Sunday, June 24, 2007

tough week

i really dont want to do this right now. its the last little bit of time i have with the other counselors before more kids show up tomorrow. but, it needs to be done.
this last week was difficult. i have talked to some of you about it already. i had a cabin of seven guys. three of them were fairly time consuming. one especially was difficult. for the sake of privacy, he will be called J. from day one J and i were battling for control of cabin devotion time. he was constantly talking and interrupting and drawing attention to himself. J is very self centered and manipulative and he doesnt follow rules, he is rebellious and disrespectful to authority and, to top it off, he is a whiner. so, needless to say, J was being corrected often during the week. things came to a head about midweek wednesday night when walking back to the cabin after playing red light green light. J had refused to play by the rules and was running around ruining the rules and playing his own game and inciting other campers into his rebellion. on the walk back i told him that the rules are there to make the game fair and orderly and fun for everyone. he stated rather matter-o-factly that he had plenty of fun breaking the rules, and he didnt care whether or not he ruined the game for others. he attempted to get some of the other guys in the cabin to agree with him that i, and ridge have, were far too strict and the camp generally sucked. no one would agree with him. he started sulking. one of the other boys informed me that another counselor had requested that we scare her cabin on the walk back, so we ran ahead to hide just off the road to jump out and scare the girls. J refused to come. once he caught up with us, he stood on the road right in front of us, giving away our hiding spot. we urged him to get off the road and get down, but he would budge. one of the other boys, D, took his arm to pull him towards us, and J pushed D. D punched J in the face. i broke it up, told the other boys to wait there for the girls, and J and i went on to the cabin.
the remainder of the walk J was crying and very angry and making threats against D and generally very upset. he thought that he was in trouble when he was the one who got punched. he had, by this time, developed a serious victim complex from being "picked on" by being corrected when he frequently broke rules. J wouldnt hear a word i said. he told me he didnt care what i said. we got back to the cabin and sat in the commons area to talk and he positioned himself with his back to me and fingers in his ears. i have never come into contact with someone so completely closed to anything other than himself. his pride was more hurt than his face. do him, this was a showdown with me about who was in charge. i called my camp leader, Christy, and she called my assistant ministry director, Andrew. andrew sat and talked with him while i was out of the room informing the other guy counselors in my building of the situation and praying about it with them. i came back into the room to see J on the couch pretending to sleep and andrew sitting in silence beside him. andrew and i stayed up with J till 1 telling the gospel. we laid into him with it. we went to ephesians and told him how he was dead in his sins apart from salvation in Christ. it was intense. these are serious understatements. we sent him to bed after that, and stayed up a little longer and prayed for him.
the next morning J acted like nothing had happened. if it were not for the night before, where i had seen him at his core, he might have fooled me like he probably does his teachers and family. his fake semi-concern with spiritual things and his suck-up good works for the rest of the week were just a sad reminder of his lack of Christ. during quiet time every morning J and i were in the Bible, and i was telling him the same things andrew and i told him that night. he was dead in his sin apart from Christ. he walked around and talked and did things, but he was dead. every day i laid into him with the gospel. this last week i preached the gospel to these boys over a dozen times. i never saw anything from J that lead me to believe that anything got through to him.
needless to say, it was a trying week. that was just one boy, and one event with one. i have several others who were closed to the Gospel. but, i had a few that new Christ, and they were a great encouragement to me. this last week the Lord was faithful in that, for every difficult closed hear i faced, He showed me kids that got his. He showed me kids that knew him. that was wonderful. that was my week.

please pray.
i love you all.


kyrieanna said...

scott, after being involved with a local camp for one week i have so much respect and admiration for what you are doing every day all summer. and i wasn't even pouring my heart and soul into these kids lives..just getting them to make crafts. !!

thanks for taking the time to blog even when you're exhausted. we all soak it up:)

sienna said...

I will pray for "j". I will pray for you too... your endurance in spite of this insanley trying week and future weeks is inspiring to me. I have a great amount of respect for mikey and you.

thanks, scott, for being examples to the rest of us. and thank you for committing to blogging each week. Like my little sister says, we all soak it up. for real.

Anonymous said...

Scott, that's so rough. I'm sure you're feeling physically and spiritually drained. I am praying. I'm glad that you didn't give up on him though. With kids like that I'm sure that's the easiest way to go. I'll pray that the gospel will be heavy on his heart, and will be refreshing to you.
God is truly using you.

Joshua said...

Oh, Scott. I love hearing your thoughts and your situations and your heart. The good LORD, HE is faithful to finish what He starts to do good. Good = conforming us to the image of His Son. What peace. You are in my prayers every day, brother. I hope to see you at that kid Brooks's's wedding.