Kenya (MNN) — The children who live in the Kabera slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya are some of the poorest of the poor. Kabera is roughly the size of Central Park in New York City but is home to over one million struggling Kenyans.
Not surprisingly, many ministries have chosen to focus efforts on this particular slum, including Global Action. Global Action has long-term programs which include Bible clubs and micro-enterprise for AIDS orphans and widows. Every summer, though, the children who benefit from Global Action's programs get one special treat: summer camp.
"The children who live in the slum in Kabera have never experienced anything like they get to have with our camps," says Emily Voorhies, who has been to Kenya for the past four years helping with summer camps. She will go again this year as well.
"We take them to a beautiful location, we give them three nutritious meals a day; there's lots of fun activities, crafts, and of course Bible studies," explains Voorhies. "Our real desire is for them not just to hear about Jesus and His love, but to really see what Jesus' love looks like through these Christians who are coming from the United States to volunteer in a camp."
The Christians coming to lead the camp this year are from a church in Hollywood, California. The group will spend two weeks getting to know children: ages 6-12 one week, and 13-18 the next. The group will teach games, crafts, music, drama, Bible and more as they reach out to these impoverished children.
Over the past few years, the camp seems to have had a significant, positive impact on the campers. Voorhies says, "Once they understand A: that there is a God who created them with a plan and purpose, and B: that God loves them and so do we, I think it really gives them a new hope for a better future."
Voorhies says many become more committed to their faith or even come to know the Lord as their Savior for the first time at camp. Many children and youth then go back to Kabera and share the Gospel with their families, or boldly stand up for their faith in their schools.
"The positive impact that they have in their neighborhoods and their communities is just amazing. I think God does want and is using children and young people all over the world to introduce others to Him," says Voorhies.
The team leaves for camp today; the first day of camp will start Monday, August 2. Pray for safe travels and good health for the team. Pray also that they will bond well with the campers and will be lights of Christ's love. Pray that the youth involved in the camps will be transformed and refreshed by their time there and will be more effective followers of Christ as a result.
If this trip sounds like something you might be interested in, consider participating next summer. For more information, contact Global Action here.