By Christy Kihm
Oftentimes youth camps or conventions can be mountain-top experiences. The inaugural Three Worlds (3W) North Italian Youth Camp was literally just that, thanks to its location in the Dolomite Mountains that make up part of the Italian Alps. Forty-two youth from four congregations converged on the tiny town of Rabbi in early July. Daniel and I were privileged to walk alongside the planning team over the past year as they prepared and dreamed about what this camp would look like. Let me tell you some of the most impressive moments along the way.
1) This was a multi-denominational/movement effort to reach out to the youth in this region of Italy. We were very encouraged that this team of leaders were so careful to preserve the unity of this group and enjoy the benefit of time together. They focused on the things that we all have in common as Christians and on pouring into the young people.
2) They haven’t just been planning a camp over the past twelve months; they have been building a youth network from the ground up! Marcos Lovaglio and his team have connected small youth groups in the region and started monthly gatherings in the four months leading up to camp. These meetings laid the foundation for deep spiritual teaching and discipleship during the camp. By the time the week of camp rolled around, the youth and leaders were familiar with each other and had an understanding of what the focus would be of their time together.
3) It was utterly refreshing and encouraging to be around so many young people genuinely desiring a deeper relationship with Christ! The Spirit was definitely present and we rejoice that six youth gave their lives to Christ at camp!
Please keep these youth in your prayers as they go back to tough home lives, being an extreme minority as believers, and face the typical struggles of the teenage years. They’re great kids and we are so excited to see what plans God has for them! Please also keep the youth leaders in your prayers. The week of camp was invigorating and encouraging to them, and they worked so hard to make it a great experience for all of the youth and young adults. We praise God for this healthy emerging youth network and pray his guidance and protection over it! What a blessing to see the beauty of God’s grace and unity while staying among his awesome creation!
We are currently seeking supporters to help with the dreams of this youth network and expenses and scholarships for the camp next year. Please pray about partnering with the Italy 3W Expansion project (# 42.40539).
Read Daniel Kihm’s blog post about the historic experience at http://kihms3w.blogspot.com/2016/07/inaugural-3w-northern-italy-youth-camp.html. Christy and Daniel Kihm serve as missionaries for Global Strategy to the Netherlands. Learn more about Global Strategy at www.chogglobal.org.