by Charl van Wyk
You may be really blessed to have a Christian community around you. A community of sisters and brothers in Christ where you are loved, cherished and supported. Psalm 133 describes what such a community looks like.
In Africa, the opportunity to experience the building of a world around the Gospel—to just taste what living a Gospel life is like—is for the most part, just a distant and seemingly unattainable dream.
A dream that few can even fathom.
In the area where we intend to operate our Gospel camp for parents, the citizens of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, suffered the Gukurahundi killings—gruesome acts of horror inflicted by Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade between 1983 and 1987.
Tens of thousands of people were murdered by the state.
Can one live through such carnage and not be seriously traumatized? You, your children, and their children, are all traumatized!
We hope to change this with a camp that leads multiple generations to Christ.
How Can a Camp Make This Difference?
Our team of camp leaders, including my friend, Pastor Joel, wants to teach at the camp and help show why we must follow Jesus Christ and obey His Word!
Lord willing, Joel will be joining us all the way from Pennsylvania.
In addition to his theological training, radio ministry, pastoring and leadership in the reformation movement, Joel has nine children with his wife Audrey. They have brought up their children in the faith, and now have nine grandchildren.
Joel is richly blessed and an excellent example of how God’s blessings extend for generations. Is this not the best inheritance any of us can ever hope to leave our children and grandchildren?
We want the parents at camp to experience firsthand the difference Jesus Christ makes in our lives, in families, churches and civil government.
Christian community is about Him!
Already watching Jesus work in the lives of their children, we want to saturate the parents’ lives in God’s Word!
At camp we can do this in a short time. This setting can provide them a respite from the exhausting distractions associated with normal living in a devastated community, such as searching for food and carrying water all day.
Simply put, there is more time to delve into God’s Word at a camp, more time to find out what He is teaching us. We aim to make His Word the highlight of the camp.
Memories are powerful tools in the forming of godly relationships. When the youth have shared memories from their camp experience with their parents and other adults, our local leaders are often questioned afterwards.
Parents want to know if the stories of the youth are really true. Their questions reveal much about daily life in this part of Africa:
- Did they really have beds with sheets and blankets?
- And three meals a day?
- What have you done to make the young men so much more obedient and disciplined?
We don’t desire to just tell parents what goes on; we hope to show them, by demonstrating Christ’s love and His ways.
The young men we have ministered to at previous camps have formed a consolidated Christian group identity in their community.
Cozmore and Pastor Nyoni, our co-workers, have become their mentors and disciplers – having to deal with their youthful dirty laundry and all. But Praise the Lord they come to known Christian men, who point them to Jesus Christ, rather than in the direction of damnation their pagan friends in the community offer.
Mpumelelo's leg was recently amputated with the help and support of the Christian Community and ITMI.
The young men have a sense of who they are in Jesus Christ, rather than facing pressure to look to the pagans and their ancestors for identity.
We are praying for their parents to come to faith in Jesus Christ, to enjoy and experience that sense of belonging in the covenant family.
Not only can this encounter with Jesus save their own souls, it can lead to the establishment of a spiritually saved family fabric, creating a healthier environment for their children to grow in Christ.
But we need your help!
Please camp with us! We are praying for a minimum of 30 parents at $70 per person to join us, so they can go forth and impact their community with the knowledge of the Gospel we’ll arm them with.
If you have ever in your life been blessed by attending a Gospel camp, won’t you please bless one of these parents to attend our camp?
This will certainly be their first such experience!
Please co-labor with us as we seek to further Christ’s Kingdom in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe.
Your ministry co-worker,
Charl van Wyk
PS. Should you like to partner in this ministry, please click HERE and type ‘Zim camp’ in the comments section.
Charl van Wyk is a Christian missionary, author and activist in Africa. His belief in his Christian duty to protect the innocent, vulnerable and oppressed led him to single-handedly return fire in the midst of a terrorist attack, saving many lives! The story of how God led Charl to forgive and pursue reconciliation with his attackers is captured in his best-selling book, Shooting Back – The Right and Duty of Self-defense. Now he is engaged in a new war - a battle to establish kingdom-focused covenant communities in Southern Africa. His pro-active stance on educating the Church and renewing minds with a Biblical worldview drives him to see communities changed through the Gospel, discipleship and community development.