The following is a report from Eric Mango, GMI Partner, about the Malawi Youth Camp that took place a couple weekends back:
To God be the glory great things He has done! From December 18–20 Eric Mango and the leaders in charge of the youth ministry in the Grace Church in Malawi held a youth camp under the theme: Making a Difference in a Confused World (Daniel 1:8).
Forty-five youth attended the camp–34 were camping and 11 would join during the day. We had the youth from the youth soccer and volleyball teams, the youth from Area 23 and Area 36 churches, and a few from other churches. On the first day, six of these young men and women gave their lives to Christ. Joseph Asong, Mercy Mango, Givemore Nyakambiri, and Chrispin Mundiya (Zambia) helped with facilitating the program.
It was such a great time of learning, playing games, having competitions, reciting poetry, and singing. It was so amazing to see some of the talents that were displayed. Some of the youth we thought would not have courage to stand in front of a crowd surprised us with songs and drama.
The preparations for the camp had many challenges. The proposed venue was in Salima and all bookings had already been made, but we received news at the eleventh hour that the venue would not be available. We were able to find another beautiful place within Lilongwe that had all the facilities we needed. Because so many people wanted to be at the lake, some for the first time, they withdrew their reservations. The expected number was above 60 but due to the change of the venue, the number went down. There was also the challenge of finances and the estimated budget was not met.
Amidst all of this we saw the Lord do great things. We thank God for a strong planning team that was so committed and did not lose hope. We remained united and made every decision together. The teachings were so life transforming. Most young men from the soccer and volleyball team are into alcohol and misuse of drugs and this makes them appear much older than their age, but on the last day of the camp these faces looked young, so refreshed, and full of hope. Transformation cannot be seen through the face of someone, but for these young men and women it glowed right on their faces.
“Here are a few quotes for some campers:
- ‘My life was heading towards destruction because of ignorance. Now that I know, I will live differently.’
- ‘I am glad I attended this program. I wish many young people had an opportunity of being here. I was like a person who has taken poison and is dying slowly without knowing. Now I have vomited that poison and I am safe. Please continue praying for me.’
- ‘The first thing I will do when I reach home is to tell my parents that they have a new son, which is me. I will not be ashamed to talk to my friends about what I have learned. When such a program takes place again, I will invite all my friends to come.’
- ‘My mind feels fresh. I will no longer go back to alcohol. I brought so much pain to my parents. My parents have been to police several times because of my bad behaviors (drug addiction, fighting, stealing). I can’t wait to go home and kneel down before my parents to ask for forgiveness.’
- ‘ I learned many bad behaviors due to peer pressure. I will now be selective on whom to be friends with.’
Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support that made this event a success. Please pray that God will keep these young people from falling away from what they have been taught. Pray for the six who gave their lives to Christ that their faith will grow, and pray for the seed of the gospel that was planted in those that heard the gospel that it will germinate and bear fruit.
ALSO, click Here to watch a special New Year message from Jeremy Clark, GMI’s Executive Director!