Children’s Camp – Water of Life
“I’ve got peace like a river;
I’ve got joy like a fountain;
I’ve got love like an ocean
In my soul!”
The children sang this at this year’s children’s camp, thanking God for his wonderful creation, love and care. From 14th to 17th December 2018, about 70 children aged 9 to 12 met in the beautiful Elandsheim to play, sing, do crafts and pray together.
The theme of the retreat was “Water of Life.” It turned out to be a multifaceted topic: In the two Bible studies that Pastor Thomas Beneke had prepared, it was discussed firstly that God has made us His children in baptism through water and His Word. Secondly, the children could learn how God uses water to give life both in the old creation and in the new creation. The children were able to experience a completely different spiritual aspect of “water” when we washed their feet.
Beautiful summer weather, a varied programme and many committed helpers made sure that nobody got bored during these days: the children could create their prayer cubes and Christmas cards. They played their brass instruments or flutes and recorders. Singing is always a main activity during the camp, we practised spiritual as well as some humorous songs.
Sports and games were not neglected either: various group games, a parade, of course, soccer and a kind of “lawn Quidditch” provided heated faces. Water battles with small syringes and swimming in the pool of the farmer next door helped the kids to cool down again. Thanks a million to Monika and Heinz Dedekind for their hospitality!
The children were able to test their Bible knowledge in various quizzes: First, the stories were presented by Emojis, then the children had to perform the stories themselves in pantomime – spontaneously! Another quiz only dealt with questions about “Water in the Bible.” A Scavenger hunt was great fun for everybody: The mixed teams had to take original and funny photos of different objects or situations, which were presented in the evening.
A highlight was, of course, the service on Sunday morning in the beautiful church of Elandskraal, in which the children were actively involved with music. In the sermon, Pastor Heinz Hiestermann explained that God’s Word is our water of life, without which we cannot exist.
On Sunday evening it was finally the Grade 6’s turn to prove themselves: Marking the end of their participation at children’s camps, they had to engage in the legendary “Survivor”! In the previous days the two teams – girls against boys – had already prepared for this hour secretly and with much effort: They had to design outfits and a team banner and practice a war cry! In different games, like buck-dung-spitting, skill and speed were tested – under the cheers of the audience. The “Stuff-ups” (the boys) won the competition, “Poison Ivy” (the girls) won the Spirit-Cup. They all got a cool T-shirt and had a party at the campfire.
Once again, the children’s camp was a great success, as it was well prepared all around. Especially Ingrid and Carl-Heinz Kruse and Anita Meister are to be thanked for their good planning and organization!
Since there is no FELSISA congregation in Elandskraal, all participating congregations had sent frozen meals, which only had to be placed in the
oven by the respective helpers on kitchen duty. Many thanks to all who contributed! It was plentiful and tasted very good!
Above all, however, we thank our heavenly Father for allowing us to offer a children’s camp like this! It is simply a huge blessing – not only for the children, but also for us helpers. Seeing the children enjoying an active church life, sharing morning and evening devotions, four days of fellowship with brothers and sisters from other congregations,
languages and cultures: We all went home to our congregations and families strengthened – and looking forward to next year!
Simone Weber, Umhlangeni