4 day Youth Discipleship Training Camp
Over the last few years, Hope for the Island has been praying about ways we can creatively adjust to the drastic changes that have come to our once sleepy little island.
The surf has drawn in people from around the world. With the influx of tourism centered on the party and bar scene, incidence of crime and other negative influences has skyrocketed. This has created a strong lure for the kids and youth we serve each week.
Unfortunately we have seen many lives destroyed because of naive choices and boredom. Easy Internet access with no parental guidance has also added to the temptations these young ones are bombarded with. Continue to pray for us as we seek to be relevant to the staggering needs surrounding us.
A 4 day Youth Discipleship Training Camp was coming up. We searched out different places throughout the island to find a quiet place, without any distractions, where we could focus fully on the Hope for the Island youth.
We prayed for a place away from their home so they felt free to let down their guard. Most places are crowded over the summer, but with God’s favor, we found a place far enough away from Allegria beach where we do weekly Kids Ministry. On the property there was a small 2-person room. We squeezed 15 girls inside and the rest slept in tents. The boys slept in hammocks, tents or under the kubo (a small roughly built hut) where we had our teaching sessions. It was perfect, especially that the weather cooperated and there was no rain. God is good!
Monday morning was orientation followed by the lecture time. Topics covered during the camp were Quiet time with the Lord, Why do I exist? Forgiveness, Praise and worship, Fear of the Lord and the final day was on Baptism. Each day the youth grew deeper in their understanding of life changing Biblical truths and it ended with us going to the ocean where 11 young people chose to obey God in baptism!! It was an amazing time!
During ministry time at Hope for the Island we always make time for personal testimonies. It is important to declare what God speaks to us and give opportunity to apply God’s Word. It not only solidifies what God is doing, testimony declares God’s goodness and encourages those listening.
The topic of forgiveness was heavy to receive and there were few willing to share. Some who had breakthroughs with walking out in forgiveness did eventually share. As God worked, we patiently waited. Some gathered the courage to open up about deep hurts and wounds that are ongoing in their family. Many tears were shed and hearts opened to the power of forgiveness.
As is our practice, we will do follow up visitation with the youth. We will privately help them walk through this process of healing. Follow up visits will also be done with those who took the bold step of baptism.
We are so grateful for the anointing and wisdom God provided for us to teach and guide these vulnerable youth to newness of life.
Hope staff are very thankful as well for God’s goodness and for Him using people to support ministry opportunities like this. Budgets for each ministry enable us to hold these events. These are times that these young people will never forget. Seeds of truth were planted and they encountered God in fresh ways.
One youth girl asked us to thank people who give so generously. She said without help to attend she would not have experienced God in such a real way. Glory, honor and thanksgiving to our God who made all things possible!!