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Benefits of Christian Camping

Amigos Brasileiros - 
role para baixo para a tradução em Português
This morning on my Facebook's ON THIS DAY app the post above popped up about one of the last great big, happy fun retreats that I remember on the island.  Treasure Island Camp or llha do Tesouro was closed in the Spring of 2014.  The reasons were diverse but mostly boiled down to lots of "out go" and not enough "in-come."  Running a camp as unique as the island was required paid workers, a year round caretaker, lots of diesel fuel and generators, and lots of hard work.  The end of it all had been postponed several times over the years.  Byron and I had been invited to come and work with the camp in hopes of some sort of miracle.  Our miracle lasted for ten years.

Right now in our area there is no camp for area youth to attend.  The teens, families and churches of our area will begin to see the affects of the closure of Treasure Island over the next few years.  The Island brought a certain unity to the independent area churches as once or twice a year churches came to joint retreats on Carnaval and New Years.

The Island was a place to get away and enjoy quality time in the Word of God with speakers from outside of our area.  Retreats were a dedicated time to concentrate on spiritual matters in a place separated from tv, internet, and good cell phone coverage.  Retreats often included new choruses to take home in your heart and head.

Friendships made at camp were ones that gave strength to young people to stand the tide against the world after going back home to the nitty gritty grind of daily life.  Young people from other churches had the chance to meet that special girl or guy from across the lake.  Several of our young Christian families in area churches today are young people that began with that little camp romance in the protected circle of a great cloud of witnesses with all the pastors on the look out.  I met my own dear husband at another Christian camp in the mountains of SW Virginia when I was a teenager.

Lastly I believe that the Island helped many young people over the years make life decisions to serve the Lord that have stood the test of time. It was a retreat that inspired twenty some people to spend all that had and more to travel to Mozambique in 2013.  Simple people who were challenged during a special retreat to present the work of global missions. 

As we pass the one year anniversary of the sale of Treasure Island Camp, perhaps it's time to consider what place camping has in missions and church work today in NE Brazil and in other places across the world. Sadly many small Christian camps that played an important role in the lives of young people during the 1980's, 90's and on have not survived into the days of now.  What's next for Christian camping today?

Esta manhã, no meu Facebook do NESTE DIA app o post acima apareceu sobre um dos últimos retiros que eu me lembro na ilha. Treasure Island Camp ou llha do Tesouro foi fechou na primavera de 2014. As razões foram diversas, mas principalmente se resumia em "falta de recursos." Executando um acampamento como a ilha exigiu um zelador durante todo o ano, muito óleo diesel e geradores, e trabalho duro. O final da ilha tinha sido adiado várias vezes ao longo dos anos. Byron e eu tinha sido convidado para vir e trabalhar com a ilha na esperança de algum tipo de milagre. Nosso milagre durou dez anos.

Agora em nossa área não há nenhum acampamento para jovens. Os adolescentes, famílias e igrejas da nossa vão começar a ver os efeitos do encerramento do Treasure Island ao longo dos próximos anos. A Ilha trouxe uma certa unidade às igrejas independentes da área  como uma ou duas vezes no ano foram para retiros geráis como Carnaval e Ano Novo.

A ilha era um lugar para fugir e desfrutar dum tempo de qualidade na Palavra de Deus com palestrantes de fora de nossa área. Retiros foram um tempo dedicado para se concentrar em assuntos espirituais em um lugar separado de tv, internet, e cobertura de celular. Retiros incluíram frequentemente novos refrões para levar para casa em seu coração e cabeça.

Amizades feitas no acampamento foram os que deram força aos jovens para suportar a maré contra o mundo depois de voltar para casa e a rotina da vida diária. Os jovens de outras igrejas tiveram a oportunidade de conhecer essa menina especial ou aquele cara do outro lado do lago. Vários de nossos jovens famílias cristãs em igrejas da área hoje são jovens que começaram com "romance de rétiro" no círculo protegido de uma grande nuvem de testemunhas com todos os pastores no olhar. Eu conheci meu querido marido em outro acampamento cristão nas montanhas de Virginia, quando eu era um adolescente.

Finalmente eu acredito que a ilha ajudou muitos jovens ao longo dos anos à tomar decisões de vida para servir o Senhor.  Decisões que têm resistido ao teste do tempo. Foi um retiro que inspirou algumas vinte tais pessoas para gastar tudo o que tinha e mais para viajar para Moçambique em 2013. As pessoas simples que foram desafiados durante um retiro especial para apresentar o trabalho de missões globais mudaram a clima e conhecimento de missões no Vale do São Francisco.

À medida que passou o aniversário de um ano da venda de Treasure Island Camp, talvez seja a hora de considerar o lugar que um acampamento tem em missões e o trabalho da igreja batista regular hoje em NE Brasil e em outros lugares em todo o mundo. Infelizmente muitos pequenos acampamentos cristãos que desempenharam um papel importante na vida dos jovens durante os anos não sobreviveram até os dias de hoje. Que será  do acampamento cristão para hoje e amanhã?  Será que precisa dum acampamento em nossa área?  Que acha?


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