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“Look at how the lake shimmers!” exclaimed Jessie. She jumped out of the car and turned to her cousin Emily. This was going to be a great camping trip with her cousin’s family!
“Ooh! It’s so pretty,” said Jessie’s aunt Angela. “Now I see why they call it Pleasant Lake.”
“Yep,” Jessie’s uncle Robert agreed. “But we can’t stand here all day. Let’s set up camp!”
Jessie and Emily grabbed their tent and backpacks and headed to the spot where Emily’s brother, Jeremy, was setting up his very own tent.
“This looks like a great spot for our tent, too! Come on Jessie, help me set it up,” said Emily.
Emily and Jessie unfolded their tent. They wrestled with it, trying to make it stand up. But when they crawled inside, it fell down on top of them. “Hey! Help! We’re trapped!” they cried.
Emily’s dad came to the rescue. “Whoa! Let me help you with that, girls,” he said as he put the poles in place and cinched it up.
“Thanks, Uncle Robert!” said Jessie to Emily’s dad. Soon the girls’ little tent stood up straight and didn’t fall down when they crawled in to lay out their sleeping bags.
“Let’s go toss rocks in the lake, Emily,” said Jessie. The girls laughed as they ran down to the water where Jeremy was already trying to skip rocks across the top of the water. The girls slowed down and tiptoed near a gray blob lying on the shore.
“Eww! What’s that?” Emily asked.
“It’s a dead fish,” Jeremy told them. “Watch out! It’s stinky.”
“Yuck!” the girls exclaimed as they pinched their noses.
“I thought this was supposed to be a pleasant lake,” said Jessie.
“Hey, you know what that reminds me of? The plagues we learned about at church,” said Emily.
“Oh, yeah! Pharaoh wouldn’t let the slaves leave Egypt, and God sent all kinds of awful things. I hope our camping trip won’t be like that.”
“Well, it already has a dead fish,” Jeremy teased.
“Come on, kids. Let’s get dinner ready!” called Emily’s parents.
Emily’s dad started a fire at their campsite, and her mom got the hot dogs out to roast. Soon they all gathered around the campfire to eat dinner.
“Shoo fly!” Mom said as she swooshed her hand back and forth. “I don’t like flies; they’re pesky.”
“Yep,” Dad replied, “especially when we’re trying to eat.”
Jessie and Emily swooshed two flies away and stared at each other. “The plagues!” they said together.
“What are you talking about?” asked Mom.
Emily and Jessie explained that they were reminded of the plagues God sent on Egypt.
“Well, I’m sure your experience here at Pleasant Lake won’t be anything like what the Egyptians went through.”
“Just think how the Egyptians felt with gazillions of dead fish and grasshoppers and frogs,” Jeremy said around a mouthful of hot dog. “It was a thousand times worse!”
“Yes, that’s right,” Mom agreed. “But the ‘plagues’ of Pleasant Lake are pretty small, so you don’t have to let them ruin your fun.”
Soon it was bedtime. Emily and Jessie carefully crawled into their little tent and squirmed down into their sleeping bags.
“Good night, girls!” Emily’s parents called out from where they were seated by the warm fire.
Suddenly Emily let out a shriek that echoed across the lake and shattered the peaceful evening, “Whaaaaaa!”
Emily’s dad sprinted to the tent. “Emily, what’s wrong?”
Emily was huddled in the corner of the tent hugging Jessie and staring at her sleeping bag. “There’s something slimy moving around in my sleeping bag!” she screeched.
Her dad unzipped the sleeping bag and shined the flashlight inside. “Ribbit,” croaked the frog crouching in the bottom corner. When Dad gently poked the frog with his finger, it hopped out of the sleeping bag and made its way back outside.
“Thank you, Daddy,” Emily sighed with relief as she crawled back into her sleeping bag.
As the campfire burned down, everyone went to bed and turned out the lanterns and flashlights. It became pitch black. “Emily!” whispered Jessie. “It’s super dark, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. I can’t even see my hand in front of my face,” said Emily. “Kinda like the plague of darkness.”
Jessie clicked her flashlight on. “But we can be the Israelites who had light!”
Emily giggled at Jessie’s face glowing in the light. “Yeah, but I don’t think they had flashlights back then, silly.”
“Go to sleep, girls!” Mom called from the other tent.
Jessie quickly snapped the flashlight off and lay down. The girls closed their eyes and tried to relax. It had been a long day, and they soon fell asleep to the sound of crickets and the wind blowing through the trees.
After a few hours, Jessie woke up to a strange sound—like pebbles hitting the tent. Pop, tick-tick, pop, pop.
Emily woke up, too. “What is that?” she gasped. The girls crawled over to the tent flap and peeked out. Tiny ice balls were bouncing off the tents and all over the ground.
“It’s hail!” Jessie exclaimed.
The two girls looked at each other. “The plagues of Pleasant Lake!” they said together and laughed.
The next morning the girls scrambled out of their tent and stretched. The sun was just rising above the trees across the lake, and the sky was a rosy pink.
Jessie grinned at Emily. “You know what? I believe the plagues of Pleasant Lake are over!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.