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Camp for Kabera slum kids changes hearts

By August 23, 2010

Kenya (MNN) — In July, Mission Network News reported on an upcoming trip to Kenya. Now the trip is over, lives have been changed, and the team is looking forward to next summer.

Volunteers on the Global Action trip to Kenya were in the country for two weeks to host a summer camp. The camp was similar to many Western summer camps, but instead of going home to comfortable houses at the end, these kids were headed back to the slums.

The children of the Kabera slums live in extreme conditions, often unable to attend school because they can't afford uniforms. Global Action has long-term programs in Kenya to meet the needs of these kids, keep them in school, and teach them about the Lord, but camp was an opportunity to play, laugh and relax.

The first week of camp was for elementary-age children. They watched puppet shows, got to know the camp leaders, learned Bible stories, and played games. Children were given two hearty meals each day during camp and an extra one to take home at night so they wouldn't be hungry.

The second week of camp was for high school kids. As teens made relationships with other Christian teens, had fun learning about acting and music, engaged in worship and learned about God's Word, miraculous changes began to take place. Global Action's Emily Voorhies says the camp exceeded expectations.

"The thing that we heard consistently with the teenagers as they were leaving was how this really helped them understand, first of all, their own relationship with the Lord, that they are created with purpose, and that He wants to use them in their own neighborhood and in their schools to really stand up for Him," says Voorhies.

She continues, "They learned how to share their testimonies with their peers and with their own family members. Many of them are the only Christians in their homes. I think they really left, most of them, feeling very empowered in terms of God using them in a real way in whatever circumstances He's placed them in."

In one specific instance, a boy from the worst of circumstances discovered true hope in Christ. "One of the young teenagers stood up at the end and described how he was so discouraged that he just didn't see how his life had a future," explains Voorhies. "Being at the camp, he just really sensed God speaking to him in a real way that He was with him, that he does have a future, and that in Christ he has hope for a better future."

These are only a few of the many victories won in the Kingdom of God on this trip. Voorhies says that many of the relationships built among the campers will also be significant in their faith journey, as many of these relationships have been in the past.

Pray that God would continue to speak to and strengthen these teens through godly relationships and biblical teaching. Pray that as their "camp high" wears off, they would still faithfully pursue the Savior that some have only just met, and that they would be strong advocates for the cause of Christ.

At the end of the trip, small children and teens alike were asking camp leaders if they would be back next year. The team has already begun preparations to return. If you feel the Lord calling you to this important mission field for a few weeks next summer, contact Global Action to learn how you can join in 2011. Click here to learn more about other upcoming Global Action trips. Keep checking the Global Action Web site for more stories about this summer's successes and joys.

 

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