Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 9 of Giving: Provide a scholarship for summer camp or conference

Each year the leadership of the churches in Haiti put together various camps and conferences to help build community among Haitians and study the Bible. 

These include: 
Youth Camp - for ages 13-29
Music Camp - for members of the choirs/band
Women's Conference - for the ladies of the 4 churches
Men's Conference - for the men of the 4 churches
Teachers' Conference - for the teachers of the various schools to learn teaching methods
Marriage Conference - for couples to renew their marriage commitment
Pastors' Conference - for all the pastors to gather and receive encouragement

In this United States, we have similar camps and conferences, especially during the summer. American families often pay their way or churches do fundraisers for these types of special events. The difference is in Haiti the people have little resources to eat, build shelter and basically live. It is difficult for them to save up for extras like a camp or conference.

This year our goal is to find friends in the United States who might be willing to give up a few extra lattes or a movie date to provide a scholarship for a friend in Haiti to attend one of the above camps or conferences.

This past summer we had the chance to observe, help with and speak at some of these conferences. Ericlee led Fitness and Games for the Youth Camp in August. He enjoyed challenging the young people to get out of their comfort zones through physical activity. He watched them bond and encouraged them to also step out in their faith walks.

I was one of the speakers at the Esther Women's Conference in August along with some friends from Fresno. Serena Isaak was our keynote speaker and had help from her daughter, Lindsey Isaak, and friend, Kathryn Haw.  The theme of the 2011 conference was friendship. We saw how just one week together provided so much hope and reconciliation for the women.

In the afternoons we taught the ladies how to knit - a skill they could use in the future. They also participated in prayer walks and games. This was an important time of rest and bonding for the women. They do not have Bible study groups, moms fellowships or other ladies-only activities throughout the year. The conference was a huge encouragement as many of the Haitian women shared. 

**Would you be interested in providing a scholarship for a Haitian friend to attend one of these conferences? One person can attend for an average of $10. Please donate through Christian Friendship Ministries and designate which camp/conference you would like to help fund. We are also looking for individuals and teams that might be interested in helping with these camps/conferences. If you have a passion for music or enjoy sharing your journey or love hanging out with youth or encouraging women, please inquire about our short-term mission trips.

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