May 7-11, 2012 Youth Camp
More than 150 people attended the five day youth camp in Gumitan, Marilog district in Davao City facilitated by Kalayag. Most of the youth participants belong to the Matigsalug tribe living in different remote mountain villages in Bukidnon and Davao. While most trekked to the campsite, representatives from Bukidnon rafted 12 hours to get to the gathering. “Amazing !” Joey Palma, a Filipino pastor from the US is awed by the determination of the participants. He shook his head as he watch the exuberant newcomers, many drench from the river journey disembarked from the bamboo rafts.
Visitors were inspired by the resolve they saw among the participants. “They gave everything they have,” said volunteer nurse Roxanne Apura who describing her experience as “life changing.” She helped with the registration of the campers. She saw 17-year old Martin Anib paid his camp fee with a bunch of coins totalling eighty-nine pesos (roughly $2). His father gave away a year’s savings so his son could attend this once a year camp. Campers who do not have the money brought food provisions instead; chickens, vegetables and lots of sweet potatoes augmenting the camp’s food supply. Kind-hearted individuals donated coffee, sacks of rice, two pigs and two goats! God is good.
With the theme: ‘Last Days Harvesters,’ the goal for this year’s get together is to inspire, build up and train the youth to be responsible in reaching out to their communities. Kalayag sponsored students took the lead with the program and workshop activities designed for the youth to surrender their lives to God and reach out to others. The camp was dump with rain causing the makeshift amphitheater muddy. However there was no feeling of discomfort. The rain added to the fun and laughter in the camp. One night the generator broke down plunging the camp in darkness. The joyous singing and dancing did not stop with only a guitar and several flashlights leading the jubilant kids.
Pastor Joey Palma who spoke during the gathering was thrilled of the experience. “I had the best experience of a lifetime, learning love, the simplicity of life, learning about priorities and a yearning to reach out.”
In the end more than 100 youth presented themselves for water baptism to symbolize their renewed lives and commitment to God.
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