Papua New Guinea

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Camp History

In 2000, Evangelist Tom Farrell was ministering with Missionary Jim Stackhouse at his work in Lae, Papua New Guinea. During that time, the Lord used Tom to introduce the vision of a Christian camp to reach the many local young people. He put Jim in touch with CampsAbroad and we began planning and preparing. Many buildings already existed on the Bible college property, but cabins needed to be built as well as a main camp building. By 2002, many cabins were built and the first CampsAbroad team arrived to hold a Staff Training Week and two weeks of camp. After a break of a couple of years, camp resumed in 2005 and has continued since then. In 2007, Matt Herbster and Matt Taylor made up the third CA team to visit this camp.

Missionary Profile

Jim and Carol Stackhouse are serving their fifth term with BIMI in Papua New Guinea. The Lord has used them to plant many churches, including the one Jim is pastoring now, as well as start Lae Baptist Bible College and Camp Gary.


Highlights from 2002

The willing and qualified staff at Camp Gary are a tribute to much groundwork and a strong foundation that has been laid in Papua New Guinea over many long years. The counselors listened actively, eagerly absorbing the counseling materials; then they set about doing it. As we listened to them practicing on each other, we were amazed at the high level of comprehension God had given them. One counselor, Rita, was so excited about what the Lord was doing in her own life that she went home and began sharing the gospel with her husband. He showed great interest and asked many questions, finally coming to the conclusion that he was not saved. Then and there, Rita led him to the Lord. Later that week we came upon one of our counselors studying his counseling sheet with open Bible. When asked what he was doing, he replied, “I’m counseling myself.” What a joy to work with such teachable and willing servants of the Lord!

It took some time for the Senior High campers to get used to this new camp. (Keep in mind that this was their first exposure to camping as we Americans define it.) As Alex, one of the older teens, told us later in the week, “When I first came I thought all of you were crazy, but now I really love it. Papua New Guinea has never had anything like this for young people.” On Tuesday night most of the girls and a few of the guys came forward, weeping and broken over sin; five surrendered to full-time ministry. On Wednesday, a number of young men accepted Christ as Savior. On Thursday, we witnessed a well-orchestrated attack on the camp — Satan obviously did not like what was taking place. Throughout that day, word came that there was trouble with the government concerning the shipment of a camp building, a camper was suffering from sun stroke, a Bible college student had been bitten by a venomous snake and the wife of a missionary at the campus had passed out in her home. (We found out later it was from a stroke.) In spite of all this, camp continued and that evening six campers surrendered for full-time ministry. By the end of the teen week, 20 young people had been saved, several had surrendered to the Lord and many other decisions about music, bitterness, alcohol, purity and authority had been made. God did a great work! And He did it “exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think.”

From 2005

As of Tuesday evening, there had been five campers saved. Then on Wednesday, some of the camp staff began to fast and pray, and Wednesday night God opened the hearts of many of these young people and broke down the barriers of Satan’s strongholds. We had 18 more young people come to Christ that night! God continued to work as folks continued to pray. We had campers saved the rest of the week during the evening services, during cabin devotions with their counselors at night, and during free time, as some of them sat out under trees with their counselors during the day. By the close of camp Saturday morning, there were 53 young people saved during the entire week of camp! Other Christian young people made good decisions for the Lord concerning sin issues, and several surrendered to come to Bible college! To God be the Glory, GREAT things He hath done!!

– Report by Carol Stackhouse, missionary to PNG

A sweet sight is etched in my mind. While playing soccer, I looked over and noticed that Lawa, an assistant counselor, was sitting beside the field in the shade of a grove of banana trees. He was talking earnestly to Nigel – one of the older campers. A short time later, I saw them crying and embracing. After the game, Lawa stood beaming on the sideline: “Nigel now knows that his name is written in the Book of Life.”

– Report by Matt Collier

The testimonies on Friday night reflected the spiritual battle that had been raging. They were not long or eloquent, but one after another, young people (both guys and girls) stepped forward into the firelight and spoke (in Pidgin of course). “God saved me.” “I did not have money for the camp fee, but someone paid for me to come and I got saved.” “I could not hide from God’s Word.” “I resisted every day, but on the last day I could not hold back any more and I accepted Christ.” “Now I’m on my way to heaven.” 25 out of the 26 CampsAbroad scholarship young people trusted Christ as Savior. Not a bad investment of $20, I’d say. Here is how one camper described her decision: “mi save olsem nem blong mi ino stap long buk bilong laif olsem na me laik kisim Jisas olsem personal savior bilong mi.” In English: “I know that my name is not in the Book of Life so now I want to accept Jesus as my personal Savior.” Not all fields we visit see this much fruit – the Lord did something special during that camp week.

From 2007

This was the first year we held a young adult camp, which ran through Saturday that first week. There were about 51 young people here for that camp. Overall it was a great camp, and the kids had a wonderful time, but we were all disappointed that there were no salvation decisions during the camp. This was very unusual; however, the testimonies afterwards bore fruit that many of our Christian young people were strengthened in their walk with the Lord. We are still praying for the 10-12 young people that attended that were not saved.

Our second week of camp was teen week. Whatever barriers had been up during the young adult camp began to break down the first night of teen camp. There were 65 teens here and God began to work in their hearts from the very first day. Teens were saved after every service in the evenings, and some during the day as well. By the end of the second week, 31 teenagers had professed Christ. The time of testimonies around a huge bonfire following our final night’s service was a real blessing, as one by one these teenagers stood up and thanked God for bringing them to camp this year, and gave testimony to how God had saved them. Many of them did not have the camp fees to come, but were thanking God that someone cared enough to sponsor them for camp this year. What an investment for eternity!

Our third week of camp was junior camp. Again, what a blessing it was to watch these 38 pre-teens open up their hearts this week. The kids had the time of their lives, and more importantly, there were salvation decisions every night. By the end of the week another 25 young people had come to the Lord. It was a busy, but wonderful week, working together with these young people.

– Report by Jim Stackhouse, missionary to PNG

This afternoon we had each of the team leaders share their personal salvation testimony. I couldn’t understand all of their testimony, but both of the team leaders come from very difficult home situations. Conrad was in jail several times before he was saved. Charlie does not have any family that is saved. These two guys have been a wonderful blessing. Their spirits are very contagious. You will have to trust me when I say that hearing them cheer is absolutely priceless!

– Report by Matt Herbster

Contact Information

Baptist International Missions, Inc.
P.O. Box 9215,
Chattanooga, TN 37412
(423) 344-5050

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