August 28, 2010

Reports from Swaziland Youth Camp 2010

The first full day of camp seemed to be a huge success. The NYC is doing an excellent job. They have done a tremendous job of putting everything together. This morning, Kym Pennington, our new TLWI rep is doing a short True Love Waits presentation. The team is leading well and will be facilitating discussion groups this afternoon. The choir festival last night was good. Thank you for your prayers and I will update as I receive more information from Swaziland. As you can tell by the numbers, many of our Swazi youth were able to attend camp and we are trusting that God is speaking to many of them during youth camp!

Youth Camp 2010

Getting ready for one of the services to start

First Baptist, Belton, Texas, introducing themselves at youth camp

Pastor Nizio is translating for our volunteer team as well as introducing Kym Pennington, True Love Waits International consultant

August 26, 2010

Pray for Youth Camp!

The Swaziland Baptist Youth Camp is starting today and will run through this Sunday, August 29, 2010. This year's theme is" Running Towards the Super Race" and a volunteer team from First Baptist Church, Belton, Texas is with the youth to assist them with teaching/preaching, games, discussion groups and building relationships. Youth camp is a highlight for all of our Swazi youth as it is an annual event for all our Baptist churches to come together for four days of fun, fellowship and hearing the word of God. The youth pay a small camp fee to attend to assist the costs of food and school rental fee. They also have to pay their own transportation to get to camp so it is something the youth save up for together with their churches for many months.
Youth camp is quite special to my own heart as I helped to re-start the national youth camp back in 2000 during my two-year journeyman/ISC term. Youth camp had happened a few times in the past with other missionaries and national leadership but it was not consistent. During my first two years in Swaziland, God gave me the vision and direction to establish a National Youth Committee that was going to lead and plan for the youth camp each year. Yes, I have been on the committee, too, for most of the past ten years but it is really planned and led by our own Swazi youth. Each year, they take on more and more responsibility and I am very proud of all of them. At youth camp, the new NYC members are chosen and prayed for by their pastors, leaders and other youth peers. Through the years, the NYC has grown to plan other regional youth events as well as national youth leader's retreat. God has grown several of these youth into awesome leaders in many of our churches today.
This year's camp marks ten years of consistently having a youth camp each year. We always plan for August because it is a school break for our students. The schools have three breaks throughout the year. The Easter services are in April and too much is going on with the Christmas holidays during the December break so the August break is the best time for youth camp. Through the years, we have had fellow missionaries from Zambia help lead/teach at youth camp, volunteer teams from churches come lead at youth camp, fellow missionary colleagues in Swaziland teach/preach at youth camp as well as other Swazi pastors giving of their time to share at youth camp. It has been a learning process to prepare for camp through the years but a great time for our youth to grow both individually and together as a group.
I am asking if you would join me in praying for youth camp over the next few days that God would move in a mighty way among the hearts and lives of our Swazi youth? HE has great plans for ALL of them!!!
-Pray for the services, sessions, game times, fellowship, meals, etc. that every conversation would glorify God!
-Pray for our volunteer team to have strength and stamina each day as they serve the youth at camp.
-Pray the translation is clearly understood as the word is being shared from English to siSwati.
-Pray for the chairman of the NYC, Musa Dlamini, and the rest of the NYC committee to serve at camp with servant leadership.
Even now, I give God ALL the praise for the great things HE is going to do at camp this year. I look forward to hearing the stories and seeing the photos. My heart waits expectantly to hear of HIS good news from everyone!

Lacie has been going to youth camp since she was a little baby. Youth camp 2005 was her second youth camp.
Playing games at youth camp - not all about sitting all day!

Youth camp shirts - 2006

National Youth Committee 2006

Break out sessions - youth camp 2005 -

volunteer team from FBC Washington helped to lead the youth camp

Youth camp shirts - 2005

Hanging with friends - youth camp 2009

Youth camp 2006 meeting at a school for the first time because we outgrew our churches!