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Aug26FriBlessings, encouragement and commitments to Christ abound at recent Hispanic family camp August 26, 2011 by Julia Hosking
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- Territorial News
The Salvation Army Jackson's Point campsite, Ont., recently hosted an Army provincial first when more than 70 people gathered for a Hispanic family camp. From Sunday, July 31 to Friday, August 5, activities were enjoyed and the message of God was preached in Spanish.
As a refugee to Canada once himself, Auxiliary-Captain Fabio Correa, associate corps officer—Spanish ministries and community and family services director, Yorkminster Citadel, Toronto, understands the difficulties of arriving in a foreign country that speaks an unknown language.
“Last year, I was a guest speaker in Montréal at their Hispanic family camp and I felt God put it on my heart to have one for all the people in Toronto,” says Aux-Captain Correa, Hispanic family camp director. “At the same time, God was speaking to my corps officer, Major Len Ballantine, and Captain Steve White (divisional youth secretary, Ontario Central-East Division) about something similar. God started opening all the doors, and now the Ontario Hispanic family camp was a reality.”
“Community is especially important to new Canadians,” notes Major Ballantine. “The camping environment at Jackson's Point is ideal for a family-oriented program.”
The Bible teaching at the camp centred on the story of Joshua crossing the Jordan River with the children of Israel. Lessons were adapted to the various ages, with children aged three to six cared for by Jackson's Point staff, Aux-Captain Angelica Correa adapted lessons for ages seven to 12 and youth enjoyed teaching in a pleasant outdoor location under the direction of Johnny Valencia. Adult sermons were delivered by Aux-Captain Correa and Majors Shane and Pauline Gruer-Caulfield.
“There was a complete emersion into the language and family life of the people,” says Major Ballantine. “When communicating the gospel, language is everything and being able to provide a totally Spanish experience was absolutely essential to providing the best end result, that being, a clear understanding of the person and purpose of Jesus Christ.”
The Battle of Jericho was the culminating point of the teaching and all campers engaged in a gigantic sponge war as a fun way of responding to the story. Camp delegates participated in other activities, such as sport, crafts and water games. The delegates were split into four teams, each with their own colour, war cry and mascot. This was to encourage team spirit and teams earned points for activities with prizes awarded on the final day.
“The delegates loved the activities, worship and team events. There were smiles, laughter and great moments of complete abandonment throughout the week,” comments Major Ballantine. “This was balanced by a willingness to worship, pray and focus on a spiritual level.”
“It was a wonderful camp,” adds Aux-Captain Correa. “We invited many people to the camp who previously didn't know Jesus and are now a part of our church or other churches in Ontario. One woman shared her testimony at Yorkminster on the Sunday after the camp. She was a client from the food bank and on the second day, after the sermon, she asked for Jesus. She said, 'I need what you have.' And now she is a totally different woman.
“It was an encouraging story for the Canadian people at church to hear. I believe God has something to say to the Spanish people and he blessed us so much at the camp. We had fun and many people were touched by the Holy Spirit.”