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Update from the President: September 10, 2020

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Update from the President

September 10, 2020

A few days ago, I received a happy report from our leaders in Zambia about their recently-completed United Youth Camp. It was a joyful account, since around the world the COVID-19 crisis has caused the cancellation of most church camps. This has disappointed hundreds of our youth who were looking forward to seeing friends, learning more about Christian living, and having fun doing recreational things that they may never have done before.

 

However, this was not the case in Mufulira, Zambia, which is located in the heart of South Central Africa. Here it was a joy to see 68 youth be blessed with the camp experience from August 16–23.

We own our church building and the grounds where we hold weekly Sabbath services, the Feast of Tabernacles, camps and other activities. This gave us the flexibility and freedom to manage our programs. And, of course, we abided by the local COVID regulations.

We are so thankful to the elders and deacons who, along with other brethren, organized this event. I want to spotlight and share with you what deacon Rodrick Epomba sent us.

Here is his report:

We would like to thank our Creator in heaven for making it possible to hold such a successful and fruitful youth camp. This was in a trying and challenging time as the world is shaken by the dangerous pandemic COVID-19. We would also like to thank our sponsors for the support they rendered to make the 2020 camp a successful gathering.

The purpose of the meeting was to help the youth in the Church of God to learn the Word of God and other skills. The goal was to create an atmosphere of oneness. Friendships are always made at such occasions.

Due to the education calendar during this pandemic, finding the right time to hold camp was the trickiest part here in Zambia, as schools have been closed. At the same time, those in examination classes keep on attending classes. This forced the organizers to select August 16–23 so that a good number of youths were able to attend.

The venue was the United Church of God Mufulira, Mupambe. A total of 68 youths came from the following areas: Mufumbwe – 9, Manyinga – 9, Solwezi – 30, Isoka – 8, Kalunkaya – 4, Lusaka – 8. The physical facilities were well-organized, starting from the ablution blocks (a building in a public area with facilities for washing and one or more toilets), the dining hall, tents and the kitchen. All these were sufficient to accommodate everyone in the camp.

We had a variety of speakers at this year’s youth camp. Many lessons and life skills were introduced, making the camp an interesting zone for all campers and staff members.

For Christian Living, we received instruction from one elder and two deacons. Our Life Skills program included the following subjects: Career Planning, Financial Discipline, Health and Hygiene, Arts and Crafts, Tie and Dye.

This year’s camp theme was “Be Anchored to God.” As a Church, we must see to it that all our members are anchored to God, including our youth, as they are our future leaders. The subjects dealt with were as follows:

  • Find Your Anchor (Jeremiah 29:11-13 Jeremiah 29:11-13 [11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. [12] Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. [13] And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
    American King James Version×
    )
  • Set Your Anchor (Psalms 37:5-6 Psalms 37:5-6 [5] Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. [6] And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.
    American King James Version×
    )
  • Weather the Storm (Deuteronomy 31:6 Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
    American King James Version×
    )
  • Set Your Soul for Service to God (Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    American King James Version×
    )
  • Finish the Voyage (John 6:39 John 6:39And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    American King James Version×
    )

For recreation, we saw new games and activities introduced. We had new games like water in the dish, get wrong and shower as well as other games like tug of peace, soccer, volleyball, speedaway, dirty bottle race, need race, plus many other games.

On Friday, our scheduled outing did not work out due to some circumstances and COVID-19 measures. Nevertheless, the day became even better, as a party was organized within the camp. It was full of music, dancing and fun. At exactly 4:30 p.m., the show came to an end as all the staff and campers went to prepare for the Sabbath.

This year’s camp has given us hope as leaders and organizers that indeed camp lessons are important to our campers. So far we have received messages of encouragement from parents confirming changes and improvement in their children—which we are grateful to hear.

As we know, our mission is to train the leaders of tomorrow. This means we have to train as many as possible. This year’s camp had a lot of participants, compared to the 45 who attended last year. This is indeed good, as it sends a signal about growth of the body of Christ.

To all hard-working staff, deacons and ministers, Derrick and Cherry Pringle as well as Alfred Siame, we really thank you for all the support you rendered to the people while in camp and for making the 2020 Youth Camp a successful event by giving us your support spiritually and physically.

—Roderick Epomba, deacon

 

I couldn’t help but share this bright and optimistic story with you and thank God that He is watching over us, even in difficult times. For more on this event along with photos, please go to https://lifenets.org/zambia-copperbelt-uyc-camp-august-2020/

In Zambia we have about 700 members, four elders, and more than 15 churches and groups that meet regularly. Most congregations own their own meeting halls. The buildings, in large part, were built by the members themselves.

My wife Bev and I have worked with the Zambian people for the past 20 years and have grown to love them dearly and regret that we are so far away.

We wish you a fruitful week as we all prepare for the coming Holy Days.