Youth camp meetings in the concrete jungle

I caught the bus this morning at 7 a.m. at the station (sometimes I catch it on the highway), enroute to the concrete jungle in São Paulo. Then, about 8:15 we arrived at the Tietê bus/metro station on São Paulo’s north side. I hopped the southerly metro down to the Sé station where I grabbed the west-bound subway to Anhangabu. I didn’t realize they’d moved the bus station down a block, but when the Itaim bus came by, I was still able to catch it, with so many people in line. I walked into the Ninth of July church building at 8:55 a.m., just in time for the first of two meetings about the Christian youth camp I work with.

The big meeting was at 10 a.m., and it was not as good as I hoped, but certainly not as bad as it could have been. Legal papers, always a complicated process, and election of board members, directors and council, the latter of which I’m on for the moment, besides being a congregational representative. The election of directors was a bit complicated by a couple of situations we’ve had recently.

I was relected to the council by unanimous vote, so I guess that counts for something. Not every councilor was. We also gained two new councilors, which I think will reinforce our overseeing function of the camp work.

After the assembly adjourned sometime after noon, I had lots of conversations with people like Cleber, the financial director of the camp, and João, elder at the Nove church, and a long chat with Ana Lucia, a long-time friend of ours who will be helping out at the young ladies’ camp during the Easter weekend. She’s expecting Leila to be there, as much as Leila is hoping to make it.

By the time I grabbed a bite to eat, after 2 p.m., and dodged rain and crowds and waited for a late bus back to SJCampos, it was going on 8:00 p.m. when I made it home. I rode the bus all the way to the station rather then get off at ValeSul Mall (here a mall is called a “shopping”). The station is more out of the way for Vicki to pick me up, but it had been raining and I was tired, so when I called home as the bus neared town (I took Vicki’s cell phone with me), I set up with her to pick me up at the station.

I sometimes wonder if all the downtime caused by such meetings is really worth it, since I’m averse to such administrative meetings, but the good brothers, among them some of my closest friends, assure me it’s important, since what we do, even though mostly background stuff nobody sees, helps keep the camp on track. I suppose they’re right.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?