Woodend Christian Camp in Canterbury celebrated the official opening of their new training facility on Saturday 2 November.
The new building sleeps 26 and includes a lounge and dining area, kitchen and full disability access. The vision is for this facility to provide a place for leadership training, says Woodend Christian Camp board member Peter van’t Wout: “This is the fruition of a vision we’ve had for a long time, a place to train people up and equip young people for the Lord’s work.”
Named the Nancy Jean Forbes Training Centre, honouring the generosity and memory of Nancy Jean Forbes, whose legacy has funded the new buildings. The new facility adds to the others already on the campsite: “It’s a stand-alone building,” says Peter, “which means we’ll be able to utilise it by itself, without needing to take up space on the rest of the campsite—meaning training can be taking place concurrently with other camps.”
Peter van’t Wout is part of Quinns Road Bible Chapel and has been involved with Christian camping for the last 38 years and has been on the board at Woodend Christian Camp for the past 12:
“My heart is to equip young people. It’s paramount to give them the tools to equip them, but young people also need opportunities to use their gifts—so we do it differently. We don’t get a speaker in, we equip young people, we train them and give them a chance to use their training to serve God’s Kingdom—to speak and lead. Often we hear back from their churches, that these young people have gone on to become leaders in kids ministries or that sort of thing.”
This partnership with local churches is a key part of Christian camping, says Peter: “It was great to see so many elders and leaders from our churches at the official opening. I’d love our Brethren churches to utilise us more, after all, they’re really the ‘owners’ of our camp! Bring your retreat group, or conference—it’s great to be able to serve the local church in this way.”
It’s Peter’s prayer that the new facility will be used to equip young people for ministry: “If you can equip them and give them encouragement, it equips them for life. One of the joys about this ministry is not that we get to lead young people to Christ—but that we train them to share the gospel, and then we get to see them sharing and leading children or other young people.”
If you’re keen to use Woodend Christian Camp for your next ministry or camp event, check out: www.woodendcamp.co.nz