By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
Have you ever thought about participating in international missions? Well, here is your chance and you do not even have to leave the state in order to do so.
On July 15, 50 South Korean students (fourth through eighth grade) will arrive in central Louisiana for the start of the annual Camp USA. And more than eight host homes are needed to house the students and their chaperones.
A partnership of REACH Missions and the Korea Baptist Church Development Board, the camp will involve 25 churches in three Baptist associations. The children will participate in a Vacation Bible School at Alpine First Baptist Church and spend the afternoons participating in activities such as swimming, skating, English classes and fishing at area churches.
After a week in central Louisiana, the campers will depart for southeast Louisiana (Ponchatoula area) where they will spend the remainder of their time.
While there, the South Korean youth will participate with American children in a music day camp at First Baptist Church of Ponchatoula. The combined 90-voice choir will present Kidz Under Construction at 6:30 pm July 31 at First Baptist Ponchatoula.
Tim Hisaw, pastor of Tioga First Baptist Church, said while the campers learn about Christ and American culture during their two-and-a-half week stay in America, working with the South Korean youth come away from the experienced blessed.
“It is a great opportunity to do international missions without ever leaving your own hometown,” Hisaw said. “For those who work with them it truly broadens their world.”
David Cranford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, added that Camp USA is a truly missions experience unlike any other of which he is aware.
“It’s a blessing to see the unifying power of the Holy Spirit as believers from different cultures and continents come together to tell of and spread Jesus’ love,” Cranford said. “Every year, this camp makes a real difference in the lives of Korean and American children. Some hear of Jesus for the first time and confess Him as Lord and Savior. Others become keenly aware of different cultures and countries who need to hear of Jesus.”
Host homes must be able to provide beds for two students of the same sex, breakfast and dinner, and provide basic child care as the children return to their host homes at night.