14 July 2005

Kid's Missions Camp

It is about 8h00 in the evening and I am sitting here at Camp Jonah up in the hills to the south of Mt. Adams. We have spent the past few days here at a Kid’s Missions Camp that has been a great time of talking to kids about what it is like to be a refugee and how they might be able to have an impact in our world. It has been challenging and faith building. The first night here they were awakened at 5h00 in the morning to the sounds of sirens and smoke and escorted out of the building following a simulated fire. This of course meant that many of them left with nothing but their sleeping bags and one or two other items. During the course of the day they were informed that the building had been “attacked and burned down by rebels” and that they could not return to their home for the time.

They became refugees with only a sleeping bag and a few other items. That morning they were allowed to pick a few bananas and find a few peanuts for breakfast. It was interesting to see the kids respond to such treatment. They were then given some plastic sheets and some other trash and told that they needed to set up camp. They courageously built several tents and organized their camp in such a way so as to provide security, good drinking water and proper food distribution. Over the course of two days they became quite resourceful and appreciated a great deal the testimonies of those who spoke from refugee backgrounds.

We have also had a chance to hang out with some of the staff on a high ropes course as well as going through some of the numerous caves in the region. It has been a camp to remember. I cannot think of a more beautiful valley than the Trout Lake valley where we spent this past week. Indeed a place to visit if you get a chance. Jonah Ministries is also worth the trip. It was refreashing to see the emphasis they put on prayer as a basis for ministry. I guess that when you run a high ropes course you had better be praying, especially when it is 30 feet up in the air!

One regret however. I had been asked to skydive into the camp and through a comedy of errors and poor weather it never came off. Perhaps that was better but I was naturally bumbed to have not had a chance to do that for the camp. I guess that refugees cannot always do what they want to do now can they!

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