Redemption at Outreach Camp

Outreach camp in Côte d’Ivoire had been scheduled for mid-March and leaders had spent time praying, planning and building relationships with kids in schools and neighborhoods in Grand Bassam and Bounua cities. But five days before camp, terrorists attacked a local resort in Grand Bassam, killing several people and wounding many others. The country was in mourning and people were fearful. Parents of teens signed up for camp were afraid to let their kids go, but Area Director Pascal Boidy and the other local leaders went out and started encouraging and assuring parents, one by one. When James Davis and Ethel Dixon came from Liberia to serve on the assignment team, they arrived in a city that was abnormally quiet with soldiers patrolling the streets. Then James and Ethel got the news: none of the kids who had signed up for camp could come. Their parents were afraid of another attack. But despite the opposition, YL leaders gathered to pray, worship and make final preparations for camp.   The next day, the leaders went out again from morning until night, going door to door, talking to parents about the precautions they would take to keep their kids safe at camp. A mother of two kids who go to Young Life club in Grand Bassam told them “I have not seen this before–your visit at our home during this difficult time shows how deeply you stand with us and your love for our kids is unquestionable. My kids can go; I trust they are in good hands.” The faith and hard work of the YL leaders and the work of the Holy Spirit created a heavenly environment for redemption and transformation in the midst of tragedy and evil.   117 kids and 35 leaders and work crew went to camp. At the conclusion of camp, 63 of kids said yes to Jesus, beginning their Christian Journey; 15 kids, including 7 Muslim kids, were delivered from demons. There is a song that our West African leaders sing that includes the words, “I am on the Lord’s side. I will never give up. I’m an overcomer. And the Lord God is on my side.” Joy, hope and freedom; we are overcomers, we are on the Lord’s side.

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