This “summer” promises to be our most exciting yet, full of new activities and new participants! During the months of December and January, we could really use your prayers for safety, fun, and open hearts and minds. Here’s a rundown of where we’re headed:
El trópico – Just 2 hours from the high and dry city of Cochabamba lies the Amazon basin, full of tumbling rivers, muddy roads, and mosquitos. So exotic! After much pestering and whining and pleading from the boys, we are going back, and will be taking a total of about 25 of the oldest boys whitewater rafting, backpacking, and rappeling. We will also be focusing a lot of our time on a temporary high ropes course to work on trust, teamwork and strategy. We have also acquired topographical maps of the region and will be working on orienteering and goal setting. Please pray in particular for safe roads, “less” rain, and safety. I’ve also bumped up a few younger boys into these groups so pray for their integration.
Lake Corani – On the road to the tropics lies Lake Corani, with a climate very similar to the Pacific Northwest. Fundación Aventura has gone in with Camp Kewina to purchase three inflatable rafts that are vestiges of the German military for use on the lake, and with them we will be able to work on teamwork, conquering the fear of deep water, endurance, as well as some activities involving orienteering. In addition, we will be doing some rock climbing and a few activities on our portable ropes course, taking advantage of the trees ringing the lake. Please pray for sunny days on the lake for our youngest group of guys! In particular, I need some rain-free moments at the end of each day for debriefing.
Lake Angostura – This reservoir is the main water source for Cochabamba’s agriculture, and has proven to be a fun (and relatively sunny) place to do water sports close to town. We will be taking one group from the BLC as well as all three groups from Casa de Amistad and Fundación Esperanza. In addition to the boating activities, there is a rock quarry on one side of the lake perfect for rock climbing, and a band of trees that we can use for our temporary ropes course. Once the young men and women master how to maneuver the boat as a team, they will compete in a kind of treasure hunt/race using their mapping skills. This will be the first outdoor camping experience for the majority of these campers, so pray for a great first time and for open hearts and minds as we begin to work with them on the issues associated with living in orphanages, on the street and in jails. Storms at this lake tend to blow over quickly but involve lightning, so please pray for clear skies while we’re on the water.
- God willing, we will also be taking the truck up into the mountains above the city for some short 1-2 day excursions to do some fishing, hiking and kayaking on the high mountain lakes nestled between the peaks. It’s spectacular scenery and has a very untainted wilderness feel to it, but at 15,000ft storms come up suddenly. We will probably organize these trips as rewards for well-behaving students with good grades. Please pray for at least a few sunnier days in the middle of rainy season!
- I am currently exploring the possibility of taking up to 5 guys on an 8-day adventure trip organized by a friend here in Cochabamba, as a means of testing their mettle and giving them some more focused training in the alpine environment. The guys I take would be ones that have proven their capacity for leadership and shown themselves to be responsible, helpful and willing to help out with younger campers. This would be a next step in developing a core team of helpers for the Foundation. Please join me in praying about this possibility, and for the boys we’d be chosing.
Throughout the summer months, we’ll be working a lot on perspectives and attitudes, goal setting and personal growth, teamwork, communication and decisionmaking, and as always working in a solid mix of devotionals to help the guys grow in their relationship with God and learn to depend on him as they conquer fears and overcome obstacles. I am also blessed to have some great volunteers, including Jans, who will be shadowing me the whole month of December to learn techniques and strategies for reaching youth in Colombia. And God is such a provider! The truck I bought a few months ago is going to be an integral tool for all of the camps in transporting both people and equipment, and these rafts we are purchasing greatly expand the variety of activities we can do closer to home and at zero cost. I’m very excited to put all this to use! Thank you so much to our supporters for your generosity this year! It is paying dividends.