Burmese Youth Camp

This has been an exciting summer for outreach here at Houghton Wesleyan. Royal Family Kids Camp was a huge success for 51 children who have experienced abuse and neglect. It was exciting to have a chance to influence their young lives for Christ. I wrote about this camp in an earlier blog. In addition to this yearly event, we had the opportunity (July 21-24) to host a camp of youth from Burmese churches across the east and Midwest. It was an amazing event.

When we agreed to be the host facility for this camp, we really didn’t have any idea what we were getting ourselves into. We just thought that it would be exciting to have the opportunity to partner with Houghton College in connecting with Burmese Christians here in America. Honestly, we had no idea what it would be like for 375 people to eat every meal in our gym or what it would be like for all of the food for those meals to be prepared in our kitchen. Actually, a lot of the food was cooked outdoors. We had no idea the demands on our plumbing, water and personnel. A huge thanks to Steve Pocock for tons of extra work, to Patty Stalker and Amanda Cox for their time, and to Wayne MacBeth who, as the primary college representative, made this thing happen and was the glue that held much of it together.

We often talk about our desire to connect our church with the world, which is why we send out missionaries and take trips overseas and talk about missions as central to the DNA of our congregation. In hosting this camp, we had the opportunity and privilege of the world coming to us. The gatherings were amazing as the young people sang and worshiped God. The preaching, though in a language we don’t understand, was used by the Holy Spirit to touch hearts. And HWC was right in the middle of it!

I don’t know if this type of event will ever happen again here, but I do know that despite the problems and the stress and strain on our resources and the extra work involved, God was here and we were blessed to have a little part in what God was doing and is doing. Let’s pray that God will take what was done in those days here and multiply it to bring about kingdom renewal such as we have not seen in a long time.