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I'm not sure how I want to post about my last few days. I don't think I want to post the whole thing. I think perhaps the highlights. Or best of. Something like that.

We arrived in Oatley late, I was dropped off by Mum, Dad, Hannah and Mark and I was feeling like our van was thoroughly looking like a van for "special people". It was funny I guess. I had decided before getting there that I wasn't going to be embarrassed rocking up in a white van with sheep-skin seat covers, accompanied by my parents and two disabled young people. I can't say I was quite at the stage to get them all out of the car to wave me off on the bus with a bunch of people I didn't know, but I wasn't too worried turning up with them.

It was interesting getting on a bus to head off onto a 4 day camp with 13 people I had never met, and one I knew a bit. They all seemed like nice people. I was particularly impressed with the anti-Shire banter that circulated the bus when we began our journey. There was a "Click, Click, Click" as windows around the bus were closed to protect us from "Shire air" as we crossed the Georges River into the Sutherland Shire. That little display of coordinated region-ism was nicely done and made me pleased to be there.

Conversation on the way down was kept to a minimum with my traveling buddy, a year 12 guy named Rob. I think we didn't have much to say to each other.

They were a lovely bunch of kids I found over the week. I have never seen better behaved youth group in my life. Never once did they do anything worth getting them in trouble for. Never a stern voice needed. David told me that the worst thing that happened the whole time was someone forgot to put the lid on the tomato sauce properly.

They were also very smart I think. They all seemed to be continually doing word or maths puzzles. They would tell each other interesting facts and often play "Eye Spy". Except "Eye Spy" was usually something like "Absent Abstract Eye Spy" where they would have to guess something intangible that wasn't the least bit connected to anything in the near vicinity. I never joined in that game. It was way above me. I stuck with their easier ones like saying "White horse" whenever you saw a white horse. Although I think I was the only one who played that the whole 4 days, they got bored after about 10 minutes.

We stayed at a little house in Sussex Inlet which was owned by the old lady from the church who gave strict instructions that no-one was to use the front door or climb in and out of the windows. It was a good house though with family photos from the eighties displaying young men with world class mullets on the wall. It was close to the beach and a park. Very cosy. No mobile reception what-so-ever. It was a 10 minute walk to anywhere I could make a phone call from, which just so happened to be right next to the closest public phones too.

The talks went ok. I was a little disappointed with my talks sometimes. They were a little hard to gauge how to do a talk for 13 people. In the end I used my notes but they weren't comprehensive enough I think. I don't think I was very interesting. I am praying that the Holy Spirit was doing stuff though. The Word was taught, I'd say it won't come back empty. Lucky the Holy Spirit works even when I don't.

We went swimming a bit. On Monday we went to a water hole and jumped off a big rock. Yesterday we went to the beach which was a little cold but lovely none the less. The beach was followed by ice cream at the ice creamery which I managed to only mildly spill all over myself. Then it was back to a different beach to play beach volley ball. That was funny. Beach volley ball is the only sport that I have had a commitment to in recent history. My four years of competition playing made me perhaps the most experienced beach volley ball player there (although probably not the best). I organised my team into the right formation and had them rotating all proper like. I was also the only one who could serve properly. The ball was very hard and now I have a bruised arm. It was very strange feeling mildly sporty. In the end the game descended into Nukem Ball so I couldn't show off my superior setting and spiking skills.

We had a lot of free time. I spent half of it asleep and the other half on the phone to Sydney organising youth ministry stuff.

I got to have my quiet times sitting on a park bench looking out over a river and the beach. It was quite tranquil, you could say.

I got a message on Monday morning from Helen about work. Suddenly I got a bit worried and stressed that nothing was going right back home. So I ran off and had a quiet time and a pray which was very good. My daily Psalm readings were up to Psalm 27 which ended with:

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD ;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD .

I could think of no better words to get from God at that time.

On camp I made friends with a kid named Scott. We made plans to get beefed up, grow facial hair, buy leathers, get tattoos, buy Harleys and start a gang.

On the trip home I sat next to one of the leaders, Emma. We talked a bit more, as happens when you have spent 4 days with someone. We stopped at Maccas and I was very happy to get some greasy, fast food in me.

David dropped me home after a massive trip through most of peak hour Sydney. Yay for him.