Carnival Retreat

Carnival is a feast very close related to Catholicism. It always happens 40 days before Easter (Lent). It is supposed to be a festive occasion with lots of laughter, good humor, happiness, all-day-party and parades in funny customs and masquerades. The truth is that the word “Carnival” means “farewell to the flesh” and generally it is a time for excessive and unrestrained of one own’s appetites and desires.

camp logo 2017It is during these days that our church has its Annual Carnival Retreat. I strongly feel a burden to organize and make this camp to happen because it is an opportunity for lots of youth to get away from town where all this ruckus is going on.

For many years we had the youth come the first two days and the adults/children would join us for the last two days. This created a sentiment of “invasion” on the youth and an “out-of-place” feeling on the rest. So, this year we decided to start all together and be prepared with activities for all ages; ultimately “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try it” (Seth Godin).CARNIVAL RETREAT

In our evaluation meeting we identified some of our high and lows points, but were happy and very thankful to the Lord for every one that came and heard the message from the Word of God about JESUS, THE ONLY HOPE.

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 5:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Marking the Course

Our winter break camp this year was called “Marking the course, The compass for the young Christian”. Clever Moron, my student, friend and brother in Christ gave 4 messages about why and how any Christian should walked by the path marked by God. We made food for 100 people. Days were cold and humid, but the kids participated in all the activities with enthusiasm. All the work done and the effort and energy put into it were all worth.

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Enjoy the Facebook Album 

 

Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gentle Rock

sea_tide_rockThe Award Program in Deerfoot offers 11 instructional areas where campers and staff can earn Basic, Advance and Master’s awards. After earning the Honor D, that is six Masters awards and demonstrating outstanding Christian character and leadership ability; a camper or staff is qualified to be part of the Lone Eagle Fellowship. The approved candidate climbs the Dug mountain where he must spend the night alone with God and choose an Indian-type of name with spiritual meaning to be announced at a ceremony before the entire camp and visitors.

Chief Chuck’s chosen name was Gentle Rock. This strange combination of words is a figure of speech known as “oxymoron” where two incongruous and contradictory terms appear together. Is there such thing as an open secret, a harmonious discord or cruel kindness?  It sure makes anyone to stop and think. How can a rock, that immobile solid mass of stone, be soft and tender?

Chuck is a bold, straightforward man with strong convictions; properly complying with the “rock” part of his Lone Eagle name. The challenging part, for most of us, is to be honest without being harsh and to deal justly and be merciful. The Christian life is about showing the nature of God and the perfect example and equilibrium is in the Lord Jesus himself who came in the flesh, dwelt among us, showed us his glory and was full of GRACE and TRUTH. (John 1:14). Grace is unmerited kindness towards undeserving sinners. Truth is the God-pleasing standard of what is good and right. Grace without truth is shallow and sentimental. Truth without grace is harsh and legalistic.

Let us all be solid and strong as a rock and gentle and softhearted as needed. Let us pray and strive to live in the constant exercise of grace and truth.

Chuck visiting me in Bolivia in 2000.  Camiri Campground.

Chuck visiting me in Bolivia in 2000.
Camiri Campground.

Chuck is the author of “In Partnership With God” blog.

Published in: on November 20, 2014 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hobo Dinner and Smores

Back in 1990, on my way to my first summer camp experience at Deerfoot Lodge, a college friend and I spent one night in the camp Directors’ home, Charles and Sally Jo Gieser. I don’t remember how and why, but I found myself taking a walk with Chuck (and dog) in what I suppose it is Highland road in the town of Greenville, NY. He had interviewed me months earlier, but during this walk, I was having my first real conversation with him.  We must have talked about different things, mostly camp subjects, I guess. But, what is it that I remember the most and vividly? His explanation of what it is a Hobo dinner and the procedure of making smores.

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smores

Those one-on-one conversations and walks are a long-established DL tradition. Over the years I had my customary walk with him at the end of the summer and some others as opportunities came.  Chief Chuck, as everybody calls him at camp, is an excellent storyteller, but above all, he is a man of God with so much to teach, share, give and inspire. I never had too much of those one-on-ones.

Today, those conversations have taken another form: “email-to-email” communication, chat, discussions, etc. But I continue to benefit from his knowledge, advice, rebuke, insight, experience, and constant words of encouragement.

In talking about hobo dinner and smores, Chuck Gieser taught me one of the most valuable lessons in my life; that apparently meaningless subjects of conversation build bridges and can lead to significant, enduring and rewarding relationships. When you give time to somebody, it is never a waste of time.

Chief Chuck and I back in 1992

Chief Chuck and I back in 1992

Published in: on November 13, 2014 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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CYBER LIFE CAMP

DSC_0112Our brother Hugo Acosta shared the Word of God with the youth at our “Cyber Life Camp” during the two-week winter break. Hugo studied High School at the Christian School. He is now a Computer Engineer with specialization in Entrepreneurship and in IT Security. He works as a computer consultant in a private company, teaches at the Bethesda University and is also Director/Representative of Mozilla in Bolivia. Hugo is a young adult who has a lot of technology information and experience, but above all, a solid Christian faith. We were blessed to have him with us and connect with the 60 teenage campers who needed to learn the proper use of the social networks, its dangers and the Good News of Salvation.

Camp Bible verses:  “Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

See the whole album of this event in facebook: Here.

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Published in: on July 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Probado y Aprobado Camp

LOGO PROBADO Y APROBADODuring the school two-week Winter break we had our camp (July 14th-18th). For the Camiri youth group was the first one ever to be held in the city of Santa Cruz! We had been invited by churches in Santa Cruz to their camps before, but this one was ours. 90% of the attendants were students, alumni or staff from the Christian School. Probado y Aprobado (Tested and Approved) was based on the life of Joseph divided in four sections: in his home, in Potiphar’s house, in prison and finally in the Palace as second to Pharaoh. They memorized many verses among which was James 1:12. The years of the life of Joseph are 17-13-80; seventeen years at home, thirteen years as slave and eighty years as Prime Minister of Egypt, the latter being the longest: “For the suffering of this time, while very small and swift, prepares us great glory without limits for the eternity of eternities.” (Aramic Bible in Plain English 2010).

 

See pictures in facebook: here

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 8:46 am  Comments (1)  
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La Hacienda

La Hacienda, the ranch, was the camp held during the first week of the Christian School’s two-week Winter break. We invited Luis Benavidez, a brother from Argentina who studied at the Word of Life Institute to present the Gospel and 20 kids made profession of faith. The activities featured Bolivian cowboy style life. We took a short trip with the 86 participants to Ipati de Ivo, a small community in the countryside where we enjoyed Churrasco, the South American cowboy old method of barbecuing beef, and kids learned how to make “masitas” (traditional pastries). Many of us milked a cow for the first time.

See more than 100 pics in Facebook (here).

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 6:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Expedition 24/7

Again, the number of campers exceeded our expectations and all together we were 110 people. I provided physical and spiritual food, that is I was the cook and the preacher. And again close to 80% of attendants were from the Christian School. And again and again we saw the hand of the Lord in providing for scholarship and sponsorship to cover the real cost of the camp. Again the program of activities was intense with many new dynamics and ventures. Again I am thankful for the group of leaders the Lord has raised to make this and many other church ministries happen, each of them were my 4th grade student at some point and it is a great joy to see them serving the Lord. Again during those days I said “this is my last time doing all this” but I am already looking forward and planning in my head the next one!

See more pictures in my facebook album.

Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 5:53 am  Comments (2)  
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