From my perspective this summer at Alpinis was ‘intense and rewarding’. A small detail from one early morning camp day at Alpinis captured for me what camps should be about. It was before 7:00 AM when going to get wood for hot water I noticed a girl sitting down at one of the tables with a Bible. When I returned for the second load of wood she was no longer there but there was something on the table – she wrote with little stones “I love you God”. That made my week…
An update could not contain the stories and experiences of nine camps, but I will share some highlights as a way of expressing gratitude to God for his protection and impact through the camps and to you all as co-workers through support, prayer and direct involvement in the camps for making it happen.
Starting with June 26 we hosted seven camps at Alpinis – one of those being a two weeks camp – and we led two Alpinis Outdoor Challenge (AOC) adventure camps:
– June 26-29 – children from Poplaca, Sibiu, with Joe and Nina Jenks;
– July 1-6 – children and youth from LupeniChurch and Children Home; the camp was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Kinschner from Ashville, NC;
– July 15-20 – youth from Fetesti area, the camp was sponsored by Zionsville Presbyterian Church, IN
– July 22-27 – youth from Campeni area and a team from Grace Church, Normal, IL who also sponsored the camp.
– July 29 – August 3 – youth from Giurgiu, the camp was sponsored by Zionsville Presbyterian Church, IN.
– August 5-10 – the girls from Deborah House and a team from Mt. Bethel UMC, Atlanta, GA who sponsored the camp
– August 11-17 – the girls from Deborah House (second week of camp).
– August 19-24 – youth from SibiuBrethrenChurch.
– August 6-11 – AOC camp with youth group from Cluj.
– August 27 – September 1 – AOC camp with youth from different parts.
I was very encouraged to see the impact camps had on every group of youth and leaders as well.
All camps included games, activities, Bible studies and hikes. One of the highlights was the new adventure park near Alpinis – ArkaPark – a suspended obstacle course which besides being a challenge for campers also provided a good life lesson on trust and security.
We take the youth on short (1-2hrs) – medium (4-5hrs) – and long (10-12hrs) hikes. Only one of the groups (Giurgiu) did the long hike this year and they were impressed by the peak climb and the Iezer glacier lake.
We had two US teams this year doing two of the camps:
The first was the group from Grace Church, Normal, IL who led the camp with the youth from Campeni area (western mountains). Th
e theme of the camp was around John 3:16. A report by one of the US youth – Lindsay Morr – captures the experience
The second team was from Mt. Bethel UMC in Marietta, GA. The group sponsored and lead the Deborah girls on their first week of camp.very well (the letter is attached).
We had two Alpinis Outdoor Challenge backpacking camps this summer in the Retezat Mountains: August 6-11, with a group of eleven youth from Cluj; and August 27 – September 1 with a group from Timisoara area. In May we were invited to Novi Sad in Serbia with one of the guides to share with a group of youth leaders about outdoor camping. In 2014 we are planning to start training together with other leaders from the Balkans as we continue the partnership with Wilderness Ministry Institute, CO.
In May and October we hosted six groups of church leaders who are part of MLI’s Church Based Leadership Development Program. Pray with us as we now plan for ski and snowboard camps in the winter.
Dining hall and kitchen improvement.
With the support of Carl and Lois Rosenberry, Toledo, OH we changed the tables at Alpinis to round tables and made a small ‘guests’ kitchen’ area where guests have access to water, a sink, a small fridge. This made for a much better experience for all campers and guests at Alpinis. Thank you!
For accommodation we continue to rent a facility near Alpinis as we cannot host US teams and the camps at Alpinis. This also limits the number of campers as most groups limit their number to thirty knowing that we cannot host larger groups. We started planning for a second larger building, pray with us for this project to come through.
Please know we very much appreciate and continue to need your support and your prayers that God will continue His work through Alpinis. If you would like to get involved in this program please contact us!
Emil Toader, Alpinis Director
For pictures please go to: https://www.facebook.com/Alpinis.Outdoor.Challenge (open page)
Here are some impressions from campers and leaders from this summer:
This camp was a new chance for me spiritually. I sensed for a while that I was drifting away from God. The days I spent here surrounded by loving and faithful people had a healing effect on my soul. I always feel closer to God when I come here, it was GREAT! (Irina)
I really appreciated the Bible Study on the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ especially here on a mountain. Every word of this Scripture passage sank in and I rediscovered its significance. I also enjoyed Arka Park as I could test my strength and learn a life lesson as well. (Iulian)
This camp always renews my sense of joy. It is here that I came to Christ and it is here that my relation with Him was strengthened. I learned this year that ‘man’ is not the center but all things are possible through Christ. All we learned this week helped me to connect my daily life with God. (Anda)
I am for the first time at Alpinis and I would love to return every year. I learned here that I need to focus more on my relationship with God, to pray more and to love others. All games had a life application lesson which I liked very much. (Mihaela)
This was a week of fun and beauty. I learned many life lessons though games, Arka Park and the Bible studies. I learned to pray more and I made new friends. I liked the hike on the mountain although it was hard and tiring, I liked the views even more – I have never been on a mountain before. It was great! (Adelina)
This camp was beyond expectations. I was fascinated by the way games applied to my life situations. The food was excellent, and I will never forget the Arka Park experience. (Lidia)
I had a great time on this camp. I liked the Bible study, and the long hike was unforgettable. I did not think I would be able to do it, but tiredness vanished when I saw the Iezer lake and the Cindrel Peak. I hope to be back next year. (Daniel)
A great camp! It is unbelievable how a small villa in the mountains can bring one closer to heaven. It was perfect, fun and relaxing. (Diana)
In one week I did more things than I would do in a whole year: Bible sudy, Arka (adventure) Park, the long hike, new friends, team games, songs, great thoughts, good weather and an amazing view – all made for a very blessed week. I am glad I could experience all this to the max at Alpinis. (Iulia)