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Laity Lodge Youth Camp Bringing Faith and Hope to Haitian Children Through Camp Experience

by Staff
June 22, 2010
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KERRVILLE, Texas, (christiansunite.com) -- This summer, Laity Lodge Youth Camp (LLYC) will reach the largest number of campers in its 44-year history. Of the 1700 total campers anticipated this summer, 400 campers will hear the message of Jesus in their own French Creole language 1,788 miles away at Jacob's Well Youth Camp near Limbe, Haiti, from July 4-10. Through a program named Outbound Haiti, this will be the first time LLYC is venturing beyond the borders of the United States to share the great news about God's extravagant love.

Outbound is a program of LLYC created for older youth campers and designed to reach destinations, cultures, and experiences beyond Texas' Frio Canyon, the LLYC home base. This summer, 24 high school campers and 13 staff will extend themselves as servant leaders to a remote village of children and teenagers in a beautiful mountain region of northern Haiti.

Ironically, this trip to Haiti has been in the developmental stages for two years, but January's earthquake only served to hasten LLYC's desire to minister to this country. For the past 10 years, LLYC has hosted a steady stream of Haitian campers on the H.E. Butt Foundation camp property near Leakey, Texas. Over those years, the organization developed strong relationships with families from Port-au-Prince. Two years ago, Gersan Valcin, a Port-au-Prince pastor, shared his vision for the development of the camp named Jacob's Well with Kevin Mayne, LLYC Executive Director.

"The LLYC mission in Haiti this summer is grand and adventurous and includes facilitating a four-day camp complete with activities, arts and crafts, worship, food, and a presentation of several powerful stories from the Gospels," explains Mayne. "Four hundred children are expected to descend on the lush, tropical 40 acres of Jacob's Well eager to play, make new friends, and escape the routine. Our hope is that they will be fed in multiple ways, both physically and spiritually, and that they may walk away from camp renewed, just like the campers back home in the Frio Canyon."

While on site in Haiti, the LLYC team also will participate in a variety of work projects such as the completion of a kitchen facility, the planting of mango trees for future harvesting, and the building of a camp entrance that would identify it as a sacred place. In April, Mayne and Angela Aadahl, LLYC Associate Director, visited Jacob's Well and in their words, "were filled with awe at what God is already doing there among the people in the local village." Mayne went on to say that Jacob's Well has the potential to be a place like Laity Lodge Youth Camp where lives are changed, people are renewed, and families are strengthened, and to contribute to the country's restoration from poverty and devastation. "As we toured the country, we realized truly that Jacob's Well was the greatest source of hope for a country that now has over a million orphaned children," he concluded. (View a video of their trip at www.llyc.org/year-round-event.)

Mayne hopes this mission is the first of many at Jacob's Well for LLYC. It is the only place of its kind in Haiti. Individuals interested in learning more or financially supporting this dynamic Outbound Haiti project may visit the website www.LLYC.org.

Laity Lodge Youth Camp (LLYC) is a Christian camping ministry of the Foundations for Laity Renewal (founded by the H. E. Butt Foundation). At its 1,900-acre camp facility in the heart of Texas' scenic Hill Country, LLYC offers summer camp sessions to kids who are in first through tenth grades at two unique sites nestled in a canyon along the Frio River. The H. E. Butt Foundation is a private operating foundation established in 1933 by Howard and Mary Holdsworth Butt for their charitable, educational, and philanthropic concerns. The Foundation helps to support TheHighCalling.org, The High Calling of Our Daily Work radio spots, and the Laity Lodge ministries. These ministries offer content on integrating faith into daily personal and professional life and conduct camps and retreats year-round. For more information, visit www.LaityRenewal.org and www.LLYC.org.

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