Last summer we were able to organize a family camp again and it was probably our most interesting camp we’ve ever organized but God gave us an open door to run it.
At the beginning of the year, we had everything planned out, the camp location, lots of staff etc. but then everything fell apart when our country went into a lockdown. All our plans went up in the air and we weren’t sure how things were going to function in the summer, for example, if the hotels would even be open or if we would be able to meet together in the rented place. So for a very long period of time, we stopped all the promotion for the family camp. We had no idea how the restrictions would be in August.
Even so, we had people starting to contact us for the camp saying that they are willing to come.
This was a very interesting time as we were thinking that because of COVID, we would not have any participants, but actually, the opposite was happening and people were longing for relationships.
In the end, we had to say no to some families because of the regulations here in Romania and it was the first time that we had to close the registration list a lot earlier than usual. We wanted to be legal in everything we were doing and not put anyone at risk.
Encouraging and difficult family Camp
Despite all of this, looking back at the summer and the people that came to the camp, they were the right people and even though we still had some restrictions, God was able to work in people’s lives. This was so encouraging to see, even if it was the most difficult camp to organize logistically. We also had moments where we asked ourselves if we were doing the right thing and if we were crazy to run an event when a lot of other people had been closing their camps and events. Even a day before the camp started, we had a challenging decision to make whether to cancel or not when we heard one of the staff was possibly in contact with someone with covid. We had to send that staff member away and wait for the result of their test before they could come back and join us. We had to stop and pray and ask God how to continue and he gave us His peace.
We know this was the right time for these families to join us at this camp and it felt like a breath of fresh air having time to invest in the marriages and families and spend time in the presence of God together. We are thankful for the team that helped us lead this camp and taking the time to invest in other families.
The camp was really great! We were 15 families in total and we had a program each morning until lunch and then in the afternoon, the families had some challenges to do together as a family. One evening we had some games where the families had to go around to different stations. On our station, they had to tell stories to their kids about how they got married, how they proposed, what their honeymoon was like and the birth of their children. It was so beautiful and joyful to hear a story from each family and to see the reaction of their kids. On other stations, were games with water balloons and making a frame from a verse that they had received for their family. It was a very fun time.
We also organized a romantic evening where we prepared a beautiful gift and some snacks so that the couples could enjoy some quality time together. We created a jar with some notes that included a question or a challenge. They were questions and tasks to help make their spouse feel loved and appreciated.
One of the highlights was the parachute prayer where all the families came into the middle of the parachute one at a time to receive prayer and we also committed them to God. Many of them cried and really felt God’s presence there.
The small group times were also really amazing as people opened up, cried and there was the opportunity to pray for them. The presence of the Holy Spirit was moving hearts.
We were the characters, Levi and Lili, at the camp as we performed a puppet show each day during the family time. Adults and kids just loved us so much. It was interesting to see how well kids and adults listen when they see a puppet show. It was the first time we did this at the camp.
So it was a great camp! God’s protection was over us and the families hearts were all touched. When we had a debriefing time with the staff, we said we wanted to go and visit each family to continue to help them invest in their own family.
In the end, we are so thankful to Him that He was with us and that He was leading us in the whole process.
It doesn’t matter where you are, or the situation that you are facing, God is always with you and He can give you His ideas of doing things in different ways.
Benny and Daniela Simion
Benny and Daniela both did their DTS in Switzerland (different periods). They have worked with YWAM Medias for over 12 years and have led Family Ministries in Romania for several years. They have a heart for the young generation and for the nations, and their vision is to build a bridge between people from different nations and generations.