Christian service camp experience in Nicaragua brings lives to Christ
Jan 27, 2013 (South Bend Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A group of students from Michiana called to Christian service recently
returned from a Nicaraguan mission trip sponsored through the Niles-based Michiana Christian Service Camp.
"It was a beautiful trip in a beautiful country with people who, even though they have so little, had such big hearts," Valerie Adams, 17, of Dowagiac said.
"I decided if I could touch one life the trip would be worth it," she said.
Adams was one of eight students and several adults from Michiana who raised funds and spent Dec. 27 to Jan. 7 in Nicaragua at the International Service Camp.
During the trip, the group painted the roofs and installed fans in a church, helped in the kitchen and participated in Christian services bringing the Gospel to young people in the Latin American country.
Adams said the highlight of the trip for her was seeing so many people give their lives to Christ. She said there were 12 baptisms and more than 30 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
"One of the Nicaraguans said to me their country looks to the U.S. as a role model for a Christian nation," said Adams. "They're seeking examples from us and looking to us," Adams said.
"They were so excited to have us there and so welcoming," she added.
Penn High School student Sarah Kiefer said the trip made her realize how much Americans have and really are not grateful for.
Kiefer also said she enjoyed touring the country and visiting a volcano site.
In addition to mission work, the group also engaged in camp activities and worked on Bible lessons with Nicaraguans, Troy Cleland, operations manager of Michiana Christian Service Camp, said.
The camp had a greater purpose than simply an exchange of cultures, he said.
"(The) ministry had an incredible impact on lives for those who received us and those who went," Cleland said.
"Even though there was often a language barrier -- most of the students didn't speak Spanish -- we found unique ways of communicating," Cleland said.
Through games, smiles and nonverbal expression and with the help of interpreters the group had meaningful exchanges, he added.
The American leadership played creative camp games with the Nicaraguans that resulted in genuine smiles between the groups, he said.
For instance, during camp the groups formed smaller groups and using only their bodies they had to make themselves into a car, Cleland said.
The exercise helped the group bond and was something new for most of the Nicaraguans, he explained.
Also on New Year's Eve, the Americans spent time in the homes of Nicaraguans enjoying their family life and having dinner. Cleland said even though many Nicaraguans didn't have much compared to U.S. standards they shared what they had and being with family was important.
"We talked about who we are as people and emphasized we are all one in Christ," Cleland said.
The International Service Camp is one of many sponsored by Michiana Christian Service Camp.
The organization started in 1967 and serves hundreds of campers each summer, according it its facilitators.
Staff writer Lejene Breckenridge:
Michiana Christian Service Camp
For more information on Michiana Christian Service Camp, go to its website at www.michianacamp.org.
___ (c)2013 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) Visit the South Bend
Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) at www.southbendtribune.com Distributed by MCT
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]