Friday, February 16, 2007


Last weekend, JCS had a camp/retreat weekend for the 6-10th graders. I (Daniel) was a counselor and Teresa hung out and helped out where she could. We went to a YoungLife camp in Jarabacoa up on a mountainside with beautiful scenery and a great cabin/lodge for retreat-ish stuff. Stan Long, the director of Camp Eagle in Virginia (where some of our students went for a week this past summer) came down and was our speaker. Friday after school we loaded up in taxis and headed off to camp. As camp always goes, it was full of crazy games and good spiritual time. For those of you who are cold right now, I was sweating like crazy running around in the hot sun ;-). My cabin had 3 JCS boys and a brother of a JCS girl. Overall I think there were 8 boys and 15 girls along with the counselors and other helpers. To make the weekend more fun for the kids, we counselors even got water, pudding, ketchup, and/or mustard dumped or smeared on us for various games (which none of us knew to expect).

A lot of the kids were surprised how crazy I got at camp, since most of them only see professional, teacher Mr. Peterson and don’t get to see the more laidback, louder side many of you have. In some ways, I think being crazy actually gained me more respect from many of my students.

The theme for the weekend was commitment, spending the entire weekend looking at Mark 12:28-34, the Greatest Commandment. Each chapel session, Stan outlined one area of loving the Lord our God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and finished with loving our neighbor as ourselves. After the big group times, we had some time with our cabins, but over such a short weekend, the boys didn’t open up much to each other. Saturday night, one of my cabin boys was strongly convicted and committed to, as he put it, love Jesus in all parts of his life, not just the easy ones. Please pray for him that the Holy Spirit would continue to work and that we at JCS would be able to disciple him well.

Many of our students come from Catholic families, and I think it was good for me to be there and be able to share some of my Catholic background as well as credibility having studied theology at Notre Dame. It was encouraging to me that, despite the many problems with the Catholic doctrine here in the DR, they still confessed that loving Jesus is really what matters. Please also pray for these guys because they are in a tough spot being pulled between cultural Catholicism and a real, living faith in Jesus Christ that transcends denomination.

Teresa came to camp on Saturday morning to spend the day, and she joined us for some games, meals, and worship/chapel times. She was a great defender in “Flicker,” a fast-paced, close-range version of Capture the Flag; did some wall-climbing during our cabin devotional time; helped us with our skits for the talent show; and there was no doubt the kids were glad to have her around. She had planned on leaving camp Saturday night to be able to go to sleep and go to church on Sunday, but the person she was riding back with had a motorcycle breakdown. As a result, she stayed overnight at camp and a few of us had to push the motorcycle back up the mountain to camp (A couple hundred feet elevation climb over about ½ mile). Thankfully I only made it in time for the last quarter of it. While I know she wanted to be at home, it was nice for me to have her around a little longer J.

Needless to say, we were both exhausted Sunday afternoon, and I still don’t think I’ve fully recovered. This weekend will include preliminary motorcycle shopping and catching up around the house, since we are planning on being gone next weekend, too (hiking/climbing Pico Duarte, the tallest mountain in the Caribbean at 10,000 ft).

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