December 28, Day 3 - What is my identity?

Wellllll, I woke up bright and early despite my best efforts to the contrary. What can I say? A normally early riser, plus jetlag, I was wide awake by about 4:30, waiting for the sun to rise. The good thing about this was that I got some great sunrise pictures!

Of course by the time the breakfast bell rang, some of us had already gotten quite comfortable....

below: Esther

After breakfast we dispersed for devotions. Our assigned verse for this day was 2 Timothy 1:3-7:
"I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure it is in you as well. And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."

At 8:30 we met to discuss the verses: girls in the gazebo on the beach, guys on their veranda. I won't tell you everything we got out of those verses, but trust me it was a lot... I really enjoyed the devotion times, where we told stories, shared struggles, encouraged each other... they were awesome.

below: girls' devotions gazebo

Our morning meeting commenced with a discussion about identity... well, of course... this was a week to help MKs... who are also TCKs (third culture kids) prepare for dealing with life as an MK/ TCK, re-entering our passport country, or whatever we are doing. We deal with identity issues... I mean, am I an American or a Fijian or a South African or what? What is my language (I speak a few)? What is my home? Where am from? What AM I? Am I in ministry because my parents are, or is it really coming out of my own relationship with God? We started in these discussions to talk about what about us was part of our identity, and what about us was just part of the cultures we are living and working in. Do we have core values and characteristics that will not be compromised, no matter what? Sam, Noelle, and Rachel guided us as we worked through these topics in discussion.

below: our meeting room

During free time this morning, some of us played spoons... dangerous, I know, but oh-so-fun!
Then we met on the beach for an activity about identity... we were split up into three groups of three or four each. Then each of us (each person, not each group) was handed a slip of paper telling us what kind of sand castle to build. We were instructed not to talk to each other, but to build a castle together with the others in our group. Welllll, the thing is... we were each given a different instruction!
In my group, I was told to build a tall castle, Andy was told to build a wide castle, and Paul was told to build a highly decorated castle... now, our group being made up of the amazing people we are, our castle was somewhat tall, somewhat wide, and somewhat decorated! Of course it was. We are incredible. However, for some, one "identity" came through stronger than the other two, some didn't show at all... anyway, the point of the activity was to see how we deal with our identity. Do we push our identity at the expense of others, do we let ourselves be completely pushed aside, do we attempt to figure out and help others achieve their identities... etc. It was a cool activity... and ours was an awesome castle. Don't have any pictures of it though, I was too sandy to risk my camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

We also had some time to just goof off and have fun... we swam, played games... even played something like hackeysack, at which most of us are pretty bad, so it made everyone look silly and was great fun.

We also began a volleyball tournament that lasted all week... uhm... my team...lost...every game. I think twas mostly my fault... but it was lots of fun anyway!

At our night meeting, Fiona and Paul led worship

After some more discussion about identity, we did some practical stuff, like learning how to do job resumes... oh right, and how to tie ties....

And any camp would not be complete without sitting up late telling stories and laughing ourselves silly... which we did....

When we finally got to bed, I woke up in the middle of the night to a howling storm: rain, wind, the works. What woke me up was the rain that was rapidly drifting through the open window and landing on me... Fiona and I got up, closed the windows, and slept on. They told us the next morning that they only have about 6 storms like that year... how lovely that we got to share in that rare experience!

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