Today we traveled by car, taxi, bus and minivan to Olive Grove Camp run for two weeks every summer by Jim and Rnata B. (Spelled wrong so it can’t be googled). Children of 15 nationalities from all over Turkey come. (One girl was Turkish/Irish and spoke with a brogue). Christians who are serving here send their children, and these children invite their Turkish friends. The Christian kids get to be with kids like them (third culture kids), and have their faith built up for the coming year. Coming to the same camp each year might be one of the only stable things in their world. It’s difficult to be in the religious minority in school, and these youngsters face difficult issues and prejudice. (It's just like being the only Muslim kid in America). The Turkish children who come to camp must sign a release from their parents saying the people at Olive Grove respect people of all religions, but in addition to all the fun, the children will be taught about following Isa (Jesus). One girl who made a decision to follow Isa last year wanted to be baptized this year. Jim had to get permission from her Turkish father, but he readily consented, and she will be baptized tonight.
The camp reminded me of a deserted beach we went to in Thailand (San Roi Yot). We drove through the middle of nowhere for over an hour, and finally came out at the sea, where there was a row of pensions (one story motels), and little else. It was BEAUTIFUL! Olive Grove takes over the whole pension, and sets up play and eating areas. We watched the children learning self-defense moves, dance, photography, and Spanish. As you can see from our Super Mediterranean Sea Mom photo, we also got to swim in the sea with them. They are doing such an amazing work. Look at this picture of kids of many nationalities singing “I’m a Little Teapot”. Then there’s a photo of Rnata and me. If the pics are too small, you can double click on them to enlarge.