“Do It Yourself”: LXP Lesotho Youth Camp Report

Welcome to camp!

Welcome to camp!

From April 3-6 we enjoyed our twelfth bi-annual camp for the kids and youth in our program. We took a very new approach this camp, and it was a huge success. Thank you to all who prayed with us and gave financially to enable every aspect of the weekend to go off without a hitch. We praise the Lord for all the ways we grew as leaders, had fun as a family, and the new and exciting things we got to be part of.

The theme of the camp was “Do It Yourself” and our desire was to provide opportunities for the youth leaders especially, and the rest of the campers as well, to apply many of the things they have learned throughout their years with LXP. We expected to be impressed by the level of maturity and initiative shown, and we were not disappointed! There were a total of 97 campers divided into ten groups; each group was led by one or two of our youth leaders who were responsible for managing and directing their groups during the two sessions each day; this autonomy resulted in a very unique experience for each team. Two of the ten groups were comprised of our younger campers (ages 8 – 11) and during the day the staff took time with these groups doing special sessions tailored to their age group. In the evening we would all come together to share how we spent our time and what the Lord taught us during the day and for a combined teaching.

Making "fishers of men" of the 8-11 year olds

Making “fishers of men” of the 8-11 year olds

This past Sunday we at our leaders meeting we asked them how they experienced camp. It was amazing to hear the highlights they enjoyed, the challenges they faced and overcame, and the ways they grew as leaders and Jesus followers. Some of the favorite moments from camp were the two lunch times where each team was given groceries, utensils, pots, and wood to go and cook lunch for themselves over fire.

Do It Yourself Lunch!

Do It Yourself Lunch!

They also expressed delight at the freedom they were given to use their skills and creativity to lead their own groups and share from their knowledge and experience. Two other great moments were the last two night’s activities; we had a Worship Night and a Talent Show, which are always a blast with these kids!

Talent Show

Talent Show

Even more encouraging than the fun had was the growth experienced. Two of the youth testified specifically how much the theme scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” changed their lives; one girl shared she had always wanted to be a doctor, but felt that profession was only attainable by kids who went to the best schools but now she has faith that God can help her achieve her dreams. Two exciting outcomes of this camp have been seen in the weeks since we have been home. One of the activities each group was asked to do was to plan a project that they would like to execute as a team after we got home from camp. The groups elected to continue meeting regularly for bible studies, outreaches, and service projects and we are excited to see the impact of these projects as they continue to be worked out here at home. Another less-anticipated outcome has been the level of respect the group as a whole now has for the wisdom and abilities of their peer leaders. We have seen a shift from all eyes on us, to all eyes on the leaders. This is a powerful opportunity for our ministry to see a deeper level of discipleship among the youth and a decentralization of responsibility and leadership in the youth program. This is what we continually seek and are so thrilled by this manifestation!

Small Group Time

Small Group Time

Sharing Testimonies

Sharing Testimonies

One of the most profound testimonies of growth and maturity was shown by one of our older girls in the leadership team. There was a shortage of mattresses to hire this camp, so as per usual we asked the kids to bring them from home. A few did, but many didn’t, so sleeping was tight to say the least. This girl was one of the ones who brought a mattress, but she shared that the Lord reminded her of the servanthood of Jesus and how the role of a leader is to take care of the needs of those she is leading before herself. Because of this conviction, she elected to give her mattress to the other girls to use and to sleep on top of school desks with just her blanket for the duration of camp. This act of servant profoundly impacted many of the other girls at camp and has set a tone for sacrificial love among our youth leaders. We praise the Lord for what he is building in this young lady and the many other testimonies heard and those yet unshared! Another timely experience of growth and empowerment from this camp was by another of our youth leaders, a boy named Limpho. Limpho went to Jeffreys Bay South, Africa immediately following camp to be a student in LXP’s leadership training program there. He has shared with us since his arrival that the things he learned at camp about standing on his own with Christ and taking initiative to do things for the sake of his life and faith has helped him in this new season and with the challenges he’s facing so far as an LXP student in Jbay. Please continue to pray with us for Limpho and all the youth who learned new things and were empowered to “do it themselves” at this camp.

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