For the first time in 11 years, Frontier Camp did not send a full team to Jacob’s Well Ministry Center in Haiti. God closed the door on that endeavor. However, the Haitian staff at Jacob’s Well decided to conduct a day camp for village kids anyway. They scheduled it for January 3 through 5. In support of this effort, Frontier Camp representatives Gillian Adams and Caleb Hough, along with Summer Cardwell from Foundry UMC (Cypress), left for Haiti early Wednesday to help the Haitian staff facilitate the camp. Here are some updates from Gillian. Check back here at the Frontier Camp blog for future updates.
Wednesday: It’s been a great first day in Haiti! All three of us had a super early start this morning. But Caleb took the prize for the earliest one on the road by leaving at 2:15 AM! Gillian and Caleb met up with Summer in the Miami airport and boarded the plane to Cap Haitian, Haiti!
After a slightly delayed flight coming in, a new addition to the airport made for a smooth and organized pass through customs. Then it was out into the warmth of amazing 80° weather where Gersan and Betty were waiting with the truck!
Once at Jacob’s Well, we reconnected with old friends and then helped Smith, Wilnick, Anderson, and a few others prep the camp for activities tomorrow. After a spaghetti dinner with spicy Haitian slaw on the side, we participated in a planning session with the camp leaders. We worked out schedules, activity rotations, and craft projects! We may be expecting as many as 300 kids tomorrow … but we won’t really know until they arrive. The leaders have already been working hard to plan out the teachings, memory verses, and Bible dramas. We are very excited to see it all playing out tomorrow!
So exhausted and ready to sleep, but even more ready for an incredible first day of camp! Thank you all for praying for today’s travel and we hope you will join us in praying for the kids coming tomorrow.
Thursday: Our morning dawned bright and early with a flurry of activity so we could all be ready for the campers to arrive! Check-in the first morning always takes a while, so we set up the nine square pit and helped the kitchen prep for lunch while the campers came in and joined their groups. Total count: 221 campers and over 30 leaders!
After check-in, the campers spent time learning a Bible lesson about the birth of Jesus in their groups. Because of the slower start to the day, Smith (pastor of the church in the village and one of the camp leaders) split the campers into two groups. He had one group working on a craft project while the other group went to the memory verse station. Then they went up the hill for a group teaching and discussion time before lunch.
The campers enjoyed a meal of spaghetti and juice served up by Betty, Alicia and the kitchen staff. We enjoyed chatting with the campers while collecting their dishes after the meal.
After lunch, the two groups swapped activities so everyone got to do a craft project and learn their memory verse. If they learned their verses and paid attention to the teachings, they were promised the chance to do all the other activities tomorrow. The final event of the day was a group singing, teaching, and learning time. This was capped off by a Bible Drama about Jesus’s birth acted out by the campers!
We waved goodbye to the campers around 4:00 in the afternoon, toured Jacob’s Well’s new construction projects with Gersan, and then started planning the schedule and craft projects for tomorrow. One of the best things about the trip so far has been the opportunity to have more one-on-one conversations with the Valcins and camp leaders. This is forcing us to learn and use more Creole! (We are all so excited about this. However, after two very long days and so much learning, our brains are a little exhausted.) Summer, however, has been amazing at picking up new words and being able to carry on an actual conversation.
So thankful for an amazing first day of camp and praying for new opportunities to build relationships tomorrow!
A note from Hans: It is so strange for us (Autumn, Edie, and I) not to be in Haiti this year. We miss it greatly, but we know that God is doing great things there. Please pray for the campers, the Haitian staff, and the U.S. partners helping with logistics and encouraging the staff. Also pray for safe travel, health and safety at camp, that unbelieving Haitians will be responsive to the Gospel, and that believers will be spurred to greater maturity in Christ.
Frontier Camp has been blessed to have a long-term partnership with Pastor Gersan Valcin and his wife Betty, the founders of Jacob’s Well. This partnership is committed to building a Haitian ministry on the foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11). We have witnessed the transformation of a voodoo village into a vibrant Christian community with hope for the future. Most importantly, we have helped spread the Good News about Jesus Christ! We are excited that young Haitians who were saved, discipled, and trained during previous trips have grown up to take the lead role in the camping ministry. It is truly a Haitian-led endeavor. God is using Jacob’s Well and its ministry to continue to change the nation of Haiti with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.