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CampsAbroad Involvement:

Matt and Julie Herbster were the first CampsAbroad team to arrive in Romania in February of 2008. They completed survey work for future CampsAbroad involvement and also taught at a local Bible Institute in Timisoara. In July of 2009, a second team of Dr. Ken Hay and Dan Brooks traveled to Beius, Romania, to assist Dan Beltechi with Camp Joy.

From 2008
Saturday night was the first night of four evangelistic meetings at Baron Howerton’s church. We had good services. We don’t know of anybody who has responded directly to the preaching, but Baron has had some good talks already with several of the unsaved that were here. Last night, the unsaved husband of one of the church members came to church. Baron believes he was drunk. During the message he was shaking his finger at me and talking back to me. Finally he stood up and walked out in a huff when I dealt with drinking. (I had no idea of his problem until after the service.) The Howertons’ unsaved neighbor came to 2 of the services. His name is Mihy (mee-hi). He is thinking much about Christ but is not ready to respond. The Romanian people have been steeped in the Greek Orthodox tradition for years. Because of this, the Romanians take a long time to respond to the gospel. Many born-again Christians still struggle with praying to icons and other orthodox traditions. Please pray for Baron and Joyce as they lead this young church of 40 members.

This afternoon I decided to go for a little jog. The weather has been beautiful so I was ready to get out and exercise. About 1 minute in to my run, I came upon a park where quite a few teenagers were playing soccer (futball). Just like many of our parks have fenced in basketball courts, this park had a fenced in soccer rink. I played 4 on 4 soccer for about two hours! It was great fun. The teenage boys simply called me “American.”

Report by Matt Herbster

From 2009
We headed to camp on Monday and started the training that evening. Almost thirty were in attendance. The churches that support the camp sent many young teens along with the older ones to receive the training. They were very attentive and had a great spirit. The camp director and his assistant did a great job translating while Doc and I tag teamed on the teaching and preaching. Doc and I both commented that this was one of the best training weeks for a CampsAbroad trip we have ever taken.

As this trip unfolded we became more and more excited about the leadership of this ministry. They were very interested in learning even though they had been operating Camp Joy for 15 years.

Camp started with the majority of the staff and campers meeting in Beius, the city with the largest church in the area. The chartered bus started there and picked up campers and staff along the way. A second main group of staff and campers came from the south where Baron Howerton ministers. Doc returned to the camp with him after speaking twice at his church on Sunday. After 10 cancelations we ended with 53 campers, many of whom we felt were unsaved. Several were from families that were religious (Messianic Jews, Pentecostals, and the Baptist Union) but depended on various works for salvation.

Camp started with excitement. They loved the games and that desire of competition was thrilling to see all week long. Even more exciting was the way they won and lost graciously. Both teams were clapping when the winner was announced. Big Ball Bowling was the visual highlight of the week as we played it while on our hike. While watching the ball roll towards the targets the campers were treated with an incredible view of the Transylvania Mountains.

The most thrilling aspect of camp was seeing the campers respond to God’s Word. They loved Doc. He spoke with great energy and made the Scripture very practical. I had the opportunity to speak on James which focuses on spiritual maturity. There was great conviction in each service. Watching the counselors use their Freetime to present the Word was precious. As camp finished we believed that 10 made professions of faith in Christ and many others made decisions on specific sins.

Camp Joy has an exciting future!

Report by Dan Brooks

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