Some of the most life-transforming missions moments happen at camp. Read highlights from camp ministries around the world.
Every summer, you’ll find the two-generation missionary team of David and Crissie Boyd and Daniel and Heather Boyd taking kids to Goed Nieuws Bijbel Kamp (Good News Bible Camp) in the Netherlands. More than 100 campers from multiple churches attended in mid-July. David and Crissie taught the younger kids, and Daniel led the teens. Together, the Boyds oversaw about 30 leaders.
David and Crissie faced a special challenge partway through camp. The eight-year-old girls in Crissie’s group misbehaved so badly that David had to have a disciplinary talk with them. David assured them he still loved them, and it was hard to fight back tears when one of the girls immediately responded, “I love you too.” She turned out to be the instigator of the trouble, and after David left, she spontaneously apologized to the other girls. What a breakthrough! Not only that, but within two days, Crissie was able to lead three of the girls to the Lord.
Before camp season, Daniel wrote to his supporters about the importance of their long-distance involvement: “You may not hear the loud singing, your ears may not be ringing from the loud whistle-blowing for silence, you may not hear the laughter, or drop into bed exhausted every evening, but you can be there, working by our side as you pray. We value that more than we can express.” Through this team effort, the Boyd families saw 17 kids accept Jesus as their Savior, and 19 kids made a commitment to tell a friend how to be saved.
Camp season lies at the heart of Joe and Dawn Lee’s ministry to the Navajo and Hopi communities of New Mexico and Arizona. It’s a work they share with co-laborers Jerolyn Virgillo and Johnnie and Diane Woods. It’s a major way to reach young people in these needy communities.
Large groups of young Native Americans have given up hope on life, drowning their pain in alcohol or drugs. Tragically, during a two-week period in April, three young men in the missionaries’ communities hanged themselves. This heartbreak intensified our Native American team’s resolve to plant the hope of God’s Word into the lives of young people during June’s camping season.
Twenty-two junior campers and 13 seniors attended this summer. The Lord provided excellent help through supporting churches. Faith Baptist Tabernacle of Sherburne, New York, sent seven volunteers who installed metal roofing on three of the camp’s buildings. Faith Baptist Church of Baldwinsville, New York, oversaw the junior week, challenging the kids through lessons on the names of God. For the senior campers, Chalk artist and evangelist Dwight Haynes and his wife, Ann, shared the gospel through Psalm 23 in the morning and evening chapels.
All camp workers demonstrated kind and loving spirits to the campers. The kids asked many difficult questions, revealing their struggle to find real answers to life’s issues. Three campers found assurance of salvation and committed themselves to follow Christ. Many others grew in their knowledge of Christ and the way of salvation.
Twenty-five years ago, Campamento Bautista La Fortaleza (Fortress Baptist Camp) was 7.5 acres of abandoned farm land. Today this full-scale camp regularly breaks attendance records as more and more Peruvian kids and adults experience the life-transforming effect of camp on their spiritual life (cover and photo on opposite page).
This year Fortress Baptist Camp celebrated its 25th anniversary with yet another record-breaking year. It was a time of looking back on God’s work over the years. The camp averages 50 salvation decisions yearly plus many more spiritual dedication decisions.
One life profoundly changed through the camp was that of José Ascate. He came as a young industrial engineer intent on disproving the Bible. Instead, God got a hold of his heart through an Australian Christian scientist who spoke that week. José eventually married a fellow camper, and together they started a Creation Museum. Today they have a vibrant ministry in schools and universities, even in sectors of Peru’s government.
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