“Love bank” was a completely new term to me this summer; yet it was used so often. The first time I heard Dlo (aka Mrs. Dolores) mention filling a child’s love-bank I had this odd image of children walking around with big, pink piggy banks which each intern had a small amount of coins to fill. I pictured myself intentionally choosing how to deposit the few coins that I had into a select group of children’s love banks…. And then the thought was lost as I pondered how I, as the music teacher at Camp Faith, would ever think of activities 11-14 year old boys would enjoy in music class!
This summer I prayed for many things: patience, energy, a better immune system.…But I never thought to pray for God to fill my own love bank. Thankfully, the Lord is a LOT smarter than me, and this was the first thing He did.
Looking back over my summer, it is amazing to see how God overflowed His love through me onto the kids. I felt as if I was watching Jesus feed the five thousand except it was my small heart reaching the mass amount of children at Camp Faith. As I poured my love bank out onto the kids, God was faithfully replenishing it with a ridiculous amount of coins.
This brings to mind one of my sweet 8-10 girls. This girl was so cute at first, but the cuteness ended real quick. She was the first to fight and the last to line up every time. Our line of girls would walk out of the room to their first rotation, and there she was in the corner with an M-fuger trying to put her shoes on her whining about some random concern. Normally this would drive me nuts. “Child,” I thought, “you are eight years old, and I know you can put your own shoes on and get in line like everybody else.” But I realized quickly that this child’s love bank was at an extreme deficit. I spent many moments with this girl patiently listening through the never-ending tears about why she got in trouble at the last activity or holding her in my lap as she whined about how her jeans were itchy because they had gotten wet at water day. These times I spent investing in her just made it so much more special when she would do things like pray for our class or perform a praise dance. God overwhelmed my heart with love for this sweet girl. She knew that it might not be true anywhere else, but at camp there would always be someone to hold her.
This summer I was blessed to have invested in so many different children. It was especially fun to see how God would fill my love bank with different types of love for different kids. The first day that I had the 11-14 year old boys in my music rotation one of them over-heard me express my concern for keeping the room under control with a volunteer that was helping me. He shared with his friends as they walked in that I was scared of them. I knew immediately that this would not turn out well if I didn’t prove that theory wrong. I quickly adapted a new skill that I never even knew I had. I like to call it my drill-sergeant mode. Soon, I had each one of those boys “catching a bubble in their mouths” (a technique we use to keep the 4 and 5 year olds quiet) and listening to the classroom rules. I thought they would hate me. But the next day they asked me in the hall if they were coming to music and were genuinely disappointed when I told them “not today.” Later they told me music was their favorite rotation, and I was in shock. Here I was struggling to find activities for these boys to enjoy and fearfully trying to maintain control of the classroom… and they loved being in my class. This was clearly the Lord.
I’ve had my struggles this summer, but I’ve learned that the Lord will always provide exactly what you need to get through each day…even if it is a drill-sergeant voice. I am so blessed by every moment I’ve gotten to enjoy at Camp Faith this summer.