Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I count it a privilege and a blessing to be involved in the camping ministry in Romania. I am extremely thankful for Lake Ann’s invitation to me for continued involvement this spring. It was a true blessing to see how the Lord continues to develop this important ministry in Romania.
Lake Ann Team:
It was a blessing working with Luke Beimers and Tom and Dana Clark. I have gone with many from the LIFT program over the years, and these three are definitely choice servants in the Kingdom. All three exceeded all expectations as they were willing and ready to serve in whatever way they could … from giving testimonies, building challenge course activities, facilitating groups, running activities, etc., etc.! This trip involved an extremely taxing schedule and they just kept going!
Specific Tasks for the Week (as stated by Andrew prior to our visit):
1. Promoting camp - during the week we can meet with some pastors and campers. We can promote camp and get some feedback from campers/pastors about their expectations for camp.
2. Summer Camp Location Scouting: Our purpose there is to find/make ways to utilize that camp facility. The questions are ‘How can we get the most out of this property?’ and ‘What big activities and learning activities can we organize here?’
3. Counselor Training Retreat: The purpose of the retreat would be to bring the counselor team together and to set high expectations for the summer. The LA team could do the following: First, to lead some fun group activities for Friday night (icebreakers). This won’t need to be anything really long – it just has to be really fun! The second area would be to do some instruction and hands on application related to experiential learning, including processing. We need our counselors to grasp the concept of drawing learning out of every experience. This relates to activities like initiatives, but also just about every activity that happens at camp. If you guys could lead some new (emphasis on new) group initiatives and also teach on the concept of experiential learning and individual/group processing that would be great.
My Observations of the Ministry Tasks:
We were able to “promote” camp in five different churches including three youth group meetings on Saturday evening as well as in the Sunday morning and evening services. The Lake Ann team led various “getting to know you” activities and gave their testimonies in these churches. In each church they “engaged” with the youth quickly, being a positive example to them. Luke, Tom and Dana have a real heart for ministry and it is evident in the way they conduct themselves. It was a real joy to worship with these small and/or out of the way churches. The people really seemed to appreciate the fact that we Americans would choose to worship with them as opposed to attending a more comfortable large church. It was interesting to note the manners of the teens in these churches as most of them went out of their way to greet us. Andrew has done much in a year and a half to establish relationships with the leadership of many churches as he comes along side of them to strengthen their ministries through camping.
It was especially encouraging to hear the testimony of a young man who came to Christ through the camp ministry two years ago. He is active in his church and some of his family members are now believers as well.
The facility for summer camp is very nice and should suit the needs of the campers very well. The Lake Ann team worked hard to build approximately 10 challenge course activities on the property. It will be a blessing to hear how these initiatives strengthen the campers which will in turn strengthen the local churches.
Another highlight of the trip was to be involved in the Counselor Training Retreat. (Andrew and Dave are conducting four retreats this year.) It was good to see that many of the counselors from the first camp are still involved in this ministry. I thought the retreat was very successful with a good mix of challenge from the Word, instruction time, and hands on learning experiences. I sensed a positive spirit among these college age students and I trust that this retreat will be a springboard to a great summer. The Lake Ann team once again did a great job leading initiatives as well as modeling what a good facilitator does. The team was also able to emphasize the value of camp ministry through testimony as well as through their life experiences.
ABWE Camp Ministry Team:
It was a delight to be in the home of the Postema’s in Romania! To watch the journey first hand … from the summer that Andrew was a counselor at Lake Ann … to the yearlong internship at Lake Ann … the three trips that we took together to minister in Romania ... and now the fourth trip to observe Andrew in action in the ministry he prepared for … is a joy that cannot be put in to words! It was good to see Leah and the children enjoying life in Romania. Both Andrew and Leah appear to be immersed in the ministry as they are involved in many areas other than camp ministry, including teaching Bible studies and encouraging others in their walk with Christ.
Andrew certainly had a unique head start in the camping ministry as a missionary. While this is the fifth summer of camp, in some ways I see it as the “first” as Andrew has had time to settle in and give a greater focus on the camping ministry, as the first year in a new country took much energy and adjustments. I feel that the time he has spent establishing relationships with churches will begin to pay dividends this summer as these churches continue to see how a camping ministry can impact their local churches. In all of the churches we visited, there seemed to be a real excitement about camp and the benefits of it. I believe Andrew has a good plan to train counselors this year and that will also make a greater impact.
It was also good to see Dave Windham now established in Romania as a full time missionary. His behind the scenes ministry of helps and his driven determination will also make a positive impact on the camping ministry. I feel Dave has much to offer and it will be a joy to see how God continues to develop his gifts.
As I stated in the introduction, I consider it a true blessing to be involved in this ministry in Romania. I am also extremely grateful that Carrie was able to come on this trip and also be involved. I am confident that she was a blessing to those on the trip as well. The ministry in Romania holds a special place in my heart and it will be interesting to see how God enables any continued involvement there. Thank you to all of those who made this and my previous trips to Romania possible.
Monday, February 16, 2009
"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5)
Equipping and challenging believers to step out of the familiar and cross the river to that abundant life that Jesus promised us.
Joshua challenged a new generation as they left their familiar life to consecrate themselves. By faith they crossed the river to enter into the Promised Land.
When you expect God to do great things, you will see Him at work. Many miss the blessings God has for them because they are focused on the here and now and do not expect God to work in theirs and others lives. We do not need to wait for a drastic need to occur in our life before we see God work. His fingerprints can be seen throughout our everyday life. With this outlook on life, one will never have a mundane day again!
Assisting ministries worldwide:
-to intentionally program
-leadership development and training
-mission and vision statement development