South Africa Outreach Camp
June 27-29, 2016
This was the second camp in the history of Young Life South Africa. There was a program team from Swaziland and Zimbabwe who worked alongside and trained the South Africa leaders. The camp speaker was Sthe Nsibandi from Swaziland and the camp manager and work crew were South African leaders. Pierre and Rentia helped facilitate camp but let the South African, Zimbabwe and Swaziland team run things. While 80-90% of kids in South Africa attend church, they do not know Jesus in a personal way. The church is very legalistic and not evangelistic so they never hear the living, breathing gospel at church; these kids know “religion” but not Jesus nor how to apply faith to their lives. This camp brought together a total of 115 kids, including 58 girls and 52 leaders. These are a bit of their stories.
Ndina is a new leader and is going to Hands on Training (HOT) in Zimbabwe next month. During one of her small group times, she shared about forgiveness. Ndina describes how her younger friends “couldn’t believe that God was so forgiving and merciful.” She watched how this truth transformed these students to forgive those who had hurt them in the past.
Amose attended Young Life camp for the first time, and describes how here he experienced the Lord “in a different light.” He heard the message of hope and inspiration, and “gained the strength to tell others of our heavenly Father” without the complicated formalities of a church setting. Here at camp, he learned that “there is more to life than alcohol and drugs…I had so much fun.”
Martin is a more experienced leader who knows that there are still many people who are living in darkness. He loves that in Young Life the entertainment and games make kids realize that “even in Christ there is more fun.” Through this fun, kids have opened their hears and accepted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. He is excited to see the ways will continue to have fun in their newfound relationships with Jesus.
Anashe had so much fun climbing, swimming and dancing at Young Life camp. She also loved that “we were praying everyday…at home we hardly pray, so at the camp I had a chance to…feel God’s love.” After camp, she told her leaders that she wish they had more time at camp, but will remember these days forever. Anashe had so much fun meeting new people and being served by such a friendly Young Life staff team.
At the end of camp, 113 of the 115 kids accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and committed their lives to Him. Wow – praise God! That’s almost the entire camp. We are so amazed at the ways He is working in Young Life South Africa!
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