From the 14th to the 19th of December 2023 12 coworkers accompanied by a mixture of 33 youths between the ages of 11 and 17 years old from the congregations of St. Martini, Vasco, Rondevlei, Phillipi, Bellville, and Stellenbosch where at a youth camp. Our beautiful campsite “Kijk in die Pot” was near Stellenbosch. The theme for the camp was “Harvesting Hope” and held in the three languages represented by the congregations- English, Afrikaans and German.

As our campsite was relatively close to several congregations, pastors and church members from Belleville, Stellenbosch and the Catholic Church conducted several events on our program. Honorary guests from the Phillipi and Strand Street congregations joined in a Sunday programme. During this time the teenagers had the opportunity to express their opinions about “church”. We discovered how the teens viewed “church and congregation” They are needing a transparent, human, congregation with an open heart.

Together we prayed, sang, learned from each other, played games, decorated candles, made table runners, went on a hike, discussed, and shared opinions.

As a gift for each of the participating congregations we made a white altar cloth where the 3 languages – English, Afrikaans and German are represented as well as 33 footprint and fingerprints with the symbols of the cross, heart and anchor – Glaube, Liebe, Hoop.

Over the 5 days we developed into a closely knitted team were very body returned home tired and happy with many new friendships that have been forged.

A big thanks to Mario, Annemarie and their team for making sure that we ate like kings.

Without the support from the CCW Bainskloof fund, the veggie donations from the Phillipi congregation and loads of other donations plus a team of co-workers that where just amazing we would not have been able to make this camp possible. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to you.

We are most certainly planning the next Camp of HOPE for 2024 please think about joining our team.

Leanne Göhring