This year launched a huge piece of my ministry dreams and goals: a girls mentoring strategy for South Africa! I entitled it GROW, modeled after Luke 2:52 - Jesus grew in wisdom, stature (physically) and in favor with God and man (http://www.melaniedill.com/grow). This is how I want these girls and leaders to grow! And with the birth of this new ministry concept for me, the mentors and I dreamed of taking these girls on a 'camp' retreat. It took a lot of planning, a lot of sponsors, and many prayers ... and boy was it a success.
While small in numbers, this is strategic. Camp can often be about creating an "experience" but this was all about building on the relationships, using time and nature to foster a pause, and study God's Word in an environment that encourages reflection. We rented a house off AirBnB, and with the help of Shades Mountain, we used the Student Divinely Designed curriculum (http://divinelydesigned.net/) to lead our girls to understand how they have been created and pray about what God has for them in His Kingdom ministry ahead.
Thanks to all who supported this GROW journey financially and spiritually. All your prayers have been watered and harvested. The mentors will follow up and continue to walk this year-long journey of growth with these girls, holding them accountable to the things God said and did at 'camp.'
This GROW ministry has so much more to birth in 2017. There are dreams of supporting girls' college education, helping girls succeed in purity and discipleship through mentoring, assisting with meals for families that can't provide regularly (you can't teach a hungry child), counseling, and of course more spiritual input through local conferences, camps and youth/young adult ministry input!
... and a huge dream into the future - a week-day boarding house for girls to have a safe place to stay Mon-Fri, be driven to school safely, provided school supplies and uniforms, 3 meals a day, and biblical discipleship and mentoring.
Pray for more mentors to be trained to meet the needs of all the girls that want to be part of this ministry in 2017. Pray for the right pairs of mentoring/discipleship women and youth. Pray for funds, timing and human resources to make all these Kingdom plans happen!
Recap of GROW CAMP 2016 in photo:
|nature hike in Onrus, South Africa|
|Camp braai (BBQ)|
|Introducing these South African pj girls to SMORES!|
|Smores are a hit!|
|Divinely Designed session. Working out our gifts, experiences, passions and more!|
|Hermanus, South Africa|
|Tanika and Mel|
|My crazy girls|
|Made for this life! [note my #Luyando shirt - GROW where you're planted]|
|Love this view. Hermanus, South Africa|
|Home-made tortillas, fajita meat, pico, guac, cheese and sour cream! YUM!|