With this year’s Romania summer camps fast approaching, I thought I would take a look back at some of the success stories of last year’s camp as an encouragement to all of our supporters. So you can see what a HUGE difference you made to every child that came.
Arriving on Saturday 13th August, we began our trip by visiting some of the children who later attend the summer camps we had diligently spent a whole year preparing for. The images of their homes and the stories we hear never leave our minds and become engrained on our hearts forever. This is why, with God’s help I, and the rest of the team, go on these missions.
The children who attended the first camp, arrived on Monday 15th August. These children were aged between 5-12 years old. The theme for the week was ‘God Promises’ as we wanted to instil in them that God has a plan and some amazing promises for them which he will always keep, if we are willing to abide in him. The children responded incredibly well to this theme and throughout the week we saw changes in many of them. For instance, a young girl aged 7 who had had a very tough life already, like spending time of the streets with her mum, seeing her sister sold into prostitution, and living in such poverty stricken conditions; went from being very boisterous and quiet, to caring and unable to wipe the smile off her face whilst singing and doing the actions to the songs with all her might. This could only have been the work of God in her life as she began to believe the promises He had for her.
At the end of the week, it was heart breaking to see the children leave on the coach as they were crying and asking to stay. However, I think this is testament to how much the week had impacted on their lives. God really is at work in the mission field and it’s great to see instant results but knowing that long lasting seeds have been sown as well.
The second week was for the older children, or rather the young adults, most of whom were much taller and stronger than myself. It’s really interesting to see these young people when they first arrive because they all come with freshly cut hair and wearing their best clothes (like any normal teenager would) to try and hide where they actually came from. But it amazing to see their transformations through the week.
The theme for the second week was ‘You Are Chosen’ (‘Sunt Ales’ in Romanian). I think this theme was perfect for the young people as they all had difficult situations at home or in their lives to contend with, but it helped them to remember that even though they go through tough times God is still will them and will continue to guide them if they allow him in.
One girl aged 15 who I had the privilege to pray with, was having issues with her dad at home and she said that this had clouded her vision of what God, our heavenly father, was truly like and prevented her from getting closer to him. But throughout the week she began to open up and let God in which led to one night when she was filled with the Holy Spirit and said that she felt an overwhelming sense of his love for her and that God really did have a plan for her life. She was really excited and wanted prayer for wisdom and clarification that she would be able to do what God had planned for her life. From that day on, I could see a real light in her eyes and a real hunger in her heart for God, and as result each night she stayed behind for more prayer as she wanted to get as much as possible out of that week.
These are but a few of the children’s testimonies from the two privileged weeks that we get to spend with them. But there were many, many more. God really did show up in full force and for that I (and I’m sure the whole of the team) am extremely thankful, as we could not have done it in our own strength.Read more about Romania