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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's a mother/daughter thang

I don’t know your background. So, tell me: Are you a Christian? If so, did you grow up in church?

Hmmm, interesting.

Well, I am and I did. Baptist, in fact, both then and now. And it does my heart good these days to see my children involved in many of the same activities that I was growing up. And it is also interesting to see how many of these organizations have both changed and stayed the same over the last 30 or so years.

Take, for instance, Vacation Bible School. Oh MY how it has changed since I was a kid. We’ve come a long way with themes and musicals to go along with it from my day when it was just a week of Sunday School with snow cones. And yet, the purpose of telling children about Christ is unchanged.

Another example is something that I will only experience with my daughter. GA which stands for Girls in Action. If you are not or did not grow up Baptist, you likely have no idea what this is. GA and RA (Royal Ambassadors) are children’s mission organizations. In our church, our GAs: 1) learn about missions, 2) pray for missions, 3) give to missions, and 4) go and do missions. These things have not changed. I know this because I even still remember our GA song from when I was a girl:

Girls in Action, Girls in Action;
Mission study and mission action.
Praying, giving money so
The world may know of Jesus love.
Girls in Action, Girls in Action,
We will know and grow in Christ.
Girls in Action,
Girls in Action now!

One thing that is different from when I was a GA is the missionaries on which the GAs focus. Instead of just learning about a missionary from someplace in the world that we had never heard of before, the girls are learning about specific mission projects and groups that our church is involved with, and missionaries that we partner with from West Africa to Russia to North Dakota.

So this past weekend, we went to GA camp. Yes, camp. Just overnight, but people, the word “camp” is involved here.

Now, I’m not talking in a tent. It was at a local Baptist camp/retreat center with cabins and all. However, camp does mean bunk beds and community bathrooms. And I knew this going in because I’ve done camp and actually grew up going to several days of GA camp at this particular Baptist camp in the summers when I was growing up.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to go. I would have much preferred to stay home and veg after a long week of work and craziness. Sarah has been to week long camp 2 hours away from us, I felt certain that she could survive overnight. However, they mentioned that moms could go, so she jumped on that bandwagon and wanted me to go. How could I say no? I couldn't.

Why go to camp for GAs? I’m still not real clear on that one. However, it was a concentrated time of some mission oriented projects and we heard from one of our church members who had been on a trip to West Africa to minister to the people there. And it gave these girls just some fun girl time together – and that, I totally get.

The whole camp experience was enhanced greatly by my experiencing a migraine Friday evening. I rather enjoyed that part of it. I spent a good part of the evening lying down with a pillow over my head trying to block out just a little bit of the screaming and giggling. Yeah, I know you’re envious.

Then, the lady that came with us to coordinate all of the food related and cooking efforts went home sick in the middle of the night. So, you know me, I semi took charge in the kitchen for breakfast and we cranked out about 75 pancakes for a bunch of 1st-6th grade girls amidst popping breakers and limited kitchen utensils.

I hate cooking outside of my own kitchen. I was about to have an anxiety attack when I witnessed one lady just pouring the pancake mix into a bowl without measuring. And then, to realize that I had no whisk... it was almost more than I could bear.

In the end, despite my best efforts, I had a good time, and I know for a fact Sarah did. As we quizzed her later, I found that she really had been listening during the talk by our missionary to West Africa. She recounted several details and we, along with her dad, had a very interesting discussion of the treatment of Christians and women in other parts of the world.

Yes, I had a good time. For one thing, I think the Lord my have spoken some things into my heart this weekend. I’m still mulling it over and I’ll get back to you on that. And, if nothing else, I realized that this is something that I will ever only experience with Sarah. And it does my heart good to pass down things like GAs from mother to daughter.


Melinda said...

Treasure it...she'll never forget it and neither will you. :o)


Sallye said...

Donna, I do believe that you may have found part of your "cooking calling" without the migrane of course. I was not raised in a baptist church, but all 3 of my children were and RAs and GAs were the height of their summers.


Kay said...

Melinda's right.. treasure it. : )

Also.. I think GA's and RA's are both very unique in that they teach missions from a very young age. And many churches are opting out of this teaching in favor of other things, not that there is anything wrong with other programs! But it's just a very unique program and many missionaries came to hear their call thru GA's and RA's.

Kate said...

Fun. Never heard of GA's and RA's before, may have to look into it.
I was a foster child, so I was in a Pentecostal church as a very very young child (which taught me all the songs that helped me through my childhood), then Episcopal, then (censored...wasn't good), then Methodist, but was saved at 15 in a Baptist just love Jesus!