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Since the start of training was moved back a day due to a scheduling problem,  Amy and I were able to spend some extra time seeing the scope of the Alexander’s 25 year Brazilian ministry. They are well on the way to starting their fifth church. It is obvious through stories and observation that Shawn is aggressive in his zeal for ministry but has the patience and wisdom to step back and let the Brazilians feel the weight of their own ministries. As we look at the camp that starts tonight we can see all the dynamics coming together. We will be mixing a family camp with a teen camp on a beautiful but small piece of property. We are anticipating about 50 teens and I think we may have almost 60 for the family camp.

Training went well as we consistently had between 15 – 20 attending. School and work have been issues for consistent attendance. Also, many of those being trained were for future years. Even though we had a young group it was a good two days of training. Our desire is to have 8 counselors.  One of our strongest guy counselors broke his foot playing Air Ball and another girl counselor just got a cast off from a broken leg. We are planning dividing up the younger trainees to help these two counselors.

Amy has been a big help getting ready for camp. She has been pumping up balls and cutting and marking plastic folders for a game called Flea Market. Surprise, surprise that term does not translate! Of course she is doing what she does best by loving the people and they love her too! I am very thankful to have her along.

Report by Dan Brooks

We celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on Thursday while here at camp. What a great memory. The kids at staff training sang “Happy Anniversary” to us. We had rice and beans and slaw for dinner–I LOVE RICE AND BEANS!! We are thankful the Lord gave us this privilege.

It is the last full day of camp! Shawn Alexander and Dan have been working together putting on the camp. Shawn has been interpreting for Dan for all the services and game explanations. They are a great team and interact well together. I wish all of you could see them in action!

We are staying with Terry and Wendy Broyle, Brazilian missionaries for over twenty years. They have been a true blessing and we have enjoyed getting to know them and feel very comfortable in their home.

Mike and Dawn Jewell have been helping us here at the camp and they have been invaluable. They have been in Brazil for 16 years and have chosen to live and serve in the government project slums in Sorocaba.  Their ministry there is fascinating. Mike has been a tremendous help to Dan – and he is from Michigan! It is great having so many people who can interpret for us. It gives us more opportunity to talk with the kids.

Dan had a great opportunity to talk to a young man from one of the roughest situations here at camp. The young man was just released from six months in prison for something he did not do. He was around the wrong friends who were doing and dealing drugs and he was caught during a raid. He had been kicked out of his home by his mother and living in a plywood shack with nothing but the floor to sleep on. He has multiple siblings from many different fathers. His mother is involved in drugs and prostitution. He has the worst situation seemingly possible. Dan has been speaking on Joseph and his life circumstances and how he made the choices to please and serve the Lord. This young man said his life was like Joseph’s. Dan challenged him to take stands and make right choices like Joseph. God could use this young man mightily if he stands strong! Please pray for Micon. Camp is a haven. Home comes tomorrow afternoon.

Joseph has been the perfect Bible character for the young people to study this week.  Joseph’s hardships can parallel with their lives and they see what integrity looks like and how it is possible and pleasing to God to stand strong no matter the situation.

Family camp has blended well with teen camp. The church that owns the camp property has family camp yearly.  The campsite is beautiful and pretty well set up. Dan is meeting with the pastor and missionary this afternoon to talk over suggestions for their camp.

One of the most enjoyable things here at camp is the singing in the services. I love singing the songs that I know so well right along with my Portuguese friends. Even though we can’t understand each other’s words we know we are singing praise to the same great God! I loved seeing the young men get up front and powerfully sing “Faithful Men.”

The kids are understanding and loving the games.  They are very energetic and competitive.  Free time games, like Air Ball, are especially effective for getting in with the kids and breaking down barriers. The most exciting thing that has happened is the salvation of one of the campers.  Dan is pleased with how they are listening and responding during the services.

I have learned that I am a mom wherever I am! I love these kids and would bring them home with me if I could. My heart breaks for some of them and I wish I could give them the opportunities that kids in the States enjoy. But God has put them here in their own situations for His purpose. I will never forget them and ask you to continue in prayer with me for them.

Report by Amy Brooks

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