I went shopping with Austin, John Chan, and J.Kim at BJs earlier in the night, and we met a fellow Seekers leader for the upcoming year. You see, we spotted someone sporting the bright green Jesus Day Ruined shirt from this year, first in the parking lot, and then several times again inside BJs. When we first saw her, we tried to find out who she was, and joked that we should invite her to the beach event this Saturday. So when I saw her again for perhaps the 4th time by the meats section, I jumped at the opportunity and asked, “Hey, are you from Seekers?” (Um…no duh! I’m wearing a Jesus Day shirt! Hahaha, she didn’t respond like that) And very quickly, we found out that Phoebe Wong is a leader for Bronx Science next year. We introduced ourselves and told her we were doing shopping for the leaders beach day this Saturday and invited her to come. I wanted to get her number so we can contact her, but I think she felt kind of weirded out by my persistence. We met Phoebe while she was shopping with her family, so I think she felt awkward about the encounter; heck, if I was her I would be too! But the whole time I was talking to her, I didn’t feel awkward at all. In fact, I was very excited because I was eager to make the connection with her. It’s really amazing how Seekers has brought so many of us together over the year. Although I really don’t know how much of her we’ll see in the coming year, I felt so accomplished after the guys failed to go up to her.
It’s really not as hard as it seems, just start with small talk that both of you have in common, and move on from there. I’ve always wanted to have an experience where I have a talk with a stranger I meet on the train/subway/bus/plane and be touched by God. I think this is the closest I’ve come to that. Time and time again, I see the sense of humor God has. Each time we saw her, we urged one of us to go up to her, but failed to do so. Finally when she pushed her cart next to mine, I didn’t even think, I just started talking. The whole thing just felt so natural, but I think we may have scared her a little. Hopefully we’ll get to know each other better as the days go by.
On another note, it finally hit me today that I have one week of work left. The summer has really flown by, and although the campers give me a headache everyday, I will really miss them. I first recognized this when I realized that tomorrow was the last day for two of the kids I’ve gotten to hang around with. Derek and Leann are in 7th and 5th grade. I’ve picked on Derek several times, and vice versa. The nature of our interaction is just very chill and sarcastic. Leann is very happy-go-lucky and she’s a good kid. Recently I just found out through Leann’s teacher that their mom passed away (I’m not sure if that’s recent). Something about the two just really capture my heart, and when the teachers and I heard about that, we just went soft. I don’t really know how to explain my perception of the two, but I will really be praying for them and I hope that I get to see them again in the future.
I was talking to the 7th grade teacher yesterday, and we both agreed that even though we can’t really see it, God is definitely doing something in the hearts of both the campers and the teachers. I came into this without strings attached; this was supposed to just be a stepping stone to my future, but now I am really finding myself wanting to return again. As painful as it all is, from the hours we work, to the way we are observed for our performance, to dealing with the children, I am really glad that I got this chance. First Baptist Church’s Summer Day Camp will definitely be in the back of my mind for the next few months.
“You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love…” Jonah 4:2