Friends, food, and fun. That is just one way to sum up what a group of girls’ camp counselors from Worldsong experienced during the week of July 1. Twenty-six young women traveled up to Clarkston to put on a girls’ camp for the younger refugees in the area. For three days, the girls played games, ate snacks, and told stories together. The number of refugees in attendance ranged from nineteen to twenty-six. The counselors learned a lot about the world and its cultures. They also learned quite a bit about the spiritual warfare going on in Clarkston when they visited the Swaminarayan mandir. When reflecting back on that experience, Jessica Zakary said, “It’s become very real to me. You know that they’re real, but until you see people face down on the ground worshiping, it doesn’t seem real.”
Many of the girls also had the chance to visit with a refugee named Amina. These girls had a few chances throughout the week to just bless Amina, and in the process, they, themselves, were blessed. Rachel King, one of the many girls who had an opportunity to visit Amina, observed the differences in the food that was prepared at Amina’s house. “They are very hospitable,” when hearing that it was actually Amina’s neighbors who cooked food for the girls instead of Amina.
Adjusting to the way refugees live was a very different experience for the girls as well. “A lot of plans that we had discussed earlier changed throughout the trip, but I realize that when you go on missions, you just go,” said Cynthia White, the leader of WorldSong camps. Though it was a challenge for some of them, the girls did an excellent job of adjusting.
The young women from Worldsong made a tremendous impact on the kingdom because of their willingness to serve Clarkston on their week off. Connections were made, relationships were built, and these girls will not soon be forgotten by the refugee children. RTN is incredibly grateful for the work these girls did in the short time they were visiting and looks forward to their return in the future.