Saturday, 20 February 2010

Last minute changes

Hi, just for your information. Plans have changed for this weekend. I was due to go to Tarata tomorrow (Sunday) but when I phoned to confirm the Pastor and his wife have suggested I postpone the visit to next week. There’s a carnival on in Tarata tomorrow and they are worried about the number of drunk drivers known to drive on that road on these dates.

The change is mutually beneficial as it means I can travel to Moquegua today to attend a friend’s wedding there. It also gives me an opportunity to say goodbyes to friends there which I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do.

I will now be travelling to Tarata next Sunday and spending the day there and then travelling back to Tacna to speak at the Rosa de Saron church in the evening.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Towards the End

Hi, just a wee note to keep you up to date.

I had a good trip to Lima. I was able to meet up with missionaries there, visit a seminary and catch up with a few friends including Rino and Santiago who had been the speakers at the Young Adults camp. I managed to see around Lima a bit and also buy too many presents.

I arrived back down to Tacna yesterday and now am preparing for Sunday (21st) when I head up to Tarata for the last time for the foreseeable future. Please pray that I would be a blessing to the believers there as I say my goodbyes. Also pray that I would have a safe journey there and back.

The following Sunday (28th) God willing I will be visiting the Rosa de Saron church to speak and say my goodbyes there too. Please pray God would use me to be a blessing to these believers as I say farewell.

The rest of the next two weeks will be full of packing, visiting people to say goodbye and preparing to leave. Pray that God would also undertake in all of that.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Photos Family Camp 2010

Hi. Here are some more photos of the family camp for you to see.
This was proably the most competitive game of pictionary I've ever witnessed.
Who can build the tallest balloon tower?
The children who were a little small to compete in the football with their Dads, seemed to get as much fun out of being cheer leaders with plastic bottles filled with stones.
You'll never beat your uncle at 'Fluffy Bunnies'!
Obstacle course was of course demanded and thoroughly enjoyed.
Some men fooling about on the climbing net. In this case he almost broke his neck falling off seconds after I took this photo! Holding on with one wet hand.
The oldest camper was Don Jose at 80years of age, and he participated fully even on all the obstacles.
The only ones who didn't run were the very small children, so on the final day Mision Rescate and the children from their Summer Bible School formed a team and ran the course much to the childrens delight.Some little ones needed just a little help to get across the water tank.
And on they went, getting cheered on by proud parents.
While all this was going on Christine Morrow was taking care of our speaker Pastor Pedro's hydration needs... obviously due to the extreme heat of the afternoon!
Thats all for now folks!
God Bless,

Family Camp 2010

Hi, the third and last week of camps was the family camps. Again numbers were up on last year. One family of 8 relatives last year returned this year with 15. There were families from Moquegua, Tacna, Ilo, Puno and Arequipa. In fact one family from Tacna came chiefly because their children had enjoyed the two previous camps so much that on returning home had convinced their parents to come to this camp.

There were all the usual activities including again the obstacle course, photograph challenges etc. But as always the family camp had a different atmosphere distinct to the other camps. In some ways more relaxed but yet in other senses the adults where almost more competitive than any young person.

The speakers were Pastor Pedro Cornejo and his wife Chi Chi from Arequipa. They are primarily involved in two ministries. Firstly Pedro is the director of the language institute in Arequipa were the Andrew and Carolyn Roycroft, Simon, Lynn, Shirley and I all attended at different times over the past year. His wife Chi Chi also teaches there a little. They see the institute as more than just a school but as a ministry as they focus on teaching missionaries and often go beyond the classroom in their dedication to the students. For example I know missionaries from other missions who experienced burglaries while in Arequipa and appreciated how the teachers accompanied them both to the Police station and also to the second hand markets to see if they could recuperate any items.
Their other ministry is the Christians in Action church which Pedro pastors. He is a gifted speaker and I was glad they were able to attend the camp. Many campers verbalised how they had benefited from his teaching throughout the week, once again centred on the theme ‘Decisions’.

While Pedro and Chi Chi ministered to the families, at the same time MisiĆ³n Rescate ran a Summer Bible School for the youngest children.
They seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and learned their memory verses very well.

As I reflect on the three camps I feel we were blessed to have the different speakers we did. Each pair was perfectly suited to the age group they addressed and were all clearly blessed by God in how they ministered. What was also notable about all three pairs of speakers is that they all went beyond the call of duty so to speak. They didn’t just turn up to fill and preaching slot, but got involved in the lives of the campers at individual levels taking time to build relationships with campers they might never see again. It was also encouraging to see campers look for pastoral counsel from all the speakers at various points which evidenced the impact their ministries were having on those in attendance.
This month in many ways is going to be full of preparations for leaving and goodbyes. Please pray that God would give me the right words to share as I visit people for the last time before I go. I also plan to travel up to Lima next Tuesday for a week. I hope to speak to missionaries up there about theological education and other ministries and see what I can learn from their approach to ministry. I also hope to visit friends like the speakers from the young adult’s camp, Rino and Santiago, and say goodbyes there also. Please pray for safety in travel and then as I go around the city which as all large cities can be dangerous.

