I cannot believe that it is time again for our annual youth camp tomorrow. Wow, it seems like just the other day that camp ended in 2008! Youth camp is very special to me as it was in 2000 that I was able to help re-establish our national youth camp and the forming of a national youth committee. The youth committee, made up of eight youth representing the four regions of Swaziland, works all year long in planning and preparing or youth camp. The committee changes through the years but is an opportunity to raise future leaders for our churches.
Some years, we have been blessed with volunteer teams to come lead and assist with youth camp and other years, we use national leaders for camp. This year, the committee has asked Lad Chapman, missionary friend, to lead as our main speaker for the evening and Sunday morning worship services. The theme is, "God Chooses Me!", based on Eph. 1:4-5. Lad's wife, Crystal Barkhouse Chapman, and I grew up together in the same youth group at First Baptist Church, West Palm Beach. We had seen each other in over 10 years and then we have been reunited in Swaziland. It really is a small world!
A few years ago, we started having youth camp at a school because we outgrew any buildings of our Baptist churches. Camp has always been planned in late August because it is a term break from school for all our students. This year, we will be having camp at Mbekelweni Lutheran High School. Camp is not the same as back in the USA. The students here will sleep on grass mats or cardboard boxes on the floors of the classrooms of the school. Basins of water will be the classrooms for washing and bathing every morning. Toilets are outside and not the convenience of indoor ones. However, the presence of God is alive and real! Worship is sweet and lively at the same time. Most of the youth do not see each other except at youth camp each year as our students will come from literally all parts of the country. It is a highlight in many ways!!!
*Pray for final logistics of youth camp tomorrow morning.
*Pray for Lad Chapman, Kelly Woody, Pastor Gamedze and other speakers sharing at camp.
*Pray for safety as the youth will be traveling from all over tomorrow.
*Pray for the youth to come with open ears and receptive hearts to receive all God has for each one of them.
*Pray for the election and selection of a new national youth committee during camp.
Here are some youth camp reflections from camps past....
Takes a LOT of food to feed the youth camp crew
Sunday worship service - ending of youth camp