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“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20. These verses inspire Jessica Goldschmidt in her work with Rwanda’s children and youth.
3D Christian Camps (3dCC) is a youth camp ministry formed in partnership between the Anglican Diocese of Kigali and Inuma y’Amahoro (Africa Inland Mission International) with a Coordination Committee composed of volunteers from various different church denominations.
Learning life lessons
Here is what some of the campers have to say about their experiences following their participation in camp:
“I learnt to be humble in front of all people, young and old. Seeing how you washed our feet touched me a lot.”
“Camp has taught me to read my Bible every day in the same way that every day I want to eat my lunch.”
“I was very strengthened to strive to get closer to God again. I learnt the importance of helping my wife instead of leaving some chores to her alone.”
The three ‘Ds’ in the ministry’s name stand for:
- Do it!
This is our desire for the youth: that they would discover truths about Christ, about themselves, that they would make decisions and then go and live out what they have learned and decided.
The 3D also stands for the three dimensional relationships all human beings have with God, themselves and others. ‘The truth of Christ transforming youth in Rwanda’ is our vision.
I have the privilege of working in this ministry, which by God’s grace has impacted the lives of many young people. Camp here, just as it is anywhere else in the world, is a great opportunity for the youth to get out of their usual context, to be given specific times to read God’s word and study it, to learn to know other young people, to learn from the activities and from the staff.
A lasting legacy
God can use camps to impact lives for eternity. A former camper, who later was a girls’ counsellor at camp wrote to me saying: “I cannot forget 3dCC because it has changed my life and it gave me the work to do for the youth by helping them to have a personal relationship with God…”
We serve a faithful God who has granted us protection in our camps, touched the hearts of campers and provided for our camp needs. To him be the glory!
Seeing the fruit
Camp however only lasts a very short time in the life of a young person so there is a time when they need to come back ‘down the mountain’ into their usual life settings. And in ‘normal life’ there is no schedule set up for us that would include a time for personal devotions! The youth in Rwanda are also faced with different challenges such as poverty and unemployment, which can sometimes put them in situations where they have difficult choices to make. Please pray for these young people as we know that our God can continue his work in their hearts.