Challenge XI, 2018

From 30 June to 7 July, the 11th annual Challenge camp took place in Spāre, Latvia. The participants, assistants and the W4W team made up a camp family of nearly 50 people who, during the week, challenged and inspired each other in various fields.

As many of the 12 participants were Christians already before the camp, this year’s Challenge became a time when the focus was largely on discipling and personal growth. A smaller number of participants gave room for more reflection and one-on-one conversations during which to challenge and encourage each other to take the next steps in everyone’s personal adventure with God. A challenge that was heard several times in different contexts was to think through one’s goals and start taking concrete steps in order to reach them.

Lectures held every morning challenged us in matters of relationships – to ourselves, to God and to the world around us. Together we discovered topics like the importance of attitude, whether and how disability could become an opportunity and what is the Father heart of God like. For many, the most inspiring lecture was the one on purpose driven life, held by guest speaker Normunds Zariņš. As a new opportunity compared to previous years, we met in small groups to continue exploring the questions discussed in lectures. Another new opportunity, coaching, helped to find the areas in life where change is in our own hands. During an individual session, coach Baiba Baikovska helped everyone find their way in the questions most relevant in their lives.

Another time we learned to find our way was in the compass and map workshop. Other workshops gave good advice and interesting knowledge mainly for our everyday life outside the camp, giving tips on creating a personal style and introducing the insides of a mobile phone. The compass workshop, however, came in handy already during the camp, as the challenge of this year’s extreme day was to find a way through the town of Cēsis. Every team had to find their way from one checkpoint to another using a compass, a map and clues given as riddles. Circling nearly the whole town in summer weather was a task that demanded cooperation and ability to support each other both physically and emotionally. All the teams handled the challenge wonderfully, made their way through all the checkpoints and got back to Spāre in time to enjoy fellowship and nice summer weather around the campfire.

The camp had also other elements known and loved from previous years: waking up together during morning worship and exercises, a concert, sport games demanding teamwork and innovative ideas, plus the chance to consult a physiotherapist and an orthosis and prothesis specialist. The meal times and free time gave plenty of opportunities to get to know new friends and spend time with old ones. The shared stories and dreams give strength and inspiration to work towards fulfilling our own dreams and to live more fully the life God has called each one of us for. It was a great joy to meet participants who had given their lives to Jesus in the last year’s camp and see a joy and courage in them that was not there last year.

The week spent together held challenges for everyone involved. The assistants had to learn to always consider several people’s needs at the same time, the participants needed to communicate their needs clearly and together with the assistants find the best way to meet them. Challenges related to the organisation of the camp don’t most often even reach participants or assistants, but surely there were moments when also the W4W team had to make good use of their problem solving skills. But the joy and gratitude that filled us as we started back towards our homes on Saturday morning are well worth those steps outside of our comfort zone. The memories of obstacles overcome together will for a long time give us courage – to take on new challenges, to reach our goals and above all, to trust God’s love. Thank you for making the camp and all this fresh courage possible with your prayers and financial support!

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