The Impact of Camp

Ends Camping in Kenya

Written by Erin S., Director of Ends of the Earth Camping (a ministry of New International)

In April, I joined students and staff in Kenya to host our third camp. Each trip seems smoother and yet it also is new and different in its own way. The goal of these camps is to use biology and creation to show at-risk youth how deeply they are loved by God. 

Excitement was felt by all getting to reunite with the girls. Extra time was scheduled on this trip to be at the shelters with the girls before/after camp. Those moments and conversations are usually equally as impactful to me as camp itself. 

New night activity this year was holding a talent show for the girls to display their gifts of singing, dancing, poetry, and anything else. What a fun and creative gift that night was!

Did some scoping out my last day. Went hiking outside of Nairobi to explore the possibility of a day camp program for the girls at the shelter who don’t come on the overnight program. Excited to continue waiting on the Lord as He reveals that vision.  

Some new activities were added this year - The water balloon activity was especially a big hit!

Camp always impacts girls beyond my comprehension. The social worker this year tried to help me understand it better. She said, “Erin, you are giving these girls an opportunity their parents would have given if they were around. You in a way are filling the gap of not having a parent in their life. You can’t put that into words.” Wow, very humbled by that statement. 

Another year of God faithfully providing everything we needed. The funds for camp, the staff, the wisdom and discernment in challenging moments. He is so faithful to sustain us and I feel that so intensely during these trips.

Moved by a testimony a camper from last year shared with me. She said she wasn’t very close to God prior to camp, but since camp she has started reading her Bible every day – praise God!

Part of the trip includes spending time at the shelters to connect deeper with the girls. This year we made brownies and mac & cheese as a special American treat – and the girls loved it!

Increased rainfall during camp halted water activities towards the end of the week, but we did mange to get a day of rafting and a day of ghekos (one-person rafts) in! The girls continued to talk for the rest of camp how they had conquered their fears of water!

Navigating constant changes is the way camp rolls in Kenya. Our speaker had to cancel the morning of camp due to her son being sick. We divided up speaking assignments amongst the shelter staff. One staff shared her testimony with the girls and later told me it was the first time she shared her testimony with people! God sure does always have a plan and it sure is always perfect. 

God’s timing is truly perfect. When I was told I wasn’t able to board the plane due to my visa having a different passport number, the prayer team started raising their voices to the Lord. With one hour to get it fixed, the Lord miraculously made a way. Thank you, Jesus (and the Kenyan embassy)!

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