From August 10-August 20, 2017 the United Youth Corps flew to Accra in support of the 2017 United Youth Camp program in Ghana. Its participants hailed from a variety of locations -- Washington, Oregon, California, and Malawi -- and were there to in order to serve their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Prior to camp, the Youth Corps members had the opportunity to visit and tour the Cassava mill that the brethren in the congregations of Abrem Agona, Kwanyako and Winneba operate on the property where the church hall is located, and had an opportunity to tour the Cape Coast castle, and to keep the Sabbath with the brethren in Abrem Agona.
It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know a number of brethren from the various congregations in that area, and to get to know some of the youth that would be attending the camp which began the following day. On August 13, the campers began to arrive by bus.
The United Youth Camp program theme for this year was “Building Your Relationship with God,” and the Compass Check and Christian Living lessons each day reiterated the various aspects of what is needed in order to accomplish this extremely important goal.
In order to build their relationship with God, the young people needed to recognize:
- God is Calling: It’s important for the youth to realize that God has chosen them and given them an opportunity to be a part of his family. It’s not their parent’s calling; it is a unique calling that is for them personally.
- Build With Faith: Once they have recognized the calling, building the relationship with God through faith is essential. They must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×). Going forward, having a strong faith and belief in God is essential -- particularly as life gets difficult and trials rage.
- Pray with Purpose: As the relationship continues to develop, talking to God through prayer and opening those lines of communication, and maintaining those lines of communication are essential.
- Learn from God: Communication is a two-way street; we must listen to what God says to us through His word. Reading God’s instructions to us and learning from Him is essential to draw closer to Him.
- Respond to God: Lastly, it’s not enough to know what to do. It’s not enough to have the head knowledge – God expects follow through. Hearing AND doing, that the actions will back up what we know to be true.
These five themes built upon one another to culminate with the final lesson of responding to God, assuring that our actions are in line with the truth that we have been given, and that we build this relationship with God with a sense of urgency -- not waiting or putting off what must be done now.
As the week went on, the Youth Corps participants taught a wide range of activities that the youth had opportunities to participate in: basketball, volleyball, sling shooting, team challenge, archery, bicycling, speedaway, bead craft, and swimming. As the week went on, the spiritual lessons of the day were woven into the activities to provide reinforcement of the spiritual principles the youth were there to learn.
The Red and Blue teams came together as the week went on, and they grew closer to their teammates and toward the Youth Corps members to become like brothers and sisters. By the time it was time for us to leave -- it was like leaving family behind and we were unsure of when we would have opportunity to see our new family again. The Kachali girls were headed back to their native Malawi, the Novak girls were off to Europe to keep the Feast and travel with their family, Mr. Moody was headed back to Washington State, and Carl and I were headed back to Oregon.
God willing we will have opportunity to see one another again.
The 2017 United Youth Camp program in Ghana was an incredible success and the relationships formed will be lifelong.
If you would like to serve in Ghana in an upcoming Youth Corps project -- we will be returning during the summer of 2019 to assist with the United Youth Camp program again. Consider joining us to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ.