Ciao from the Italy English Camp team! We recently returned from two weeks serving and being blessed by the sweetest group of kids at Centro Evangelico Isola, a camp run by Joe Hunziker and his family. The camp is located in a cute little town called Isola near Gran Sasso d’Italia, the highest mountain in the Apennines. It’s such a beautiful place, both because of the ever-present reminder of God’s creation always in the background and the wonderful people we had to opportunity to interact with and serve alongside.
A quick background on the area: Much of Italy is very Roman Catholic, and where we were is no exception. It’s more cultural in most cases, something that most people subscribe to because everyone does it – kind of how Christianity is in the deep South in the United States. Many Italians view Christianity as a sort of cult due to this cultural influence, so that makes evangelizing to them a little more difficult. Though many camps offered at Isola are Bible camps, they cannot blatantly teach Christianity as they could in the States for this reason. The English camp we served in is offered only for unchurched kids to attend, so it was even more different from the norm. Our main focus was to love on the kids and show Christ in how we lived – definitely a very different kind of mission trip than most of us were expecting.
Even more than that, we found how dedicated the camp is to building a strong connection with the surrounding community, whether that means inviting families for fellowship and meals or offering locals access to their soccer field. This connection is how they seek to spread Christ’s love to everyone around them, not just the kids. And of course, everyone at the camp seeks to serve and love on these kids as much as possible, to connect with them and with their families and to be that Christlike influence in their lives. It was such an honor for all of us to be able to contribute to this goal as the camp seeks to show Christ’s love to those who otherwise may not see Him.
And of course, we had lots of fun with the kids as well! We played tug-o-war and had sack races, held a carnival complete with face painting and games, and even hiked on the mountain with them!
Overall, it was such a joy to have fun with and show love to these kids – not just as “the Cedarville girls,” but as members of the wonderful camp community Centro Evangelico Isola has created. It’s amazing how so many people from different countries and cultures and walks of life can come together with such open hearts to further the Gospel. Not only is that a testament to the dedication of the camp staff, but it just goes to show you how God can use literally anyone – and anything – to show Himself in all parts of the world. This was such a wonderful opportunity that God blessed us with, and I think I speak for all four of us when I say that we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything! God is definitely at work, even in places like small town Italy that we don’t always think of as starving for Christ. They really are, and we’re so thankful for ministries such as Joe’s that are dedicated to satiating that need, as well as hearts like his that are so burdened to reach these people with the Gospel.
After five days of orientation in Antalya, we are now up in Çiralı at the Olive Grove Holiday Adventure. The first two pictures below show our team and fellow counselors preparing our dance for opening night. Pray for our students as we build relationships with them with the hope to have significant spiritual conversations during their time here.
The pictures above are from our English classes. That week the focus was on building vocabulary through fruits and colors. This was our cook during our time in Honduras. Her name is Marlen and she made sure we were well nourished. That evening she was teaching us how to make baleadas (Honduras’s national food) and donuts.
These last pictures were at the emergency clinic, Santa Cecicilia. It’s the only clinic in town with care available 24 hours.
This trip was definitely a learning experience. God’s work in our lives and in PanAmerican was evident. We are so thankful for your constant support and prayers. Gracias!
Hello, friends and families of the Zimbabwe Team 2018!
First of all, thank you for your endless support and prayers!
We have been rotating in different wards around the hospital (including the operating room, men’s ward, female ward, outpatient department, pediatrics and maternity ward) and got to see so many things that we have never seen before or experienced! Our GOD is so big and mighty and He is above all things, all creation, all diseases, all pain and sufferings on this earth. Praise the Lord, we serve the Great King.
Yesterday was our second clinic serving the people in the Bateyes. Our team was able to use experience from the previous day to make the workflow much smoother. Team members were also able to pray and share the gospel with every single family that came through the clinic. Today we will be heading out to a local school to provide fluoride treatments to children.
It has been a wonderful week here in the Philippines. A few of our outreaches this week have included: leading part of a baby shower, teaching a dental and hand hygiene clinic for kids at a ministry called Brand New Day, visiting the community that the kids live in, visiting the National Children’s Hospital, spending time on their pulmonary and neonatal floors, leading clinics in other communities, helping lead children’s programs with Happy Family, providing wound care, leading several Bible songs (in English and Tagalog), and leading a Bible lesson on the prodigal son (along with sharing the gospel) with a bunch of kids at a ministry led by a pastor at a house nearby.
We’ve also been busy at Shalom, the birthing center. We have been able to help with multiple births, baby baths, prenatal clinics, postnatal checkups, and much more. It has been absolutely incredible to see so many new lives entering the world here. Our prayer is that these babies would grow to be men and women after God’s heart.
Today we went to a church called “Lift Jesus Higher” and the Pastor spoke on Psalm 139. Verses 13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” These verses, as well as the whole chapter, have taken on an even deeper meaning. The Lord has so intricately designed each of us, from before the day we were born. He is the One who gives us breath in our lungs and blood to flow through our veins. Being able to find a baby’s heartbeat when still inside the womb and seeing new life is such a testament to His glory!
This week, we will be spending a lot of time here at Shalom but also will be heading up multiple outreach clinics. Pray that the Lord will continue to work in our hearts and in the hearts of the mothers, babies, children, families, midwives, and missionaries here in the Philippines. Pray that we will see with open eyes, everything that the Lord puts in front of us. Pray that we would feel the burdens of those in poverty and in serious struggles of life. Pray that we would be vessels of the love and joy of Christ.
God is good • All the time
And all the time • God is good
–Philippines Nursing Team
Joshua Kortje, playing UNO with the 8th and 9th grade kids after visiting a local art gallery in downtown Mitrovica, which displayed a school wide(6th-11th grade) project.
Hayley Trout and Austin Ragan spending time stuffing bears. The bears are to be given to a local, special education school in Mitrovica, Kosovo.
Joshua Kortje, Ryan Coffman, and Daniel Garcia are seen helping the KLA students with their work in Teacher Joan’s 8th and 9th grade math class.
Team leader, Alivia Rucker, working on the English alphabet with the preschoolers.