Wednesday, September 18, 2013

YWAM Chico sponsors Youth Camp in Mali

Camp Koulikoro in Mali

Afternoon games brought lots of laughter
Here at YWAM Chico, we know summer camps. Sometimes in June and July it feels as though we live and breathe summer camps. This year, we saw more than 1,500 kids and teens here at the Springs in x weeks of camp. But in August, YWAM Chico helped fund a week-long camp for teens and young adults in the West African nation of Mali.
Here is a report from our friends at Camp Koulikoro in Mali:

After months of logistics, between searching for an adequate facility, dates that would work, and a team of local mamas to cook for campers, we hosted 70 campers and staff from August 6-13 at a large school facility with many classrooms and dorm rooms.

The 8-day camp was bilingual (French/Bambara) and campers ranged in ages from 13 to 25. Not all of them were believers in Jesus Christ. Our vision for this camp was to share a passion for Jesus with the campers, and show them that following Christ is not at all about not having fun! The camp programming included...
  • personal quiet times
  • joyful worship time every morning
  • teachings geared to the campers' age group and their concerns (topics included work ethics, friendship, romantic relationships, Aids/HIV, God's plan for sexuality, and personal quiet time)
  • small groups to discuss the topics (especially concerning purity in relationships)
  • a two-afternoon King's Kids dance workshop in which all campers learned a dance routine they performed during the Sunday worship service
  • a time of community blessing when the campers cleaned a nearby hospital
  • team games, relays, and of course, soccer!
  • evening films with positive and relevant messages
King's Kids dance workshop

The first day of camp, it became evident that the majority of the campers did not own a Bible. With the help of a local Assembly of God church, we were able to give every lacking camper their very own first Bible! How wonderful to be able to give such a precious gift.

At the end of the week during the Sunday church service, the campers had the opportunity to share testimonies from camp. The young Malians were able to share how the Lord had worked in their lives throughout the week in the teachings and in their personal quiet times. Many of the campers had never heard about having a personal quiet time with God and appreciated the teaching on that. Although there were five churches represented, and several campers with Muslim backgrounds, campers were amazed by the unity and sense of family they experienced.

Morning teaching session on work ethic
Finally, during the camp, seven people committed their lives to the Lord for the first time, including one of the cooks! Praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in the lives of these young Malian believers!

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