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Pastor James Tita has been running camp for five years and invited us to come and help with Camp Joy this summer. Already, the camp has had a major impact in the lives of many young people in Cameroon. To these dear people, camp is the most looked forward to, talked about and prayed about event of the entire year. The kids work and scrimp all year to save the required 500 francs for camp (app. 75 – not much to us, but quite a bit in a country where a good wage is $2.00 a day.)

The staff was very appreciative of the three days of intense training that covered the basics of counseling and philosophy of camping. The Lord gave wisdom to adjust it to their culture and we saw a good comprehension of the material.

We provided program equipment and new games for this year’s camp and the simplest camp games in our arsenal proved to be far above what they had used in the past (mainly because of lack of equipment). None of them had ever seen a big ball. It was a priceless experience to travel through the city with the big ball strapped to the top of our vehicle – the reactions of the townspeople were rather humorous.

Out of the 140 campers, the pastors estimated around 50 were unsaved – either Catholic or Muslim. What a joy to see over half of these trust the Lord on Tuesday night! The next day in chapel, when asked to stand, these newly saved teens jumped to their feet eagerly and without hesitation. The churches are already seeing the long-term results of the camps as young Christians saved at camp in years past are becoming the backbone of their congregations.

In the next couple of years, the Brother Tom Needham and Pastor James hope to see their own camp property developed and put to use so that they can have more camps without the expense of renting property. I could go on and on about the beauty and potential of the 100 acres of property that the Lord has given for the camp. Suffice it to say that the view is breathtaking (with 4 waterfalls on site and 4 others within walking distance), the landscape is varied (from rugged mountains to flowing river), the climate is perfect (70 degrees all year round) and the price is right (it will cost about $50,000 to finish buying the property and to build all the buildings necessary to service 200 campers a week.)

God is doing great things among the churches in Cameroon and is using the camp in a marvelous way already. With AIDS and malaria killing off the older generation at a staggering pace, it is more imperative than ever to reach the youth of Africa before they run out of time. Thank you for giving of yourself to help us reach young people like these in Africa with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Report by Matt Collier

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