Unification News for September 2005

Camp Sunrise 2005

by Soniyae Stephens

This year I was in Unit 3, Team 5. Our counselor was Hope and our Counselor-In-Training was Rachel. My cabin mates where (going in bed order) Miwa, Maria, Annie, Tracey, Misha, Jungy, and Francesca. I love you guys! Good times in the cabin, with all those fake tattoos, and really random, weird, and funny conversations. ^_^ I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Ok, Let's see . this is now my 5th year at Camp Sunrise. Camp this year was very different than the others, well I think so. But, change for the better.

This year there was "praise and worship", where you sing songs and connect with God. For me it was . what's the word . moving. I felt like I was connecting with God for the first time. (I think that's cool!) Before I didn't really connect with God because I didn't really know how. But through singing I think I did connect. Through some of the songs we sang, I could feel God's heart. I guess I found a way to understand God.

I realized that everyone has different ways to connect/understand God. For instance, praying. For me praying wasn't my specialty, I just couldn't really pray. I mean, I would pray silently and in my head, and then I would get off topic. Also, when I really try to pray to God and hear a voice, for some reason I don't think it's Him. I just think it's me answering my own questions or thoughts.

Anyway, for some people they can go out in the world and see all it's wonders and understand God. When I go out in a forest, I just say to myself "wow.he made this for me" But I kind of feel selfish after that. Some understand God by being a parent, I'm only 14 so I am definitely not a parent yet, so I can't try that method out yet. There are many more I am sure. If you haven't really connected with God, don't worry, there will be a time when you really try. And who knows it might be another way to experience God. ^_^

I remember when I didn't really think God wanted to answer me, or help me out. But it's kind of funny how many times he has helped me. Oh like when I was about 7 years old, I remember my dad telling me that if I get the chicken pox when I am older then I might die or something like that. After I heard that I was so scared, because I didn't have the chicken pox yet. So I prayed so heard. I probably said something like this "Dear Heavenly Father, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give me the chicken pox! . Amen." I think I prayed that for maybe 2 days and about a week later, I got the chicken pox. (I am really glad I got them so I don't have to worry about them anymore) Funny story but true.

I have another story. I don't remember the age I was, but I was about in the 3rd grade. I was at the park near my house with my next door neighbor, Robby. I was on the swing trying to look all-cool by not holding onto it. So I was swinging with "no hands" when I got really high and flung backwards and landed on my neck, on mulch. (ouch) Robby was probably thinking "she's dead" but I got up, trying to breathe. I remember sitting up and seeing Robby telling me "I'll go get your dad!" and seeing him run as fast as he could to my house. After a while of just sitting on the mulch, then I see my dad running with open arms. I think any normal kid would have gotten a broken neck from that. So I thank God for that day, and keeping me safe. I am very thankful for every little thing God has done for me. I probably don't even notice how lucky I am to be a 2nd gen. From now on I will thank God for everyday of my life.

Ok, enough with little stories, I am really here to talk about Camp Sunrise. Yeah, as I said before the praise and worship really helped me connect with God. I hope the singing helped others as it helped me.

During camp we had Uncle Joe Leonard give the lectures. Personally I thought he was a great lecturer. He kept me interested when he started talking. He lectured about God, and God's heart. Also, what is "my God" as in how do we see him. For me he is like my dad. Strong, yet soft, at first I thought he was just a ball of light, but as the days went by at camp I realized that I actually thought of him as my dad. I really respect my dad. I love him so much.

This year we didn't have to do little skits. When I first did the skits, which was a couple years ago, I hated them. I guess back then, I just had stage fright. So this year I was happy there wasn't any, but once I thought about it, that was a good part of camp. I always remember the skits, and usually they were funny and fun to do. Oh and how can I forget some where embarrassing.(which made it even funnier) If you read my testimony last year you would remember my skit, if you don't, it's ok you don't really want to know about that anyway. ^_^ During the planning of the skits I think the units got to know each other better. I thought the "name game" that Unit 3 played at the beach was not helpful at getting to know each other, at all. I thought that game was scary, because that whole game was somewhat a blur to me. This is just me, maybe for others that game was helpful.

This year was the first year I ever forgot my camera!. that really got me sad. L All I have right now is the whole camp picture from Sara! Thanks Sara if you're reading this! J

Ok, sports for the Obajathon (sorry if I spelled that wrong.) where practically the same from last year, nothing new. But it was still fun. There was that one game where you had a string attached to two trees and everyone from a team has to get over it without touching it. Man, I remember getting everyone over it last year. This year everyone got over except Tracey and I, we were just trying to figure out how to do it. I was trying to think of what I did in the past but nothing came to my mind, weird huh? Anyway, that was a little experience I had.

Food, was good. Like every year it's good. J Thank you kitchen staff and the head chef!

I cannot wait until I become 16! So I can become a CIT, doesn't it seem exciting to be one? Don't you think so? Well you might not, but anyway.I think if I were a CIT, I would get closer to God. I really want that relationship to get stronger. Also, I get to meet new people and be a "mini" leader, I guess. So that's something I will look forward to in two years.

All in all camp was great! It's always great! Can't wait until next year! Hope to see everyone next year!

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