I spent most of this past week at camp in Dayton, Tennessee. But it wasn't your regular camp. What my sister Miranda and I were doing was volunteering at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat.
This camp, one of many across the country and beyond, is for families that have members with special needs. The Short Term Missionaries either are assigned to a camper with special needs, a camper's sibling, or to help with a program. My sister had a camper, and I helped with the Children's Program.
The theme for the week was Nehemiah 8:10:
For the joy of the Lord is your strength.
My part in the Children's Program was to teach the Theme Song (The Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective) and hand motions to go with it. My friend Emalyn also taught them with me. Then on Wednesday, all the kids performed it on stage for their parents and the STMs. Every last one of them did great, and I was so proud of them!
I came back Thursday, having made good friends and good memories. I reached home tired and ready for home cooking. I slept close to twenty hours by Saturday afternoon. But I would go back tomorrow if I could. Why?
Because I found such joy in my service to others. Supernatural joy. The joy of the Lord that gave me strength to serve all around me. I'm not living that well here at home, I admit, but I want to. Because such joy is too amazing for only once a year!