Camping Ethiopian Style – Ethiopia Day 6

Guest post by Andrew Miller – Post written about the sixth day of the trip, August 18

Camping! What red-blooded former street kid doesn’t like going to camp, playing sports, and swimming in a lake? Certainly, all of these boys do!

While here at the Bishoftu House Camp, we’re playing sports (I saw a game of soccer, volleyball, basketball, and tennis occurring simultaneously on the same court!); eating Ethiopian food in the dining hall (more shiro with beets and potatoes, anyone? And pass the injera bread, please.); swimming/teaching swimming (take a breath!); and learning more about each other through time in fellowship. It’s been great!

One of the things we did with the boys is play “initiative games.” Unlike regular games (e.g., dodgeball), initiative games have no winners and losers—it’s not even about successfully completing the challenge—it’s about trying, doing your best, and then reflecting on what you did to learn more about yourself and your team.

We played three games: Hot Lava, All Aboard, and the Spider Web.

  • In Hot Lava, you have to move your team across a distance while only being able to step on a small number of wooden blocks (we gave our group six blocks, and there were twelve of us).
  • In All Aboard, the entire group has to balance on a small block of wood.
  • In Spider Web, the group has to be passed through the holes in a “spider web” made of string.

Any way that allows the group to finish is a good way, and it was fun to watch my team (the A Team) work together to solve these challenges.

Afterwards, we reflect on each one to draw larger lessons: What happened? How did that make you feel? What did you like? What didn’t you like? Did the instructions become clearer as you were playing? If you could do it all over again, what would you do?

My hope is that they became better friends and deepened their bonds of community with one another.

Later that evening, Ermias, who works for a similar organization called Youth Impact, spoke to the boys about the importance of exceeding expectations and showing gratitude for what we have received.

Through Christ we have received life eternal, and through the Bible we know what is expected of us. In the initiative game of life, are we grateful? Are we striving to exceed Christ’s expectations?

When asked the reflection questions at the end of our days, would we be happy with our answers?