CAST Voices Devotion: The Importance of Faith-based Camps
29 June 2017
By Thandi Gova
Scripture: Romans 12:2-3
I am both privileged and grateful to be working for an organisation that values the presence of the youth and recognises the importance of girls’ ministry.
On a weekly basis, we engage with girls through sport, dance, support groups, tutoring and Friday-night youth. Time together is limited, as the girls need to get home to do chores, complete homework, look after siblings, or because they have a 6pm curfew for their safety. During this time, we get to discuss certain issues, but are only able to just hit the tip of the iceberg.
Camp gives us an opportunity to connect with the girls over an extended time, where they have reprieve from the day-to-day routines and responsibilities, with the purpose of creating an environment that makes them feel valued, heard, and supported. This allows them to ‘chill’, make new friends, have fun, learn, grow, and teach. Above all, it opens the door for them to experience God.
This year’s theme is “Resilience” and the camp title is “Siyanqoba”, a plural in isiZulu that means: “We are conquering”, carefully chosen to tie in with “resilience”: the ability to bounce back, which is “ukubuyela” or “ukunqoba”. The plural emphasises the spirit of unity, community, teamwork, and knowing how we are stronger/more effective when we work together.
By the end of the camp, we hope for the girls to develop strategies to build their resilience physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and intellectually, and for them to return home with a sense of hope, knowing where they can turn to for advice to boost their resilience, and remember that God is the centre, the source of all resilience.
I would also like the girls to return home with this verse as motivation:
“Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2-3 NIV
- What are the patterns that we do not want the girls to conform to and why?
- How are we helping to renew the girls’ minds?
- How are we helping girls to know what is God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for them?