YOUTH CAMP IN CEBU, PHILIPPINES
Well, Youth Camp has come and gone and we have so very much to praise the Lord for. From the moment we got to the Philippines we saw the Lord’s hand working in every step. Some times when we start a project we are faced with helpers that don’t understand what we want or are not able to follow through on instruction. I praise the Lord that HE placed a group of young men and ladies who had everything set up and planned out so that we didn’t have to worry about a thing. That was a blessing in so many different levels since after we got there Harrell came down with a stomach virus! He was violently ill for 5 days!!! I worried over him, but God was so good in helping him and getting us back to the states in one piece!
The first day of camp the “Director”, Renny Junior, who is working with Pastor Jun Ambo at the Bible Baptist Temple Church in Argao, Cebu, had their church group all set up as Leaders/Delegates. We had 256 souls register for our very first camp and we were so thrilled when everyone began showing up!
The first church group came with their pastor and his family on a motor scooter with a sidecar. I counted as 10 people climbed off, out and over
the motorbike! The last one off was the pastor’s wife holding their 2-year-old daughter! She was so excited about bringing their ”kids” to camp she didn’t care that they had travels for almost an hour like that!!!! Then came the van from the local Juvenile Rehab Center where Pastor Ambo has been working with the “detainees”. It was wonderful to see 10 young men who have gotten saved through his outreach coming to their very first Christian Bible Camp.
All day long kids began showing up and were thrilled at where they would sleep! Now that is a simple sentence until you see where and on what they would spend the whole week on!!! We rented 250, 2-inch plastic covered floor mats for everyone to sleep on. No sheets, no covers only a few had pillows! We had split all of the kids into 4 groups with a set of leader-councilors over them. The girls stayed in one of the larger classroom, the boys in another across the playing field. The pastors had their own room and their wives and babies stayed in another. Each one of these groups had 1 toilet between 50 kids! Okay, knock that vision of an American toilet out of your head!!! This was a 2-foot tall porcelain “bowl” (sort of like a child’s toilet) no seat, no lid and no tank for flushing! To flush, you simply dipped water from a big garbage can with a pail and poured in!! There were no shower stalls either… to shower you either washed off in the sink, didn’t wash at all or took turns pouring water over each other in the “Comfort Room”. The boys had the convenience of a water hose and just used that to “shower” under! I know, I know, I can just hear some of you saying that there is no way that you would go to camp under those conditions!!!! These kids and young people were so thrilled with these conditions and the fact that food would be supplied 3 times a day plus a snack and they didn’t have to pay anything was beyond their belief.
We had services every morning and at night time with a “devotion time” after lunch where the young preacher boys got the opportunity to preach to their “groups”. Every service saw the alter filled with boys and girls giving their lives to the Lord, surrendering to His service and giving up the garbage of this old world.
Every afternoon there was competitions in volleyball, soccer, badminton and darts. Plus during services we had competitions in preaching, Bible verse memorization, singing, playing instruments, skits and drama. What are so funny were the pastors (which we had 27 come) wanted to participate in all of these so they started their own group!! They even won the Dart competition!! At the end of the week we had prizes of Christian t-shirts, CD’s, shoes and sandals and snacks for all the winners. I want to thank Signature Sound for donating a bunch of their “Get Away Jordan” T-shirts and for the Bethel Baptist Church in Lapel, Indiana for donating almost 90 pairs of ladies shoes and sandals. The female winners thought they had died and gone to Heaven! Girls are the same no matter where they are located at when it comes to SHOES!!
So many churches and Christian friends who gave out of a heart of love and generosity to see souls saved made this Youth Camp possible. We may not know the full effect of all that happened until we get to Heaven. Thank you so much for giving, sacrificing and changing the life of a young person in the Philippines.