Go to Action…

Camp Africa is an annual event hosted by Brunstad Christian Church South Africa (BCCSA), at the Stephanopark Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark. The 5-day camp took place in April this year and a total of 202 participants from BCC fellowships throughout Africa, as well as several from Europe, attended. (Cameroon 43, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 10, Kenya 11, Malawi 9, South Africa 116, Tanzania 5, France 5, Norway 3).

The well-balanced camp program included workshops, spiritual edification, fellowship and recreational activities. The focus this year was on equipping mentors for their task. Mentors are a vital part of church-life as they work with the youth and children. They need to be supported, guided and equipped for the important task of mentoring. The aim of mentors is to preserve the youth and children and ultimately lead them to becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. They themselves must lead by example through their own faith and commitment to serving others by following in the footsteps of Christ.  

A survey sent out to the participants prior to the camp proved to be a useful tool which highlighted areas that need attention and improvement and it also identified topics for group discussions at the workshops.  This was invaluable as it provided opportunities for all participants to raise issues and challenges that they may be experiencing relating to their ministries not only with the youth and children, but in general. Judging from feedback this strategy was extremely helpful as many discovered their challenges were not unique and discussing them assisted in finding solutions and sharing ideas. The workshop topics were comprehensive, covering all age groups and areas of work with youth and children, such as youth services, Sunday School content, youth clubs, activity clubs, music and Bible study projects.

The spiritual messages at the church services during the camp from Jermund Pedersen and other guest speakers were edifying and practical. Young and old were encouraged to “stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30) in their local fellowships and go to action when prompted by God to serve others and take responsibility. There is much work to be done to preserve the youth and children, however, it is the spirit in which the work is done that is most important, as that is what will have a lasting effect on them rather than the fun and activities itself.

One of the highlights of the camp was the Theme Evening which was a focused meaningful evening. The theme was: “Where does all unrest come from?”  An effective and relevant short film was screened about a typical situation that not only mentors, but most people have experienced, as well as the resulting unrest, negative thoughts and emotions one can feel. The powerful message from this film resonated with most, as it illustrated how unrest comes from within and not from what others do or say. The evening was rounded off with warm fellowship and edifying songs shared around a campfire.

In terms of recreational activities, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The exciting soccer, volleyball and table tennis tournaments were enjoyed by players and supporters alike. Chess, foosball and arts & crafts were also on offer.


Yenovic Yakasongo (DRC):

“This camp has been such a blessing and I go home filled with gratitude for mentors who serve as good examples. It is encouraging to know that our shepherds have succeeded in circumstances where we are tempted to feel discouraged. During the workshops, church services, and activities, I have realised the goodness of Jesus Christ by listening to the testimonies and experiences of others and I am thankful for this calling to become a disciple of Christ.”

Blaise Mulamba (DRC):

“I give thanks to God for this camp. I experienced warm fellowship during activities, workshops, and the church services. It’s encouraging to learn that many others faced similar challenges, but with God’s help and perseverance, they were able to overcome them. This camp has been a time of introspection and awakening, and as it comes to an end, for me, it’s the beginning of personal mentorship work. At the workshops I particularly appreciated listening to everyone’s contributions all aimed at improving the guidance for our youth. The film about the mentor who faced rejection from her friends was a perfect illustration of my daily challenges. I thank God for this calling and for those who are faithful and who show us the way of following Jesus Christ.”

Claire Heaven (South Africa):

“It was really inspiring to be along with Camp Africa. The workshops were very good helping to find solutions to the challenges and situations we are facing with the youth and children. It makes you think outside the box and to become creative. For me, I can help just as I am, with the gifts God gave me, I don’t have to perform or do more than what I’m capable of. It is simple and clear, and I can serve just as God works. Watching the soccer matches between the different countries was a beautiful sight – good friendly competition. Really an inspiring Camp.”

Hezron Otieno (Kenya):

“This camp has been the most awesome event of the year for me. Workshops full of content, edifying church services, engaging activities and fellowship have all left me with unforgettable memories. I therefore want to express my sincere gratitude to the organisers. Thank you for a fantastic and memorable Camp Africa!”

Saviola James Nestory (Tanzania):

“I am so thankful for the camp. It was so exciting to meet with the mentors from other African countries who have the same longing to guide and preserve the youth and children. During the workshops we got to work together and share a lot of experiences with others from different countries on their challenges with their youth and children and find solutions and share ideas. It’s my longing that when I go home, I will go to action to help and serve the others more, with the ability that I have been given by God.”

Rheetah Chambala (Malawi):

“I am thankful for the Church and it was good to have fellowship and learn from each other during this camp. I experienced that I should do everything without complaining. Being a mentor, I must create a good environment for the children and the youth. God will strengthen me as it says in Philippians 4:13.  I believe that it will go well if I put into practice what I have gained from the camp and the workshops and it will bring a great change in me.”

I’d say:

Travel expenses were sponsored by the Hippo Mundo Charity‘s travel program for 78 participants from BCC fellowships in Cameroon, DRC, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya.