Youth Camp in December

At worship

Gordon McKillop  (CAM International missionary in Zambia)

A request came at very short notice asking if a youth group could come to Nyangombe Christian Training Centre for a week when local schools closed.

For and against

Our first reaction was, ‘How can we? Programmes haven’t stopped since early April. Nyangombe folks are all tired, having hosted over 3,000 people this year for teaching in one form or another. This is also the planting season and families MUST plant now if they want to eat next year.’ But then someone else commented, ‘Isn’t it good that some

young folks want to meet as Christians when others are rebelling against their parents and getting into trouble?’ We recalled together the great apostolic charge to young Timothy: ‘Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage… discharge all the duties of your ministry’ (2 Tim.4:2-5). Finally, we agreed to the request, with one minor condition - that the youth of Nyangombe could join in the camp meetings.

 

Courageous testimony
It has been a great week. One young woman, Susan, testified to God’s enabling to stay pure until the day she marries in early 2013. She spoke to the entire company of around 100 young people, most of whom knew her through school, inviting them to speak up if they had ever known her to act inappropriately with boys. She went on to say that this had only been possible by the God’s enabling and the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work and that this was available to all.

Understanding God’s plan
Another girl, Grace, shared a similar testimony and together they encouraged the other girls to stay pure and preserve their bodies for the day when God would provide them with a husband. This all followed three teaching sessions on 1 Peter, where they learned that they were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ (1 Pet.1:2). It was thrilling to see them coming to understand that the entire Godhead had been involved in them becoming God’s children. We teachers simply bowed our heads and thanked God for His powerful Word doing its work in the lives of these young people.

Seeking God in prayer

Prayer
At 6am each day, all the youth gathered for prayer, asking the God to do something special in them during the day. The anticipation was almost tangible. When I visited at noon today, I saw almost all the young people on their knees, thanking God, asking to be closer to Him, or just weeping quietly in His presence as He did a work in their lives.

Indoor games
This afternoon they are having games and running off energy before hearing more challenges from the Word tonight. It has been a difficult time of year to hold a youth camp. Normally we would be outside, but in the rainy season everything is done inside. Only two days ago, we had a total of 8 inches of rain in a 36-hour period. Returning to Nyangombe by vehicle after dark, bringing camp food and some people, we had to leave the vehicle on the road and walk the last five miles in pouring rain, because so many trees had blown across the roads in the storms. However, seeing what God is doing in these youngsters puts such problems into perspective.

Indoor games in the afternoon

No complaints
I asked our teachers and cooks how they felt about being late for planting their gardens and taking on yet another youth camp at such short notice. They all said, ‘It’s been really great Gordon - God has been amongst us!’

Thank God for people who are ready to serve, both in season and out of season! And pray with us for the many young folks who have been challenged this week, that they will stand strong in the face of peer pressure and be unashamed witnesses for God.