Would you be interested in being one of a team of volunteer helpers at our young people's summer camps in Albania in August 2017? AEM missionaries have organised camps on the coast of southern Albania for a number of years. More recently these have developed to serve three main purposes:
The ‘English’ camps have become an ideal opportunity to reach teenagers with the gospel message. They are attended by school age young people, roughly between 11 and 17, whose main motivation is to improve their knowledge of the English language. In Albania this age group remains open and receptive to Christian truth and they appear to have no qualms about attending a Christian camp. Most of those who come would have no previous connections with any church. In recent years, two separate weeks have been allocated to ‘English’ camps and invariably attendance exceeds 100.
Evangelistic camps for teens and twenties developed out of a need of opportunities for fellowship and ministry amongst young Albanian believers. While continuing to serve this function, a second strand was to encourage believers to invite their non-Christian friends to spend a holiday week in an overtly Christian environment. The numbers responding to this opportunity have tended to be large.
Family camps for Christian families to encourage and provide opportunities for ministry. Recent experience tends to suggest that these camps also have great evangelistic value.
There is no template for camp volunteers. Though most tend to be in their twenties and thirties this isn’t a requirement and valuable work has been done by helpers in their forties and fifties. An ability to cope with the very basic sanitation and comfort level of an Albanian campsite is desirable but the living conditions have presented few obstacles to determined individuals in the past. The main requirement is to be a native English speaker (for the ‘English’ camps) and a Christian. Those who can bring some sporting or musical talent to the camp are especially welcome but enthusiasm and energy carry the most weight. Flexibility and a willingness to respond to needs as they arise are perhaps the real characteristic of our best volunteers. It is likely, though, that you will be asked to contribute to the following:
- Caring for and supervising young people in an environment which is as strange to them as it will certainly be to you. There is plenty of guidance and support to hand from experienced missionaries and youth workers.
- Practical tasks to support the domestic running of the camp. The camp enjoys the services of cooking and caretaking staff but you will make your contribution to the daily routines and encourage the young people as they make theirs.
- Teaching in small groups with a focus on introducing Biblical Christianity to young people who may have no previous experience of it. The language medium is English and your work with a group will encourage their language skills.
- Organising games and sports activities, team competitions and entertainments.
- Giving a talk or a testimony; perhaps introducing or performing a song in the evening activity.
- Talking to and befriending young people who tend by nature to be outgoing, friendly and at ease with adults.
It is important to know that you are not alone in anything we ask you to do. Volunteer teams work together and enjoy the very capable support of Albanian leaders and missionaries who organise and lead the whole week. We meet daily for prayer and for discussion and training as necessary.
As part of our policy on safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults we will ask for appropriate references and require volunteers from the UK to provide DBS certification.
Thinking about joining us? We'd be glad to hear from you!
Contact Paul Davies (01359 408431 or email email@example.com) to register your interest and/or request further information.