30 Oct Faces of Children of Hope: Word of Life Camp
I can do all things through him who strengthens me
Graduating from High School can be a difficult and stressful time for many teenagers. Looking back at that time as adults, we know that this can be a period of uncertainty, nerves and high expectations of oneself. Kids often get stuck in the mindset of what their next step must be instead of what they want it to be. In our homes, we give our kids the opportunity to lean into the uncertainty, trust God’s plan and grow from this space. They know that they will always have the support from all of our family.
To support our kids during this period of transition, we send all of our high school graduates to the Word of Life (WOL) camp. This program runs in approximately 70 countries, catering to our youth with career guidance, personal growth and professional skills grounded in faith and spirituality.
Finding Their Calling At Camp
The Word of Life ministry hosts international youth camps for future leaders to get in touch with their faith and learn valuable life skills that will empower them personally and professionally. In Kenya, there are two WOL camp locations (Mombasa and Nairobi) where we send our graduating kids. We’ve found this camp is incredibly helpful for the young adults in our home as they are entering a new chapter in their lives. Through bible studies, group discussions and team activities the three kids who have graduated from high school and attended the camp have entered their post-graduation lives with open, optimistic hearts. This year Freddy, future videographer, and Mercy, future air hostess, will be attending the camp upon completion of their end of the year exam. The grade obtained in this test determines the college or university that our kids will get the opportunity to attend once they’ve graduated from high school.
Daily Practice Makes Perfect
Once our kids have completed High School, they receive specialized career preparation. Through this three month camp, attendees get the opportunity to experience that learning happens by experiencing life and can also take place outside of the classroom. While in camp, they get to experience the following activities and more:
- Bible studies classes which continue strengthening faith and spirituality.
- Seminars which engage and encourage missionary work for how to be a good Christian and human.
- Entrepreneurship workshops where different business owners from the area come in and talk to the kids about professionalism and their careers.
- Youth issues and counselling sessions enable our kids to overcome limitations. They also learn how to equip themselves on how to help others with similar backgrounds.
- Many of our kids have an idea of what they’d like to study but through the career guidance and counselling workshops, they are able to get answers to any questions and alleviate any stress.
- Leadership and teamwork opportunities through team games and challenges.
Ever since our graduating kids started attending the WOL camp four years ago, we’ve received incredibly positive feedback from them about their experience and how beneficial it was for them during this period of transition. Whenever one of our kids returns from camp, it feels like they’ve truly grown up.
In 2015, Linda from our Kikuyu home was our first graduating kid to attend the WOL camp. Like many teenagers, Linda had some trouble listening. Something transformed during her time away; she returned with a different attitude and was able to overcome a roadblock she had created for herself pertaining to her future career in the medical field. We saw how much the camp helped Linda personally and professionally, which is what inspired us to provide this opportunity for the rest of our graduating kids. Today, Linda is pursuing her nursing degree and we’re incredibly proud of her accomplishments.
When our beloved Christine came back home from the camp, we also saw an incredible transformation in her. The camp helped her identify her strengths, focus on them and let go of the thoughts and ideas that were lowering her self esteem. WOL is not about grades and this helped Christine find her power and come back home as a stronger, independent young woman. Today, Christine is following her dreams and is enrolled at the Beauty Point College obtaining her credentials to work in the hair and beauty industry.
James had always been focused on his career and aspiration of becoming a Lawyer. After attending the camp, he came back more inspired than we’d ever seen him and focused on what he wanted to accomplish professionally. Even though James’ bible knowledge and faith have always been profound, WLC allowed him to access a different aspect of his faith where he got the chance to ask more questions about God and existence. We were also incredibly surprised to hear him recite 20 new bible verses upon his return.