of Mission Work with Children and Youth that is established at the University of Zilina and also has its own weekend version that is running at the Bible School (CCE) in Martin. I don’t know exactly, but I just loved the daily camps and working with the children. I traveled in America for the day camps the whole 5 weeks I was there, assisting in this particular ministry.
Once, when we moved from Camp Sugar Creek to the town, we held some kid’s activities after the worship service. There were the same kids as always, the same fairly well-known adults, as well, but one thing was different. I had seen how friendly and open Americans are after worship services, so it was not strange that one nice lady came to talk to me after the service that day. The weird thing was that she told me she knew me!
Small World… OR Brothers and Sisters–No Matter the Geography!
During my conversation with this lady, I realized she had been in Martin teaching EFL courses one summer. (Note: Confessing and proclaiming Jesus Christ and making friendships through two weeks of summer courses in English, taught by native speakers from the USA). I was so excited!
When I was a freshman in the study program Mission Work with Children and Youth, my classmates and I had the opportunity to study English through a conversational course with native speakers from America. This was such a surreal feeling—I was in a completely strange city where I thought I knew no one and yet I met someone who knew me! It was huge and incredible! I met my teacher of English from my very first year of study at the Bible School in Martin!
Working with Children – My Future
I worked with children of all ages in the camps and even though we spoke completely different languages, I found that children are often more receptive than adults, and much more persistent in explaining things than adults. I’ll never forget one day in camp when I had been telling the Bible story. Shortly afterward, a small boy came to me and told me something that made me smile. He said that although he didn’t always understand what I was saying—and my English was sometimes very comical(!)—he liked the way I talked to children and how we could interact with each other. It was a caress to my soul from someone I served at that time.
Maybe this was the reason for my assurance that I really liked children and wanted to work with them in my future. I would love, particularly, to work with younger children, who have difficulties of some kind. I realized that every child is unique and different during the camps. My experiences at Camp Sugar Creek strengthened my idea that I wanted to help children who have no parents and live in the foster system. Although this work is very difficult and mentally challenging, I very much look forward to it!
Andy Jesenská was student of Mission Work with Children and Youth, which is running in University at Žilina or, in its weekend form, at the Center for Christian Education in Martin. She graduated and now works with children.
…read also the first part of Little Servant in a Large City…