Saturday, August 1, 2015

Camp Harghita 2015

Happy August, friends!  It's hard to believe how fast the summer is rolling by!

Last week, July 19-25, Leesburg Community Church (LCC) in Leesburg, Virginia sponsored our camp for youth from Reghin, Apalina, Gornesti, Glodeni, Targu-Mures, Cluj, Gheorgheni, and many other villages in between.  We hosted about 160 people, including youth and leaders, for this year's sports camp.  Four members of LCC came to run this camp with us: Jason and Melissa B., Oscar A., and Luis R.  Jason and Melissa have been with us in Romania many times before, but it was Oscar's and Luis's first trip!

Our campsite is located in Harghita county, the most Hungarian-populated county in Romania!  Since Paul and I both feel more comfortable speaking Hungarian than Romanian, it was fun for us to be able to go into stores and banks and be able to speak Hungarian freely!  This beautiful county is home to the majestic Eastern Carpathian mountains, and we enjoyed cool mornings and warm summer afternoons all week.

The theme for the week was Image-Bearers, and we learned about what it means that God created us in His image.  Many youth responded to the message of the Gospel, and we are praying now for the best ways to encourage them and help them continue to grow spiritually.  The leaders of the camp came from our local churches: men and women who gave their time and energy to invest in the youth of our area and to pass along their knowledge and wisdom.  It was a blessing to watch and experience.   Now, sit back, relax and enjoy these photos as they walk you through our week at Harghita!

Our week was spent at Harghita Christian Camp, which is owned and operated by the Hungarian Baptist Convention of Romania.

Throughout the week, members of the U.S. team shared testimonies, sermons and songs with the campers.  Each night, the campers also shared testimonies and songs.  It was a great week to learn from each other what God has taught us.  Though our lives can be very different, God's power is the same!  Here's a photo of Luis sharing his testimony about growing up in New York City, being arrested and serving time in prison, and experiencing God's grace and redemption.

The campers were split into 10 teams for small group discussion as well as team competition.  At the end of the week, a winning team was announced that achieved the highest all-around score in sports, team games in the morning, and memorizing Bible verses.  Here are the teams outside on the playing field on Tuesday morning, getting ready for a team relay game.  Check out our beautiful surroundings!

Here are some of our Apalina guys enjoying breakfast together.  There's no shortage of personality in this group!!

Here is Jason preaching and Attila translating for him in a morning meeting.

Paul and I were happy to serve alongside a fantastic LCC team.  Here's Paul helping Jason to explain one of the team games.

Here are two teams competing in volleyball, as we did each afternoon.

In the afternoons, teams rotated among soccer, volleyball, and crafts.  One of the crafts we did was creating a pinball maze!  Here's my team, Team 10, and our completed maze.  You're also looking at the champion team for 2015!!  Yes!!!  We had a great leader, Rebeka from Gheorgheni, and you'll see a couple of familiar faces there, too: Emi from Peris and Isti from Gornesti!

All in all, we had a fantastic week at Harghita.  We did have a few hiccups - but what would camp be without unexpected challenges?!  On Friday night, Paul and I drove Jason and Melissa to the emergency room after Jason took a knee to his forehead during a soccer game.  As I previously mentioned, we were in a predominantly Hungarian-speaking region, so we were very glad even the staff at the hospital spoke Hungarian!  Paul helped Jason get all stitched up, and we were back at camp in no time!

Thank you, LCC, for sponsoring our week of camp, for praying for us, and for sending wonderful team members to lead and support this youth camp!  This past week, more members of LCC joined us for a week of women's ministry and VBS in Apalina.  Stay tuned for a wrap-up of our week!


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