January was a month of unexpected surprises, good ones though! Some missionary friends had told me about a young adult camp that I should go to, to be able to meet other Christians my age. They didn’t know when it was, but they thought it was sometime in March. A couple months later, I was on the phone with problems with my computer for hours, so I just randomly decided to look up this camp while I was waiting. It just so happened that the young adult camp was actually happening in January. I started calling all the young adults in our church and four of us went to camp only 3 days later. The camp started on Thursday night and ended Sunday morning. We had a lot of fun together, learned a lot, and it was a great time of bonding.
All of our youth were super jealous of the young adult camp. I told them that we would have to save and do fundraisers and go to youth camp next year. It was something I had just found out about and next year we would try to go. I was talking to someone on the phone about our young adult camp, and the person asked me, “how much would it cost for your youth to go to camp?” I told her and she said, “you should do it, we will pay for it.” I was in shock! We had already made our summer calendar for the months of January and February. January was super full already. We hadn’t given out the calendars yet, but it was almost impossible to shift all the activities. Even if we could make it work, getting youth camp together at the last minute seemed crazy. Although, my life here is always crazy, so I knew it wasn’t impossible to do. Elar, my intern, and I thought it through and we decided it would be best to start off the summer with youth camp instead of doing it in the middle of the summer. Since we live in Peru, most people we work with do not have money to do anything extra, therefore they are normally free to do things at the last minute. We got everything together in 4 days and 18 of us went to youth camp from Monday through Saturday.
We had a GREAT time. Our youth participated in all the camp activities. They really let loose and didn’t care about being “cool” like sometimes they are in their own neighborhoods. Some of our youth even won awards for being the best at soccer and basketball out of the entire camp. They learned cheers, played goofy games, had fun at the pool, but most of all they grew in their relationship with God. They had daily devotional times and worship services. We had five of our youth who have been coming for a long time finally put their faith in Christ. That was obviously the best part of camp!
Camp really bonded our youth together and this same group of youth helped almost everyday all summer long. They knocked on thousands of doors inviting people to Bible studies and all the other activities we did. They worked day in and day out in sharing the gospel and serving others. I am blown away by all God did this summer through these youth. We are still seeing fruit from this camp. Thank you to the generous donors who made this possible!
Right after camp, we took two different neighborhoods to the pool: Huaral and my neighborhood. We always share the gospel at every event we do, so all the parents and children heard the good news about Jesus at the pool!
We also had a sports tournament in the Keiko neighborhood. We used an illustration using a soccer field/ volleyball court to explain the gospel. I thought it would be a short presentation and that people would be in a hurry to keep playing volleyball. God had different plans, which I am so thankful for. We had a lady in the group ask all kinds of questions about who Jesus really is. She was very skeptical, but we were able to have great conversation with her and all the others listening. It is so amazing how God works in ways we never expect.
This is just the first part of our summer experience. February is packed full of other activities as well. Be on the lookout to hear about all of our water balloon fights in the month of February!