Sorry for such a long break since my last blog, being unemployed seems to take up a lot of time… I am sure you have all been waiting with baited breath for my blog about my time on Sports Camps in Macedonia and Jersey!
After completing two weeks training in Bobbio Pellice, Italy (see my previous blog about Ready Set Go for a discussion of this) the young leaders finally headed off to volunteer on Christian sports camps. Some of the team headed off to Portugal to work with a project called ‘Kids Games’ designed to bring the community together in a way that highlights Christian values, and then leads onto church groups. The rest of us headed to Macedonia, finally arriving at 2am.
I was excited to be heading to Macedonia as it would give me the chance to help at the first Christian sports camp ever to be held in the country, as well as experience a whole new culture. The camp had a morning meeting and an evening meeting, which involved a talk on an aspect of sport (diet, strength…) and how faith relates to it. The main difficulty in the camp was the language barrier. However the leaders and some of the children, especially the children of American missionaries, spoke English, and everything worked out in the end. It was really rewarding to see the young people come out of their shells through the week and begin to engage more with the leaders. Many of them came from orphanages and it was a privilege to see how sport gave them a chance to have fun and enjoy themselves when their situation made life very tough for them.
After a week in Macedonia, all of the RSG leaders reunited in Jersey for a week of volunteering on a Sports Plus camp. Sports Plus is the name given to the camps run in the UK by Christians in Sport – the idea is that they involve sport plus some teaching about the Christian Gospel. This involved a talk a day and a chance for the leaders to share how we came to Christ. The day ended with team challenge, a competition that ran through the week between different groups of the young people. The camp was really well run and the open environment allowed the young people to ask any question they had about faith and Christianity. My personal highlight of the whole month with RSG was when I was told my testimony about coming to Christ through an examination of the evidence had caused a young person to reconsider their rejection of faith! It was clear that the young people all really enjoyed the week and I always appreciate seeing how much fun sport brings to those who engage with it.
If you ever get the chance to volunteer on a sports camp, Christian or not, I would highly recommend it. It is a great experience and so much fun!