Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Transitions for MK Camp

When that great philosopher, Dave Barry, said, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business,” he obviously wasn’t talking about MK Camp. Having spoken to both staffers and campers, it doesn’t seem like they would trade the experience for a week at a Hilton. (Though they would probably appreciate some mints on their pillows!)

MK Camp looks a little different than it has in past years. That’s because for many missionaries in Honduras, this year has been a time of transition. Some missionaries have left the mission field. Some other missionaries have arrived. Several of the teenagers who attended camp in the past have grown up and returned to North America for college or to begin their careers. It’s the sort of transition that might leave some people a little melancholy. But not the Sowers family! As Russell described the differences between this year and camps of the past, he eagerly said, “It was a great opportunity to have new campers!”

There have been sixty-nine campers this year. Staff members bring the number up to more than ninety individuals who have enjoyed a break from their daily lives. In the past, camp has been limited to missionary families in Honduras. This year, some MKs whose families are missionaries in El Salvador joined in on the fun. They heard great things about the camp and asked to be included. Theirs aren’t the only new faces, however. For almost half of all campers and staffers, this was their first (though likely not last) MK Camp.

Russell handed the phone off the Lindsey, who served as camp music leader. Like so many others, this was Lindsey’s first time at MK Camp, though she has been in Honduras for four years. She spent three years teaching at an international school before becoming a full-time missionary. Lindsey’s dream is to open a coffee shop in Honduras, called Cafe Koinonia. Since koinonia means “fellowship,” it’s the ideal name for a coffee shop whose mission will be to “bring people together and provide a way to open doors to sharing the gospel while providing jobs to the area.”

Describing camp, Lindsey said, “Camp has been so much fun! I was not the sort of person who grew up going to camp every year. I counseled at camp a couple of times, but this is different.”
As worship leader, Lindsey is in a position where she’s not sleeping in a cabin with a group of girls. Yet she still gets to see the kids interacting with each other.

Lindsey described the importance of the campers getting to interact in English and hear messages in English. She said, “The camp is very well run. Teens get to be counselors for the younger kids, but they are also still campers. They have teen programs in the evenings, which are just for them, while the younger kids have ‘Radio Hour’. (They’ve been listening to Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  It’s a nice way to serve a large age range. All of the teens have great attitudes. They do goofy things with the younger kids, but they also have their own programs.

When asked about her thoughts as worship leader, Lindsey said, “I’m impressed with how the kids have been opening up and engaged in worship. There’s a difference between singing and worshipping. We’re not just singing to the sky! It’s been great to see them begin to engage and not be ashamed to sing out. I think it started with about four kids. Each night and day, they get louder. More people are engaging because a few people have been willing. They’re like sixteen-years-old and to see them not be ashamed is great. They’re seeing they have the opportunity to influence their environment rather than be influenced by their environment.”

With experiences like that, who needs mints on a pillow?

- posted by Christi

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