Joshua packed his bags a week ahead and then all he could do was wait patiently until 9th April 2014 when he would leave for camp. Each day seemed to drag on very slowly, testing his patience and it was a great relief when the day finally did dawn. Soon he was once again reunited with his friends and with the staff of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) with whom he would spend the next 02 days. Joshua was very excited to be a part of Kids’ Camp once again. At camp, Joshua would always find the strength and guidance to overcome the challenges he faces in life, enjoy delicious and wholesome meals, sleep well in the air-conditioned dorms, engage in free and unobstructed worship and create new memories of a happy childhood which he would cherish all his life.
The Kids’ Camp, which was held from 9th – 11th April at Sanctuary House, was based on the theme ‘Victorious Children of God’. At camp, Joshua together with the 95 other participants learned how to triumph over obstacles by placing their trust and faith in God. As all children attending the camp have faced some traumatic experience in the form of persecution, differential treatment, bullying and neglect because of their parents’ ministry, the sessions focussed on encouraging the children to cope with the issues they face through the lessons which were based on the biblical stories of Joseph, David, Daniel and Paul. The sessions were conducted in an interactive manner using little games and activities in order to engage the children’s fullest attention. The children also took part enthusiastically in the Talent Night which was an opportunity for them to display their many talents.
Joshua and his friends also received an opportunity to start their lives anew and rededicate themselves to the Father’s care. At a special session on forgiveness the children were able to burn the names of those who have hurt and wronged them at the foot of a cross and thus put all hurt and anger behind them. For Joshua, this was a life changing experience. “I was unable to forgive anyone who wronged me and I have been struggling to overcome this weakness for a long time” shared Joshua. “At this session I learnt that it is when we forgive others that we are able to have a closer walk with God. Today I leave as a changed child of God and I will forgive all those who hurt me. I thank God and the NCEASL staff for releasing me from my weakness.”
*Name has been changed.