Camps, Camps, Camps

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In a one-month time-span, we have hosted 5 camps which have kept us very busy.  Starting with Masulita (the organization working with street kids started by Uganda’s First Lady), then 2 groups from Kasana: Worcestor Family and Heart of Worship (high school age students who help lead worship in various settings).  Lastly, we had 2 groups from 1MoreChild (6-11 yr. old boys and girls off the streets of Jinja).  We are really grateful for how God sends the right people at the right time to help out!  Even with 1MoreChild we didn’t have as many staff members around as usual.  However, the group jumped in and helped with dishes almost every meal which really helped lighten the load a bit for the rest of us.

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That being said, the camps went well.  Below is an update that we sent out after the Masulita Camp:

It’s been over a week and a half since the Masulita campers left Musana.  Sorry that we are just getting this out to you all!  We have had several people asking about how the week went, so we want to try to fill you in a little.  We are so grateful for the part that you had in the week through your prayers.  Overall it was a great week–high energy from start to finish.  Picture 48 kids running around barefoot in brightly colored t-shirts with huge smiles (and for actual pictures, check back to our website in a few days).  The kids had a great time and the staff as well really enjoyed getting to know the kids.  The handful of New Hope youth that came to help us for the week did a great job–we were SO grateful for them being here and jumping in however to help with such a wide age-range of kids.  We definitely could not have done it without them.  From a few things that were said to us by some of the leaders, it sounds like they want to come back each year with each new group of kids that they are caring for.

The best thing about the week was the spiritual responses that we heard.  The gospel was presented clearly through a few different venues (even in the form of a game that we debriefed) and Syd estimated that more than 15 of the older kids indicated that they gave their lives to Christ during the week.  Praise the Lord!  We are praying that what He began here will continue as they are back in their everyday setting.

There is no doubt that these kids have had rough backgrounds…the very fact that they were on the streets means that they were rejected to some degree or another by their parents/guardians, if they even had any family to speak of.  Talking with these kids and hearing some of their stories definitely gave us a new perspective on begging on the street, filling us with renewed compassion for these kids.  We recognized some of the kids from having actually begged from us previously in Kampala; so we are going to start noticing faces of street kids even more now, knowing that we might end up seeing them out at the camp next year!

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As I write this, I can hear the distant singing and drumming from the last night campfire for Worcestor Family, a family group from Kasana Children’s Center that has been here for the past several days.  It was neat to hear some of their testimonies tonight.  We are excited about how the Lord is using this place.  One of the best sights to see is kids spread out across the hillside overlooking the lake in the morning, each on their own rock with an open Bible, spending time with the Lord.  Those are the things that encourage us and keep us going in the midst of the craziness of this busy season.