Mei came to summer camp for the first time as a third grader with her older sister. Mei's parents are not Christians, which is not uncommon for the kids who come to a Trailblazer Camps summer program.
Along with exciting games, times of singing, interesting classes, and great food, Mei was becoming friends with the other girls in her cabin and her counselor, Grace. Grace was sharing with the girls about Jesus twice a day during their cabin times, and everyone was singing Christian choruses during chapel times. It was all new to Mei.
Mei had heard about the zipline we had at camp, and now she was seeing it for the first time. It looked huge: such a high launching platform and such a big drop! Mei was determined to ride the zipline, and she watched the other kids go flying down the line with growing anticipation. But there was also a growing fear.
I helped Mei put on the harness, snugged it up well, and clipped her safely onto the pulley. She sat down on the platform and was completely prepared to launch. But she hesitated. And as she hesitated, tears started to roll down her cheeks. This wasn't too unusual, and I tried to calm Mei by reminding her that no one would make her do the zipline if she was too scared to. This resulted in Mei crying even harder all the while assuring me that she really wanted to go down the zipline. Eventually Mei was crying so hard that she was shaking, but she wouldn't launch off the platform, and she refused to go back down the way she came up. Through sobs she said to me, "She told me that when I go down the zipline, I'll die!" Realizing more was happening than I understood, I asked Mei's counselor to join us. After being reassured that she would still get a turn, Mei moved to the side to talk with Grace alone.
I kept glancing over at Mei and Grace while the next few kids went flying down the zipline. Eventually Mei stepped back up onto the platform, and I clipped her in again. She sat down, and with a big smile on her face, she launched off the platform and went flying down the line.
Later that day I had a chance to talk with Grace and ask her what she had been talking with Mei about. Grace told me the background story that Mei shared with her. Mei's family practices traditional Taiwanese folk religion and is very superstitious. Just before coming to camp, Mei's older sister had told her and her mother that she had dreamed for three nights that when Mei launched off the zipline platform, the line broke and she fell to her death. Mei's mother had told her that since the dream had happened three times, it would come true. Mei wanted so much to go down the zipline, but she had also been told it would kill her.
Grace had listened to Mei's story, and then reminded Grace that we had been learning about a God who loves us and could protect us and take away our fears. She asked Mei if she could pray for her and ask Jesus to protect her while she went down the zipline. Mei was happy to have Grace pray for her, and after they were done praying, Mei confidently and happily flew off the platform.
What a lesson in trust!
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