Camp Africa is an annual event hosted by Brunstad Christian Church South Africa (BCCSA), at the Stephanopark Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark. This year it was held from the 28th of April to the 1st of May. Most participants were from BCC fellowships throughout Africa, however, some from as far afield as Europe, also attended the camp. In total 188 people attended – Cameroon (39), The Democratic Republic of the Congo (9), Kenya (12), Malawi (12), South Africa (96), Tanzania (10), Uganda (3), France (10). Travel for 85 of the participants from Africa was made possible by HMC’s Travel Program.
The focus of the camp was on mentoring; therefore, participants were usually young people from approximately 20 years of age and older. Mentors play an important role in the lives of the younger youth in the church. It is therefore essential that mentors are equipped for the task, so that when interacting with the younger youth in their home churches, they are able to help, guide and encourage them during the vulnerable years of their adolescence. It is vital that mentors are good examples of young people who are committed to following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and are willing to serve wholeheartedly with the care, patience and wisdom, needed for mentoring.
The well-balanced camp program included a mentors’ workshop, spiritual edification, recreational activities, as well as time for fellowship and relaxation. The powerful spiritual messages from Tielman Slabbert, the leader of the BCCSA, and several guest speakers from Norway and France at the Theme Evening and the Camp Africa Dinner, appealed to the young people to entrust their lives to Jesus Christ completely. They were called on as mentors to serve in all humility and goodness, giving of themselves single-mindedly to their task of mentoring. There were also informal discussions with the guest speakers, and many participants said how they enjoyed and benefitted from these open and edifying discussions.
The recreational activities included a team building exercise; various sports such as baseball, badminton, rock climbing, football, squash; as well as art and décor, karaoke, and baking. Campfires set up in the evenings created a cozy environment for relaxation and fellowship. By providing challenging and enjoyable activities, cultural and other barriers are broken down and several participants mentioned how good it was to be with like-minded Christians from other BCC fellowships.
Peluce Katusabe (Kenya):
“I am very thankful for the opportunity I got to attend the camp. I was encouraged and corrected by the spiritual messages, and what spoke powerfully to me was that I should be faithful within my boundaries where God has placed me. It was so encouraging for me to be with other young people who want to follow Jesus. The activities were very good.”
Paul Torreilles (France):
“I am really thankful that I got to be part of this camp! It was especially good to have fellowship with young people from many different African countries. Everything was organised so creatively, and I want to thank everyone involved for the work and effort put in. It was fun and exciting to participate in the football tournament. Everything was done in such a good spirit.”
Carelle Mabe (Cameroon):
“For a first camp spent in South Africa – it was just perfect for me. Everyone was very welcoming and we had a great time together. The preaching from the Word of God encouraged me to take action in my life and do what I heard. Thank you very much to everyone for this blessed camp.”
Reetah Chambala (Malawi):
Camp Africa was really good for me both spiritually and physically. It was amazing to be with other young people from all over Africa. I got a lot of help from the spiritual messages and the discussions were edifying. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me in all situations. The activities were well planned and I enjoyed taking part in them. I am thankful for the camp.”
Olivier Touoyim (Cameroon):
This camp was really special and of great value to me. I experienced a deep fellowship with the other young people from different countries through the activities and fellowship evenings we had together. The message at the opening evening of the camp had a great impact on me. We were exhorted not to be led by our feelings, but to serve others happily, no matter what the situation is. I took it to heart to really practise this every day of my life. Thank you for an unforgettable Camp Africa.”
Dickson Bwanjiga (Tanzania):
“I am very thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to attend Camp Africa for the first time. I learned many things from the first to the last day of the camp. The most important thing I learned was in order to be part of the Kingdom of God, I must humble myself and seek God’s will and not my own. My prayer and desire are to allow God to work in me so that I can become a person with a humble heart in everything I do in my daily life.”
Erique Moses (Kenya):
“The camp was well planned and organised. There were opportunities and time to interact and have fellowship through the activities. The informal discussions were so inspiring as they gave us the opportunity to share and hear God’s Word, which encouraged us to be ready to help and serve where God has placed us.”
Freddie Kriel (South Africa):
“I am thankful that I could be at the camp and that I could experience the activities and fellowship with all the young people. But most of all I am thankful that I received help for my own life through the spiritual messages we heard. Now I can go and put into practice in my daily life, what I received from the camp.”