YL South Africa Outreach Camp

July 7-9, 2015

In July 2015, 83 kids from Bela-Bela, Mokopane, Hamanskraal and Veengerkraal and 35 leaders (including a team from YL Zimbabwe) came to the first Young Life outreach camp in South Africa. The kids arrived at camp and were welcomed Young Life style, which kids said made them feel special. During the sit down meals, some even learned how to use silverware for the first time. Because the kids were from different areas and spoke different languages, the YL leaders wanted to help them make friends with each other and break down barriers so they organized games that encouraged teamwork and trust.

During club, Nkosi Sampindi, Associate Regional Director for Zimbabwe, taught kids about a loving God who knows their needs better than anyone. During cabin time, some of the kids said that it was the first time they had heard the Gospel presented in a way they could relate to. On the second day of camp, kids asked “Can we stay here longer?” They loved the program team of “Ricky” and “Nicky” who kept them laughing with surprises. The leaders wanted to help kids face their fears, including navigating an obstacle course, climbing rocks, playing night soccer with glow in the dark soccer balls and neon wristbands and swimming in chilly water. But to top all that, the kids went on a safari walk and saw lions in the wild, something many of them had never seen, except on TV, even though they had grown up in South Africa.

During one of the last talks, Nkosi illustrated that God designed them for a purpose by trying to put different objects into a glove, but nothing quite fit right, until he placed his hand inside. He told the kids: “Until you consult the manufacturer of the glove, you will never know what it is designed for” implying that they need God to help them know their purpose. One camper said, “No matter what I try to do to fill the empty space in my life, I can’t fill it. Now after hearing the Word, I realize that nothing or no one can fill that space except God, who created me.” Another teen said, “I never really believed that God existed until camp.” At the last club, Nkosi gave the kids a chance to accept Jesus and 76 kids out of 83 stood up to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

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