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My flights went well and I arrived right on time. All the Haitians were so glad to see me so they could help with my luggage. I fought off some, but one would not let me go. He got his tip. When you go out in the city you wish you could give each a tip. The rebuilding has been very successful as things look so much better than last year.
Staff training was to start early the next morning at the new camp facility. It is incredible how much work was done in so little time. After officially acquiring the property at the end of last year construction started right away. It is exciting to see the finished product that Jonathan Mair and Nate Zerance were able to help with at the beginning of the year. The facility will house 84 campers. We are expecting a full camp for the first teen week. They had a Junior Week two weeks ago that saw 17 professions of faith.
Haitian time is always a little slow. The 8 am training started about 10:30 am with most of the counselors. Some had exam conflicts. We consistently had about 10 of the 12 counselors needed for camp. Most of the ones who missed went through the training last year. I did three days of training and it went well. We moved around to find a breeze. The camp is beautifully located right on the coast but the ocean breeze has been light and warm.
Thursday night the rest of the team arrived. Pastor Brian Fuller from Trinity Baptist in Concord, NH, one of his summer interns, J.J. Clark and filmmaker, Pete Hansen who is documenting the trip. They had fairly good flights, but arrived ready for bed. Brian spoke Friday for Bible conference at Hosanna Baptist Church, the host church.
Saturday morning we surveyed a hike that was planned for camp next week. I am thankful we did. It was a beautiful trail ending at a secluded lake, but the hike took twice as long as was reported and 90% of it was in the sun. That would NOT be a highlight to the campers.
Report by Dan Brooks
Hosanna Baptist Church (who hosts Camp Bossier) finished their Bible conference on Sunday. After having a week of 3 hour evening services each night the weekend allowed time for 1) a group wedding for 4 couples who had repented of living out of wedlock, 2) an afternoon baptismal service of 60, 3) a service Saturday night and 4) a 5 hour Sunday morning service! Salomon, the camp director, also was the best man in a wedding. Camp started Sunday evening. To say the least, the staff from Hosanna started the week exhausted and scrambling to be ready.
There was no surprise when things started late, yet there was a good spirit when things did start up. We began with 60 of the possible 85 campers. Campers ages ranged from 15 through 39. Counselors (minus the one girl counselor we were praying for) arrived with the campers so we had very little interaction from the Haitian staff with the campers during check in. As the first day ended, the counselors from last year stepped up to interact well with their campers. The first year counselors struggled as this was only their 2nd day. After each of the two evening services we have had one make a profession. Almost all are faithful attenders of good churches yet there is a lot of spiritual growth needed.
Haitians hate being in the hot sun, so we are playing the morning games to avoid being out in the sun too long. We rearranged the schedule to play the evening games at dusk. The campers have appreciated our sensitivity. There is not a problem with enthusiasm.The new campsite is a blessing! The multipurpose building that almost did not get built because of funds has proved to be the greatest asset. We eat, play organized and freetime games, and have services in that building. Most of the campers have taken advantage of the swim time each afternoon.
Everyone on the team has proven greatly beneficial and has been welcomed with open arms by the campers. Tomorrow (Friday) is our final full day and we fly home on Saturday.
Report by Dan Brooks