Sunday, May 23, 2010

Youth Camp 2010 in the Philippines

      What an amazing time we had at our second Annual Youth Camp in Cebu, Philippines. Last year we had 256 kids attend our first camp and this year we were blessed with 304 campers! There were 80 more campers registered to come but backed out at the last moment.
      God has been so good to allow us the opportunity to host this camp at no charge. So many young people in the Philippines would love to go to camp but cannot because of the cost. For camp in the Philippines it cost about $7 to $10 to attend camp, then there is the cost of a bus, jeepney,or ferry to get to camp and that is about $3 to $5. Camp over there is very different from camp in the US. Each church brings their own food and each groups prepares for their church group only. Therefore you have a total cost of about $20.00 to attend camp. This sounds really cheap unless you take in consideration the fact that most families make less than $100 a month.
      Through the generous love gifts given by a bunch of dear Christian people we have been able to host this camp. For just $20.00 you can host a teen for camp and see God work in and through them. It was a thrill to see the Holy Spirit move in every single service. The alter was filled after every sermon and the Spirit was so sweet all week long.  Summer camp isa  time of wonderful memories for us all. I met my sweetheart at a Youth Camp in Weatherford, Texas when I was 15 years old. My best friendships were established at camp and our son surrendered to preach at a Youth Camp in Indiana as a teen. So I am very excited to be a part of the Youth Camps in the Philippines.
     It was a hot, humid week but no one seemed to care! The lighting was terrible (Harrell had to read his Bible by a flashlight), the sound equipment was poor (one of the microphones wire kept falling off as the preachers were holding it and one of the speakers blew out). Our "sound man" kept a soldering gun on hand at all times!!! The toilets kept breaking and there were only 4 working toilets between 304 campers! The showers were either garden hoses, a pail of water or a spigot, but each and everyone of the campers were thrilled to be there and every single person there was extremely clean. We in the US take so much for granted, but if we had to go back to the basics of life I really believe it would also draw us to a closer relation with Jesus Christ.
      The Lord blessed every preacher with just the right message and we saw a moving in all the kids hearts by Wednesday morning. After one mornings session of preaching, the kids were hollering to the preachers, "Don't Stop!"  I can't say I understood all of the words these preachers said, but I sure understood what the Spirit had to say!!!

Our Camp Director, Renie Jun, set up a talent contest and called it "Baptist Got Talent". It was a great success and the kids really got into the spirit of it. He also set up an "Amazing Race" contest for the campers. Our funnest and most looked forward to game is the Pole Climb. We place a prize of about $20.00 on the top of a 30 foot bamboo pole and then have each group take turns at trying to climb to the top for it. Oh, did I mention that the pole was greased also!! It was so much fun watching these young guys trying their best to get to the top. It got really exciting when the preachers decided they wanted to take a turn!  They didn't make it to the top but you have to applaud them for even trying!! It took about 3 tries before one group finally got a spry, little fellow pushed to the top and  
 he literally leaped to the top of the pole!
It was so great to see these young men learning to work together and helping each other.  Even though we had all kinds of games and competitions the main focus all week was on the Word of the Lord. 

    By the last night of camp the kids were asking to extend the camp a little longer, they didn't want it to end.  Harrell preached the closing message about David facing Goliath and the 5 stones he chose. The thought was that there were 5 stones chosen but only 1 was used. Even though the stones were not used they were ready and willing to do the job. The whole service was focused on being surrendering to be used by God. It was amazing to see just about every single person there come to the alter. Only a handful of kids stayed in their seats.  Then the invitation was given to those who would stand up and say they were going to surrender to go to Bible College and 20 young people stood and gave their hearts and lives to God's service.
    Can you believe that to go to the  Bible Baptist College in Cebu City, Philippines for 3 years costs about $1200. That's for books, room and board, food... everything!!! In some colleges here in the states you would spend almost that much just for the books! 
    After seeing this need we have stepped out by faith to offer a Brian Noble Scholarship that will be presented to one young man and one young lady each year. If God provides more money we will offer it to more young people. So pray that God will allow us to raise the money for this and for future scholarships to send these worthy young servants to the Bible Baptist College in the coming years.  Pray with us that GOD will bless in the lives of those who surrendered to Him that they will stay strong in their decisions to serve the Lord.