They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness. – Psalm 145:6
On January 7th, a team of 21 left from Dulles Airport bound for Brazil to serve alongside Open Arms missionaries and volunteers at our 5th annual Open Arms Kids Camp. It was really three missions in one.
Part 1 was a youth camp for young people who have grown up in Open Arms and are now serving as volunteers. Great worship, devotional messages, and small group leader training were capped off with sharing in the Lord’s Table together on the closing night. Even a classic Brazilian downpour didn’t quench the spirit of fellowship.
Part 2 kicked off with the arrival of the children from our many neighborhood ministries. Bus after bus dropped off nearly 300 children for three days of sleepover camp. Of course there wasn’t much sleep, but there were games and crafts, there was plenty of good food, there was Spirit filled worship, there was powerful Bible teaching, testimonies, and drama, there were tears, there was forgiveness, there was healing, and there was salvation. Roughly 50 young people stepped forward to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and King. God did wonderful things, the repercussions of which will be felt through eternity.
For part 3 of our mission, we took our team of 12 missionaries away for the first ever Open Arms missionary retreat. For three days these servants, who give themselves away all year round, were served, pampered, encouraged, and ministered to in the Word.
We’d love for you to hear directly from some of the team who participated,
“It was amazing how everyone instantly accepted everyone regardless of nationality and background. It was beautiful seeing and experiencing God’s love firsthand.”
“Every year it always amazes me how easy it is to connect with the kids without being able to talk, but through smiles, hugs, and play! I see the relationships the missionaries have with them, how the volunteers care for them, and what an impact the love of Jesus is making in their lives.”
“One of the blessings of returning year after year is the relationships you develop with the volunteers. Youth camp is an opportunity to spend time with them and have fun, but you also get opportunities to go deeper. I was able to spend some time with a group of girls I’ve built a relationship with over the years. We talked about their walk with the Lord and what growing in their love & knowledge of Him looks like. I cannot change their situations, but I can point them to the One who can change their hearts.”
“What a gift to be able to join the missionaries for a time of rest, reflection, and worship. Hearing their testimonies, praying for their ministries, and learning what we can do to support them was a blessing to us and I know to them as well. We thank God for this gift of time together!”
“Our final evening of praise, prayer, and washing the missionaries feet was the most humbling experience of my life. If that was a small taste of what heaven will be like, I can’t wait!”