This summer four Cedarville students, including myself, left the United States to spend two weeks ministering at an English Camp in Isola Del Gran Sasso, Italy. Our two weeks of ministry was followed by a long weekend of recuperation and fellowship with a hospitable family in Rome who, along with their church, are fervent supporters of the ministry in Isola under the leadership of Joe Hunziker. The heart behind the English camp is to establish and affirm relationships between the camp and local families in order to encourage attendance at future Bible camps organized by the ministry (Centro Evangelico). We served as counselors on the “Fun Team” alongside an incredibly diverse staff of individuals from all around the world. Our role was to organize a fun afternoon of games and activities while intentionally building relationship with the 80+ children who attended English Camp this year. Personally, this was my second opportunity to serve at this camp through Global Outreach. This year, I was particularly encouraged by the power of the relationships we are able to build through this ministry— relationships not only with each other as Cedarville students and camp staff, but also with the children attending camp and our host family in Rome. One of the children’s parents this year phrased the power of this camp perfectly. Stepping into this camp is like stepping into another world filled with peace. I pray that this man comes to know and love the One who embodies the perfect peace that fills Centro Evangelico.” –Emily Gifford
The Hungary team has been serving at a Word of Life (WOL) camp for a few days thus far. All of our flights were on time and we all had the pleasure of picking up ALL of our luggage in Budapest. We arrived at camp with a refreshing rain falling. The campus is BEAUTIFUL. The castle is a historic building, so WOL isn’t able to make too many modern changes, but they have kept the building in great shape. We were able to meet a lot of the Hungarian volunteers and full time staff here It was wonderful to reconnect with Misi and Daniel who came to visit Cedarville back in the fall. The energy and passion that comes from everyone about camp is contagious.
Today’s activities allowed for some solid time to just hang out with the kids. We had a righteous Gaga Ball game going and really got to pound, I mean, enjoy playing with the kids. Today, our focus was on Acts 17 and to take a good look at what God we are worshiping. We ended the night with a color war that got pretty messy!! Our prayer is to keep looking for ways to encourage Daniel and Misi, our hosts, and to thank them for all their hard work. We are also praying for energy and an outpouring of God’s love for these kids.
Overall our group’s prayer is that we step aside and let God be seen in us. That even though there is a language barrier we want to have genuine and intentional conversations with the staff, volunteers, and campers. #CUGO
Wow! It’s hard to believe that our time in Germany is almost over.
We wrapped up day camp on Friday; and several of the kids came to church on Sunday and sang some of the songs they learned at camp for the whole congregation.
We had a brief break between camps on Saturday, so we took a day trip to Wittenberg. Here we saw where Martin Luther lived and taught, visited the Castle Church where he nailed the 95 theses, and learned a lot about the Protestant Reformation.
The rest of this week was spent at teen camp. The theme this year is Olympics, and each night is full of high-energy, competitive activities. It’s great to see how the students having this much fun, especially since Christian youth events like this are much less common here than in the US. Many of them have never experienced anything like this before. The best part of teen camp was Thursday night, when Travis, a youth pastor visiting from Iowa, shared the gospel during the large group session. Some of the students made personal decisions to follow Christ for the first time!
Please continue to pray for the children and teens who came to camp over the past two weeks, as well as for the missionaries here who will continue to minister to them long after we have left. Even in the crazy post-Christian world of Berlin, God is still doing some amazing work, and we were honored to be a small part of it!
–Germany Team #CUGO
Guten Tag from Berlin! After some frustrating delays with our flights, we finally arrived in Germany. This didn’t give us as much time to rest and get over jet lag as we had originally planned for, but our rescheduled flight took us straight to Berlin instead of a layover in London.
On our first Sunday we joined the worship team at Crossway International Baptist Church, which is the church here in Berlin where we are serving.
Last week we were busy helping with Crossway’s English day camp, which is an event for elementary students that they put on every summer using a Vacation Bible School curriculum. The theme this year is Roar: Life is Wild, God is Good. Each of us from Cedarville were in charge of a different station that the kids visited throughout each day. Josh taught the Bible story of the day, Haile led crafts, and I (Jonathon) taught the Scripture memory verse. Thursday was especially exciting because it was essentially the climax of the program, in which we got to most clearly present the gospel to the kids. They had lots of questions about Jesus, so please pray that they would remember and keep thinking about what they learned today.
This week is teen camp at Crossway, so pray that God would prepare the hearts of the teens as we minister to them. #CUGO