Home / World Updates / Europe / Romania 2013
We arrived safely and right on time with all of our luggage. I never take any of that for granted. Allen Helman, The Wilds camp intern has joined me on this trip. If that name sounds familiar it is because I had his older brother Donald with me in Haiti two summers ago. I have only called him Allen-Donald once! We have been able to rest well at the home of one of the staff program men, who is also the pastor of church plant just one town away. His house is just 15 minutes from camp.
We have talked much about training, games and weeks of camp. We were able to take a couple of hikes through the beautiful Transylvania Mountains. It makes me feel right at home! Training with about 30 young people will start this afternoon. These young people will be spread out as counselors and workers over the 4 weeks of camp. The first week of camp is for juniors and it starts on Monday. They have 45 girls and 16 boys registered.
Report by Dan Brooks
It is good to back at Camp Joy! As I catch up with old friends it is hard to believe it has been 4 years since Dr. Hay and I held training here. Many of the ones we trained before are still involved with the camp. Three married couples attended the training in 2009 as singles but now have little ones running around. It reminds me of The Wilds! One couple brought a few staff from a church a few hours away. They too, met at Camp Joy as staff members way back before most of the buildings were here and everyone stayed in tents. Camp Joy has a faithful following of servants who are sold on how camping helps their local churches. There are three main churches supplying the staff.
This year’s training has allowed us to teach about 30. Some are young and therefore are in training for future years. Others could only attend part time due to exams or work. Still we have had a good spirit and they caught the material very quickly. Their church leadership has done a great job giving them a strong Biblical foundation.
Our games and freetime activities have been very well received. They are a fun loving group willing to try new things, yet it does not take long for most to gravitate back to football (soccer).
I heard one of the sweetest renditions of our national anthem on July 4th. The Romanians sang it for us to recognize their appreciation for America and then a local pastor (one of the founders of Camp Joy) spoke of his appreciation for American Christians. In 2009, I had the privilege of speaking in his church and then went to dinner in the small apartment he and his family had been assigned under communist rule. He is a master story teller. I heard much of the persecution of Christians before and after the fall Soviet power. Persecution since the fall has come from the official Baptist Church which seems to have a fair amount of political power. He and a few others broke away from the Baptist Union and started Independent Baptist churches in the early 1990’s.
Please pray as the Health Department is questioning the purity of Camp Joy’s water. The camp is the first to access the village’s water supply. Yet the camp is the only place in question. The officials come Monday (today) to give their latest findings and ruling whether camp can start. Yes, campers arrive this morning too! There is concern this might be the latest form of persecution.
Allen has quickly made friends and has been a great help to me. Many staff testimonies and conversations have referred back to his session on “The Counselor and His Questions.” Yesterday he had his first taste of European football. He was impressed!
Report by Dan Brooks
Thank you for all of your prayers. Training finished well and Allen and I both spoke in churches on Sunday morning then we switched for the evening services. I left after the first day and Allen stayed for the duration of the camp. I introduced them to one of The Wilds new games called Musical Dash. It is a version of musical chairs that keeps the entire group active the whole game. They loved it!
Andrei with his love for the Lord, passion for Romanian youth and great energy makes a great director. He has implemented much of what CA has recommended and is contemplating how to do more.
Just under 60 campers showed up for camp. Many were unsaved and good number of those made professions. Allen said the good spirit continued through the week even though there was a fair amount of rain.
Report by Dan Brooks