The idea to bring camp to Jacmel was born in 2012. While seeking God’s guidance in determining where to lead Shocco’s next international mission team, Jacmel, Haiti, was brought to the attention of our Executive Director, Buster Taylor.
The Alabama Baptist State Convention had been deeply involved in Jacmel since disaster relief efforts brought them to the area following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Through their experiences, Buster learned about the new children’s ministry led by the Children’s Hope organization operated out of First Baptist Church of Montgomery. “They indicated a desire for a day-camp activity for the children of the area. With Shocco’ s staff experience in leading and facilitating camp activities, this was a great fit for our team,” he explained.
During the team’s first visit to Jacmel, Children’s Hope leadership pointed out the availability of a local facility, Camp Bossier Sur Mer, that could be available for our second year’s day camp event. Arrangements were completed and the first annual Camp Hope was held this year.
Buster and Recreation Manager, Elizabeth Cook, led our team as they held a five-day camp for local children. The team, consisting of both full-time staff and student summer staffers, hosted 30 children and had the opportunity to build relationships with them while sharing the love of Christ through a variety of camp activities.
Among the children attending the 2014 camp were five missionary’s children. They especially enjoyed the camp and the interaction with the staff. As a follow-up to the 2014 Camp Hope, Shocco has been asked to consider hosting another camp in Jacmel for all the missionary children in the region and maybe the country. We are currently praying to see if this new camp can be added alongside the Camp Hopes of the future.
Shocco’s missions program was developed as a way for us to share the blessings we have received and serve the Lord beyond our Talladega campus and often beyond our comfort zones. It also provides many summer staff student workers the opportunity to experience international missions for the first time.
Karli Boulware, a student at the University of Alabama, who served as a Shocco summer staffer this summer had desired to travel to Haiti for some time and was excited to finally have an opportunity to go and serve there. “The trip reinforced my belief that nonprofits can play a pivotal role in improving the lives of impoverished people and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to see the Gospel on display in such a delightfully unique manner,” Karli said of her experience.
We are thankful for the opportunity to serve God this summer both at Shocco and abroad and we look forward to what He has in store for the future of our missions involvement in Haiti.