Dominican Republic

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Dan took a quick trip to the Dominican Republic this March. Because we are so close to the Dominican Republic, it was a fast trip that was packed with activity and training. The primary focus of this trip was to help an established camp refine their outreach to teens who had recently given a profession of faith. When he arrived on Wednesday, he was able to reconnect with some staff he had met last fall as well as get to know some new staff.

Most of Wednesday was full of greetings and preparation for the upcoming camp. Game time preparation was a unique challenge. Some game items are just too large to transport to the various fields of ministry and have to be bought on location. It was a bit of a challenge to communicate what was needed, but it was a successful endeavor in the end. The final product was perfect, and we left extra supplies to help make an unexpected free time game. One counselor called Dan the “Aladdin of games.”

The next step was to finalize the camp schedule. The leaders have come a long way in understanding the schedule and implementing changes to help things run more smoothly. Both the Director and Program Director are new to their positions, and both desire to have a philosophy that builds a platform for the Truth of God’s Word to be clearly presented through preaching, small groups, individual counselor interaction, and personal time with God.  

Twenty counselors showed up for the training, and they were eager for the new counseling tools. Dan was given 4 hours to present over 20 hours’ worth of material! He chose a few key counseling topics and ended by blending three lessons on how to show love to teens and give them hope to have victory out of multiple sin issues. Counselors commented how this session changed their perspective of the campers and their own goals to present the Truth in love.

Campers arrived the next day in buses hired by the camp. These campers were a collection of teens who had made professions of faith during a previous camp. Only four of these follow-up camps happen a year, as the rest are evangelistic camps. Games involving the whole camp were new to them. There was no problem getting campers and staff excited about playing Bigball, Tic-Tac Challenge, and the Cat in the Hat.

A storm that arrived at the end of camp caused the counselor testimony time to be canceled. However many showed appreciation for the time Dan was able to spend with them.

Later that evening the Director, Program Director, and Dan spent about 3 hours talking philosophy and how to implement their new goals. The Director quoted Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Then he commented, “We have to organize our vision to be effective.”

Dan said, “Few times have I left a ministry that was so open to change and passionate to see that change impact their current mode of operation. This group was truly humbling to work alongside.”  

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