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The people of Mongolia love horseback riding, archery and wrestling. Those also happen to be the three program themes of Bravehearted Youth Camp here in Havgal. This year, is archery. Mickey and Trina hired a local artist to paint pictures of two Mongolian warriors on horseback and he did an incredible job – talk about intimidating dudes!

This is our third consecutive year assisting the Cofers. By God’s grace, they have come a long way in every area since their first effort in 2014. A biblical philosophy of ministry has been firmly established, not only with the missionaries, but also with a group of Mongolian people who have been involved with camp from the start. We are so excited about the team God has gathered here. Every key position at camp is being shared by both an American and a national Mongolian – from director to program to maintenance to kitchen coordinator. The program is now well established – to the point that they are able to focus on details like an archery contest with traditional bows and incredibly lifelike paintings!

Now that they have most of the main camp building complete, the next phase is to build cabins for the campers. Pending fundraising, they are planning to build these on either side of the main building with a view of the river. They will also be able to use these for church retreats, family camps and pastors conferences as well as the youth camps. No shortage of potential uses for the campsite here!

Staff training will continue through the weekend. We are expecting a group of 100 campers again – maximum capacity for the 10 gers and the cramped kitchen. Once again, a group of inner city kids from the capital are coming to camp – many of them unsaved.

Report by Matt Collier

Campers are campers the world over – all eager to start playing games and having fun around the campsite as quickly as possible. (I spent 4 summers at The Wilds from 2008 – 2011, which is where I first started getting to know Matt and the CampsAbroad ministry.)

Today was the first day of camp; the eighty+ campers started rolling in around lunch time. After registration, they quickly started on the free time activities of “9 Square in the Air,” throwing a football, soccer, foosball, chess, and ping pong. After an orientation, we played a competitive game of Big Ball Volleyball and later – a game of dodge ball. We closed the night with our first service, in which the campers paid great attention. Pastor Ganbat is preaching on Joseph for several services. A word of praise – God allowed two rain showers today; both came at times where there was no impact to the program or the campers.

Report by Jared Bryson

I’m not really sure how camp could have gone any better. The campsite was ready, the staff was well prepared, the campers were on their best behavior (being terrified that they would not be allowed to come back the following year!) Mickey had more help than ever. Jared and I worked closely with his program guys – not just helping them run camp this year, but also preparing them for next year. The Mongolian preachers did a phenomenal job and many young people were impacted for the Lord, reflected in the testimonies that were shared on the last night of camp. Around 30 young people made a decision to trust Christ as Savior – many of those were scholarship young people who came from the capital. One young man testified that he had attended camp last year, but left rejecting the gospel. This week, he surrendered to the claims of Christ on his life. Many other young people also shared solid, specific testimonies about what the Lord had done in their lives over the course of the week. Surprisingly, the guy campers were more vocal in their faith than the girls this year! One young man gave a high compliment to the camp staff: “I came back because they show love here.”

We certainly never want to presume on the Lord, but I believe that the potential is phenomenal in Havgal, Mongolia. God is doing something special here. This year, Mickey had to turn away almost 200 interested campers as well as quite a few churches asking to use the property for camp. It seems clear that people are willing to make the 13 hour drive from the capital to come to one of the most beautiful areas in this wide open country. What a privilege to be able to put our shoulder to the wheel alongside of some of God’s faithful servants!

Report by Matt Collier

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