Hope camp has become a bit of a tradition for the sponsored children. Not all are able to attend for whatever reasons, but for those that do, it is an unforgetable experience for these amazing kids. And yet it’s hard to believe when I think back in time. Back to a time when Hope camp was only a dream thought impossible..and now already three have come and gone. Unlike Hope camps in the past, this the weather this year was unseasonably warm. Normally we are in our winter season and freezing and basically live in our hoodies during camp.I remember the first year wanting to buy a winter coat and not being able to afford to buy one here.. But this year the days started off chilly, but when the sun came out the temperatures rose, making for perfect weather…and no rain!
From Friday afternoon to Monday the children stayed at Shalom camp, just outside the city. They slept there and ate there. They went to bed late and woke up early…like at 5am .
This year Pastor Natalie and Carter came like they did for past camps. But now that a lot of the sponsored kids are growing and getting older, Dale wanted to add a youth element to the camp and offer different appropriate activites and messages that were more relavent to them. So he asked the youth pastor, Ben Counsell from Calvary church in Woodstock and one of their junior youth leaders, Noah to partner with Natalie and Carter to help with that part of the camp. I think it went over really well. He had a team called the Centauros come and play American football with the older boys. Pastor Ben had the honour of praying over the team before they went home. There was karaoke one night, and a christian concert another.They had the chance to use a zip line, and had a huge bonfire with smores. For the older girls they painted on canvas and had manicures. Some of the youth were volunteers in the color run and they loved that from what I have been told.
The younger kids had their crafts, horse back riding, biking, the amazing park at Picacho, and the zoo. Some of them learned how to puppeteer, some learned a choreographed dance to the spanish version of here I am to worship and some of the children put on a skit called Everything..( Maybe you’ve seen the Lifehouse skit Everything…if not be sure to look it up on youtube..)
And of course everyone joined in on the carnival on the last day. Inflatibles, sno cones, popcorn, candy floss and chili dogs.
Also, joining us this week was Delia who works with ERDO. Emergency Relief and development. She has a huge role in the child sponsorship program child care plus, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.. It was her first time in Honduras and what a joy to be able to meet these kids in person.
But, you know….while all these activites are amazing, what is even more precious is the times these kids have with the Lord. The times of worship and prayer were incredible. There was the sweet tangible presence of Jesus in that room and some of these kids experienced God’s presence for the first time in their lives. To see them worshiping, even some of the older boys you would think would be too cool for that kind of thing .It was a great weekend for all. Exhausting..yes. But these precious children went home with an even greater knowledge of the Fathers love and the Father’s heart for them.