Well, you guessed it, we fly out today all the way to Lima to do camp one more time! This fall has been a whirlwind; keeping up with a busy job, being on the road almost more than off it, searching for a new job (and finding one!), packing for a big move, and preparing to say goodbye to some dear friends…
And yes. Preparing to co-lead a trip of 12 college students to a place close to my heart.
I remember interviewing for Pine Cove back in May 2010, and being asked if I would ever be interested in heading up one of these trips to somewhere in Latin America. Having never been on a commission camping trip as a staffer, I was elated by the possibilities. January 2011 we made our first trek to the camp just 2 hours south of Lima, and watched God work.
The precious campers stole our hearts, even though I could rarely understand anything they were saying. We played games with them, attempted to sing along with them during worship times, made bracelets with them, and listened as their Peruvian counselors led them in Bible studies.
I also got to work alongside two girls, Hannah and Molly, who turned out to be some of my very best friends even today. Both of them came back in 2012 for the Year 2 trip, and Hannah’s coming with us this year too!
These commission camping trips are much more than a short-term mission trip. Our goal is to partner with Commission Camping International (CCI) Latin America to train and equip national teams to do sustainable, effective camp ministry. Obviously at Pine Cove we strongly believe in the life change possible through gospel-centered camp ministry, so we have taken the opportunity to share and invest the blessings the Lord has given.
Each partnership is for three years. Year one trips are designed for Pine Cove staff to run most of the program, plan the schedule, lead the games, and train their CCI co-counselor in their cabins. Year two trips are more of an equal partnership, with CCI and Pine Cove both splitting up the programming responsibilities, and letting them do more on their own. By year three, the CCI team should be able to plan everything, lead everything, and Pine Cove will take more of a coaching role. We still will lead an orientation time for the staff, but by now they should be ready to lead.
After Year three, the goal is for the CCI team to be fully equipped to lead multiple camps on their own. These camps should be sustainable not just in ministry plans, but economically as well. We train them in camp budgeting as much as we do in schedule planning.
Pine Cove will be sending out 10 teams this year, and each will have a blog updated daily with trip news. I will be the voice behind the Towers Peru blog, and would love for you to follow along and pray for us as we go! We are leaving in full faith and trust that the Lord has great plans for Peru, and pray that He will look on our trip with favor. As ever, may the Name of the Lord be praised.
We will return to the States on January 11th! Until then, keep up with us here!