Last night we got settled into our home for the week. We are staying in a church near Camden in the borough of Haddonfield. Our whole team is crammed into a large room in the basement; some were lucky enough to secure a spot on a few couches, but most of the team is sleeping on air mattresses or sleeping bags on the floor. But it’s all smiles for this team, I’m impressed with their constant positive attitude so far. 

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Today was our first day at UrbanPromise. We enjoyed a devotional with Jim Cummings, reflecting on the goodness of Creation and seeing that same creative energy at work in the community of Camden. Jim then took our team on a tour of Camden, explaining some of the systematic issues that plague the city. He also helped us understand the historical significance of the nautical industry to Camden, and our team saw how the Urban Boat Works program is teaching youth of Camden about their city’s roots and offering them applied skills and trades. 

Our group also did some prep work for the After School Olympics that we will be helping to lead for the week. The Olympics is an annual event that brings three UrbanPromise JrHigh camps together for a week of high energy activities. These camps represent pockets of Camden that are typically territorial and often at conflict with each other. The Olympics event will disperse the three camps into five teams, helping create connections and relationships instead of division and animosity. Our students will be providing a lot of energy and creative ideas to help make this significant event a huge success for UrbanPromise. 

Prayer Requests:

Last night our team enjoyed some time worshipping together, and we sensed that CHANGE is a significant focus for us this week. We believe that God wants to change our outlook on the world while we are in Camden, and when we return home. So please pray that we would be receptive to that change, and that God would shape us to see things like Him. 

Please pray for energy also. Sleeping in a very warm room with 21 other people doesn’t always make for great sleeps, and our 6:30am start to each day will start to wear on the team as the week goes on. Pray that God would sustain and energize us. 

Finally, please pray that God would use the little bits we have to offer to help accomplish greater works that we could ever imagine. We know that our greatest contribution is to help propel the work that UrbanPromise is already doing in this community, so please pray that God would use our efforts to be a significant support to the UrbanPromise team. 

Thanks for tracking with our team. Make sure to follow #theUGcamden on twitter for other updates.