By Baraka Ngao
This year’s camp was unique in many ways. First of all it was a joint camp between two churches. This was the first time we were holding a camp since planting Ruaka church. What a joy it was to see the children from Ruaka church being part of this! In fact two Sunday School teachers from Ruaka came along for the camp with their children!
- ELSAMERE a historical and conservation site was our venue. Located adjacent to Lake Naivasha just two hours away from the city, Elsamere was not only a convenient place but also unique in a number of ways.
- It is a conservation site founded by the late Joy and George Adamson who are celebrated world over for their involvement in environmental conservation here in the country of Kenya.
- The place also boasts of variety of natural resources like the black and white colobus monkey, over 200 species of birds and indigenous trees .
This year’s theme was “LEGO Let God” drawn from 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. Under this theme, we sought to equip our children with Bible based skills to face and overcome the emotional and identity challenges that present themselves in their lives. We recognize with concern that a number of children are resorting to addictive and destructive habits when overwhelmed by difficulty. Children just like us adults experience difficulty and need help knowing that God who created them is also interested in their wellbeing and they can look to him as their refuge and strength.
A remarkable thing to point out is that the curriculum for this year’s camp was developed by our interns: Brian, Emily, Muthoni, Kim and Terry with the assistance of Pastor Njeri.
We broke down the theme into four lessons namely:
Identity crisis, anxiety/worry, pain and hurt and lastly God’s love.
Each lesson had an activity to reinforce it which included; crafts, journaling and prayer.
- During the duration of the camp the children were clustered into small groups. They had a task to choose a name for their team, come up with a team chant and pick a leader. We ended up with four interesting ideas namely: Golden Jaguars, PPE, Savage Animals and Wakanda. The ultimate winner were Wakanda who were actually led by one of the youngest children in the camp.
- We began each day of camp with a Zumba work out session. Poor kids, they had to be dragged out of bed “early” (read 7:00 am) and have fun as they work out. These workout sessions were led by Brian Odinga our intern in the Children’s Ministry intern.
- The children also learned how to make soap. We made about 50 liters of soap and donated some to the hotel.
- We also celebrated the 10th year Birthday of Kiugu, one of our children while we were at camp. The hotel kitchen staff were kind enough to bake for us a cake. Speaking of kitchen matters, the food there was just out of this world. Big kudos to them.
- Later the next day we ate more cake! We did this to celebrate and say goodbye to Cynthia a teacher from Ruaka who was relocating to Japan.
Time flies when you are having fun, and this was true of us. Friday the 17th of August we had to face the fact that camp was over. We made our way back to the city, tired but grateful to God for the privilege to train and encourage the next generation of Christians to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”Prov 3:5-6