I got the opportunity to attend and participate in the children’s Annual Camp 2021 for the second time; to me, this was a privilege. The day before setting off to Wells of Hope Junior l had a dream that l was going to be a counselor. In the dream, my Campers were so disappointing during rotations. However, when the actual day for going to the Junior School reached, I was a bit worried, but as the lead preacher for the camp brainstormed the camp theme “ How To Tame Your Dragons” (which was about how to tame thoughts), my joy was restored and all the worries I had vanished.
Being a counselor has taught me to be more responsible to others; how to be a mother; how to learn how to settle children disputes; listen to their complaints, mistakes; and I also got to know what happens in the various classes.
In the creation class, I loved how children shared their testimonies and life experiences; how life was hard before they joined Wells of Hope. Some children shared how they were found when they had dropped out of school and were hopeless after the imprisonment of their parents. The facilitator encouraged them that God knew them before, that they were chosen from many children in their communities and that God has a purpose for them. They were encouraged to always show the image of God wherever they go because they are ambassadors of God.
In the chapel, I learnt a couple of thoughts that all humans face; these were commonly referred to as DRAGONS and these included: deadness, isolation, self-harm, powerlessness, drama queen, bully, sadness, anxiety, rage and worthless. What amazed me was that children knew ways of how to overcome these dragons like being positive, reading the bible, preaching the gospel, praying, fasting holding each others burdens and being patient.
The Health class was one of the rotations. The facilitators shared about the topics of HIV and AIDs and Purity. I was so touched when they shared that 3 billion people globally are affected with HIV and AIDs. I learnt that the power to stop and prevent this is in my hands because l have the power and authority; I learnt that no one understands my life better than myself and no one should take advantage of me. My campers and I were encouraged to remain pure before marriage and to keep our minds pure. Some of our takeaways were the “GIGO” which stands for Garbage In Garbage Out and the chorus for the song about Purity had the following lyrics:
“I will guard my mind against bad thinking…
I will stand for purity
I will choose to keep myself pure
I will guard my mind against wrong thoughts
Say No to SEX before Marriage”
In the What About It class, I was really amazed when one of my campers shared how Wells of Hope Ministries helped her by providing her with free education, clothes, how the organisation supports their parents in prison and how the organization is helping them reach their goals. When the facilitator shared about forgiveness l was reminded that no one is perfect. I was learnt that forgiveness brings healing and that I should always ask for forgiveness when I wrong others. I learnt that when I pray for forgiveness, I should pray that God softens his or her heart.
My major highlights during the week included: my evaluation by the children and the farewell song by the children. At the Camp fire after handing the children certificates, they evaluated me. I felt happy as the children shared how l treated them because this showed that we had grown closer; and that we can freely chat with one another.
On the last day of camp, the children bid the facilitators farewell through a song, which is referred to as the Wells of Hope Farewell song. Here are the lyrics:
You are leaving…
Will you write a letter to us….”
This reminded me of how I and my friends used to sing for student teachers in primary they were going back to their universities or colleges after their internship or apprenticeship.
As I was leaving the girls dormitory and heading for the bus, my campers came running after me and gave me hug with wide smiles on their faces. As we exchanged hugs, I promised them that I will not take long without checking on them.
Gloria Nakangu, Assistant Programs Coordinator