Australia’s beauty is magnetic, attracting people from around the world. The Christian Venues Association’s (CVA is the Australian member of CCI) national conference, Connect 14, also attracted people from throughout the Asia Pacific area. Representatives from Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh attended along with guests from Kenya, New Zealand and the United States.
During the conference there were several international presentations. Australia has been very generous in supporting camp work in various parts of the region, and several guests expressed their gratitude for the support provided by CVA members.
In response to the tragic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, leaders of Australian camp sites (through CVA) provided over $14,000 to CCI-Japan. This money is being used, in part, to provide Christian camp experiences for children displaced by the crisis.
Philippines shared about the recent typhoon that had smashed through their country. One camp was in need of a chainsaw to clear the many downed trees and limbs that had damaged some building but not injured any staff or guests. Within 24 hours funds were provided to buy two chainsaws, with money left over.
We saw a presentation showing hundreds of children in Bangladesh singing songs, playing games, and hearing Bible stories. They were experiencing camp due to the generosity of people in Australia.
A Kenyan representative explained how Christian camps are helping develop the next generation of African leaders.
After the Australian conference, the international visitors stayed for two days of community building, planning, and prayer. Each nation left with plans for growth and the commitment to use Christian camping more effectively to share the gospel in their country.
One participant learned of CCI by meeting a leader of CCI-Ukraine while at a conference in Thailand. God allowed CCI to connect the dots using people from around the globe.
There is much to do in the Asia Pacific region, but God is at work. New Zealand is working hand-in-hand with Australia to help grow Christian camping in India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Japan, and throughout the region. These are exciting times, and I am thrilled to see God working in the Asia Pacific area.