A few years ago, a vision was birthed to reach out to their predominately Muslim neighbors by providing a summer day camp experience. Since that time, a small group of families has begun meeting in the Field Leader’s home to study the Word of God together!
This year, over 100 kids gathered in small groups for games, participated in activities, ranging from baking to music to sport to woodworking to dance, heard the gospel acted out in Bible stories that are based on the theme of “Frihet” (Freedom), ate lunch together, and were prayed over each day. At the end of the week, the kids performed for their parents all the songs, dances and dramas they had practiced and presented their art work in a gallery spread around the Slettheia School gym.
One of Inspiro’s staff, Emily Dorman, co-led a music activity. Below she shares some of the highlights of the week.
The music activity consisted of eight children from seven different mother tongues! The kids learned two songs, one in Norwegian and one in English, both on the camp’s theme of Freedom. All the kids got to play instruments, and most of them sang. On the last day of camp, they did a great job performing the songs they had learned for their families. It was quite an accomplishment from the chaos of day one! Having a song in Norwegian was important so that all the kids and the parents could understand the message of the freedom that Jesus gives (the theme of the camp and of the songs).
While I led the singers, my co-leader was in charge of the instrumentalists. On day one, there were two older boys who were very disruptive, so she took them out of the class and worked one on one with them to learn to play an instrument for the songs. Over the course of the week, we saw a real transformation in the oldest boy, *Abdul. He went from this disruptive kid who didn't want to be there, to opening up to my co-leader about being bullied for wanting to sing. He took seriously his task to learn the bass guitar to play on the two songs on Friday. We prayed for Abdul all week, and it was amazing to watch God work!
I also re-wrote, for kids, a tool that Inspiro uses called the "Heart Music Questionnaire" and led the kids through it. Hostility is a problem between some of the kids, as they come from so many ethnicities. So, the heart music questionnaire:
- Teaches kids what heart music is. The youngest totally got: He defined it like, "Music that speaks to my heart."
- Helps them figure out their own heart music. A Chinese boy chose "Central Asian Traditional Music" and had me play a quiet, soothing song with an Asian flute, and said, "That’s what my mom plays for me to go to sleep!"
- Helps them learn to appreciate the differences of those around them.
On Saturday following the camp, we invited the families to a picnic. Though the turnout was low and the weather rainy, the conversations with the families present were good, and we are aware that 2-3 children raised their hands that they wanted to receive Christ during a time of sharing and prayer at the end of the picnic!
One last highlight I'll mention was the prayer room. Each activity group had a 'required' time in the prayer room and used a large map to pray over their country: children would write a prayer (or something about their country of origin) on a paper heart and attach it to the map, so there were loads of strings showing the countries they are from. The prayer room dynamic is one of those unique-to-OM-things, and was effective as a space to minister and chat with kids who were having a hard time. It was available to any child who wanted prayer at any time, and there were a number of kids who went in prayer. One child asked the prayer room facilitator not to tell their friends they were asking for prayer, because they are Muslim but want to pray to Jesus!
One of the campers at Saturday's picnic
One of the campers in the prayer room