Please also continue to pray for those at the Luz de Vida church, many of whom attended the various camps. This is something that is on my heart at the moment. They are continuing to struggle with the change of pastor in their church. Pray that God would quickly bring the man of His choosing to them and pray for both the new pastor and the congregation as they form a new relationship between them. Most of those at the church were saved under the ministry of Pastor Freddie, and others cannot remember the time before him. Pray that God would comfort them in this time of upheaval.
God Bless,

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Photos of Teenage Camp 2010

These are some more photos of the teenage camp.
Again we had the treasure hunt, though this time a little different as they had to find slips of green paper. In the process the campsite was almost torn apart. This is one of the teams on the last day before leaving. The teams seemed to bond very well and new friendships made.
The obstacle course was again a hit, though they didn't get as unruly as the young adults.
Getting as wet, or wetting others, as much as possible again seemed to be the dominant theme in the course. But this was generally appreciated given the hot weather.
Felipe, the speaker, did not help out at the shop but did revel in helping soak anyone and everyone.The bonfire night was also a special time spent together.
Again some excuse was found to then warrant another rendering of the 'baile de la tasa' or the 'dance of the cup'.Also notable as the weeks went by was how the leaders and counsellors got ever more exhausted. Some took advantage of any chance they got to catch a few 'winks'.
The counsellors weren’t the only ones sleeping. So were the three guard dogs. The only thing they seemed interested in watching was the door to the kitchen!
God Bless,

Teenager Camp 2010

The teenager camp kicked off on the same day as the young adult’s camp ended. There was a similar attendance of around the 50 mark and the camp followed a similar itinerary to the previous camp, but with certain modifications to keep things interesting.
For the preservation of our noses the ‘smelliest thing’ was scrapped. We also had the inclusion of an Oscars night where each of the three teams had to video tape a film including certain phrases which we then presented on the Wednesday night, along with a ‘bloopers’ reel and the Oscars presentation with numerous categories. As with everything in both camps, a lot of effort was put into every activity by the campers and much positive feedback was received.

The speakers for this camp were the youth pastor from the Alliance church in Tacna and his wife. Felipe is an Argentinean and his wife Esther Peruvian.
They were also accompanied by their two young children who won everyone’s hearts. She is a professional psychologist and they have developed a ministry working with teenagers and young adults. Again the main theme was ‘Decisions’ but this time focusing on the life of David. Felipe preached very well from the life of David and related it to the lives of the teenagers. Esther ran a number of workshops with various activities and group work touching on the themes highlighted in the sermons. By the end of the camp they had managed to build relationships with numerous campers.
These are the best male and female campers of the year, Jonatan and Maria-Belen.One of the other great encouragements was that a few of the campers from the young adult’s camp accepted the invitation to stay on as part of the counsellor team for the teenage camp and flourished in the role. Two of them were young men I have been getting to know at the Luz de Vida church and one was only recently baptised. It was great to see them make personal sacrifices to be able to stay and then see them throw themselves wholeheartedly into the task.
One of them has his own business selling sports gear and had spoke about how he nearly didn’t attend the first camp for fear that the business would suffer yet how he had seen God undertake and provide even in his absence. Having briefly returned to Tacna to check on things he felt that having experienced God’s faithfulness to him in this way during the first week, he felt convicted to follow God’s leading and return to help at the second camp and again experienced God’s faithfulness to his business in his absence. You may think these are little things, and for someone else it would have been a less significant sacrifice, but knowing the circumstances of this young man this was a large step of faith and development in his personal walk with the Lord. I feel privileged to have been able to get to know many of the young people from the churches in Tacna over the last months and then see the impact that God was able to have on them through both camps.

Please continue to pray for the many young people that were touched by the camps ministry, especially as they return home. Many campers, leaders and speakers repeatedly spoke about how a camp forms a safe space in which one can blossom spiritually, so to speak, but it is when one leaves the camp that the battle really begins and where the true impact on your spiritual life will be seen. I remember reading a book years ago during nursing (on occasions literally during nursing studies I have to admit; I probably should have been listening to the lectures) which was titled ‘Where’s Jesus when the party’s over?’ I can’t remember much about the content but the title kept coming to my mind time and again during the past weeks reminding me that camps are a spiritual party of sorts but are not the spiritual reality we must encounter day by day. Please pray for those who attended all three camps as they return to very different circumstances, that God would continue to work in their lives.

God Bless,

Photos of Young Adults Camp 2010

Hi I just thought I would include a few more photos to give you a better insight into what went on at this camp. Comments relate to the photo directly above them.

One of the group activities was to make a superhero out of various materials and then give a commentary on them. Well you never heard such waffle, but very funny.

Including counsellors in the teams and having Mision Rescate organise the tasks meant that the groups got extremely competitive. This is Raul (chief counsellor) running back to the auditorium having found the hidden disc.
This is his team after having won the treasure hunt for the disc.
The high spirit of competition meant the scoreboard was constantly being monitored and critiqued by all, and meant Mision Rescate were constantly being almost harassed about the scoring. This is the winning team on the last evening sporting the t-shirts they had just won, all with Christian logos.The obstacle course was as always a highlight for all. This is a team trying to walk on two planks. Good for team co-ordination.
Traversing the net covered with water and flour.Crossing the 'typoid tank' which was particularly stagnant this year.
Each year there is a male and a female camper of the year. This is Richard who won male camper on the last day. He thoroughly enjoyed himself.This is one of the teams having finished the course. I only wish I had got the before picture aswell.Well not to be outdone, on the second day of obstacle courses, after the campers had all ran, the Mision Rescate (along with a few volunteers to make up numbers) ran against the team of counsellors. This is where things really went mad and the boot polish, shaving foam etc were all liberally coated on anyone and everyone.
This is the counsellor team after.
This is Maria del Carmen one of the Mision Rescate members who had been covering campers in flour. Some of the campers then took the opportunity to get their own back.
Some also got their own back on Raul, another Mision Rescate team member, who had been hosing everyone.
Well not to worry, he who laughs last laughs the longest, as Maria del Carmen and Raul caught up with at least one of the culprits.
Well those are some of the things that also went on during this camp. No doubt you'll agree much fun was had.

God Bless,