Tuesday, 2 February 2010

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,

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