Over the past few months we’ve had a lot of camps happening at the YMC; youth, juniors, girls, guys, pastors, leaders, etc.
We have been waiting for our time, KIDS CAMP!
Finally a few weeks ago we were able to run our own camp for the kids that attend Youth lab Kids. We had 10 kids aged 9-10yrs old attend from 6 different communities. So 30 in the morning, 30 in the afternoon plus 10 leaders for each group.
The camp was called freedom camp, and the program came from Ellipsis organisation that has run these camps in previous years at different orphanages and ‘group homes’ here in the Philippines.
The design of the camp is based helping the kids understand their own trauma, struggles and things the way them down and point them to Jesus, to have a relationship with him and be free from their past and future struggles.
Over the 5 days we spoke about identity, baggage, the gospel, temptations and the armor of God! We used different things to go through these like activities, skits, a story that continued through the whole week plus small group sessions.
At such a young age many of these kids already have broken families, are physically beaten regularly, as well as sexually and emotionally. They believe the lies they are told about themselves “you are ugly” “you can’t do it” “no one loves you” “you’re nothing”. Many kids are treated like slaves and have to do everything for their parents or older siblings.
It’s heartbreaking but I loved that this camp allowed them to surrender their hurts, their pains and their trauma, the things they don’t want anymore, and instead receive God’s truth!
On the 2nd day they wrote their burdens and things that hurt them on a piece of paper, after sharing with their small group they crushed it up and surrendered it.
On the 3rd day all the
kids made a freedom chain, where they wrote lies about themselves, trauma, sin, etc on a chain in red, they then ripped the chain in a sign of 'no more will I be held to this' and then the red links were covered with white paper to represent Jesus freeing us from these things. On the 4th day the kids were given 'truth sticks' to write truths about themselves that they can hold onto and always remember!
One of the things Ive loved during the camp was watching them all become friends! At the start a few kids didn’t know anymore, they were shy and wanted to go home before we had even started but at the end of camp they were playing games together, talking to each other and sharing their food! I hope and pray that through Youth Lab Kids they can form and Christian friendship group that will last forever!
Arman said his favourite part of the camp was seeing some of the boys waiting at the gate over an hour before we started, it showed how excited and eager they were to come, join and and learn more!
It is such a pleasure that God has entrusted us the lives of these young children, that we can give them a foundation in life, which is Jesus Christ! We are so thankful to be able to teach children about Jesus, about bring them the hope Jesus brings.
We are also so thankful for our volunteers who sacrifice their time to come out and love on the kids, teach them, listen to them and serve them. Without them, things like this would just not be possible.
There is really so much to share about what happened on camp that you’d be here all day reading it. So instead ill share some pictures below from the camp!
We hope we will be able to meet with our kids every week once the restrictions ease here! Please keep these kids in your prayers as we continue to lead them to Christ.