The kitchen became the main focus of our efforts as we mounted the new knife rack and sink, and refurbished the preparation tables. Midweek, we traveled to Trench Town, visiting the Operation Restoration Christian School (ORCS) and interacting with students and teachers. We shared supplies, words of encouragement and prayer with all at the school. On Friday, the school came to camp and participated in scripture teaching and challenging activities.
Seasons of Change!
New things are happening at New Generation!
In January of 2018, we welcomed Phyleshia Hendricks as our new Bookkeeper! Now, at the start of 2019, our team has grown yet again due to the addition of our Digital Communications Specialist, Kathryn Meghoo, and our Administrator, Joelle Rattray. Let’s look at what our new team members think about working at New Gen so far!
“I am happy to be working at New Gen because it is where my relationship with God became more real and genuine after going to the Discovery Summer Camp when I was 12 Years old. It means a lot to me to be able to continue to establish the same place that established my relationship with God. [Plus,] I have always wanted to work in ministry and be a missionary since I was a little girl while at the same time using my artistic talents.”
- Kathryn Meghoo
“There is no greater feeling than serving and working alongside my fellow brothers and sister[s] in the faith. This brings me great joy knowing that we are all working together with the aim of bringing people to Christ along with allowing them to develop [a] greater love for Christ, no matter the roles we play. I am truly grateful to Christ and New Gen for allowing me to be a part of such a transformational oasis which allows me to do what I love which is accounting and spreading the love of Christ to one and all.”
- Phyleshia Hendricks
“I think it’s such a pleasure to work with like-minded people who have a passion for what they do. The open and welcoming persons at New Gen make it so easy to feel like part of the family. I also really like working in an organization which has the incredible mission to bringing up a new generation of people who are transformed in Christ. As a former camp counsellor, I saw how New Gen sews spiritual seeds into the hearts of children. Now, as a more official part of the team, I’m excited to see how New Gen impacts, not only children, but everyone they serve.”
- Joelle Rattray
As we wave hello to these new faces, we’re also saying goodbye to some old ones .
In December, God decided to steer Stefon Spleen, our Programs Manager for 3 years, in a new direction in his career. Although, we can’t wait to see what God has in store for him, we were, of course, sad to see him go. Our Managing Director, Judith Lewis, looked back at Stefon’s time with us here ...
"Engaging children and teens in play is so key to our camp ministry and this is what Stefon did best. As our Programs Manager, he could quickly build trust with a counselor or camper over an activity he was introducing like 9-square in the air, or a staple activity like football. Stefon loved being at camp and seeing campers connect with each other and with God. We loved his input on our Management team and will miss him even as we pray for success in his new adventures."
Monique Spleen will also be gone for a while as she and her husband prepare to welcome their new baby into the world! During Monique’s maternity leave, Joelle will fill in as our Retreat Manager later on this year. We’re so excited for the Spleens and we know God will walk with them through this new adventure in their lives.
Looks like 2019 is shaping up to be quite a year! Change, no matter how big or small, can be a bit daunting at first. But we know that, in the midst of it, we can always trust God. So here’s to embracing every new season with open hearts and minds!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
- Isaiah 43:19
Having a Blast at Stop-By-Days!
In December we hosted another one of our Stop-By-Days: Christmas edition! Stop-By-Days is a time when we invite friends of New Gen – past and current campers, counselors, parents and donors – to ‘stop-by’ and enjoy the campsite. During this couple of days, we got a chance to catch up, encourage each other, and have fun!
The days were PACKED with excitement. Judith, our managing director, saw the campsite through the eyes of a family visiting for the very first time. She witnessed how a nervous father eventually loved seeing his daughters challenge themselves on our adventure course. She also saw a mother and daughter reluctantly take a plunge into the cold, Cranbrook river, only to then enjoy it so much that they stayed in as long as they could.
"The stop-by days were a blast for the kids. They loved the activities and being around other kids their age. For me, it was a welcomed break to have them in a safe contained space outdoors where it was ok for them to play and have fun."
- Kibibi Thomas, mother of 2
We also enjoyed some quieter moments. We got creative on an art project and enjoyed tasty s'mores while singing silly songs together. Even the drive down to the campsite allowed one of our team members, Monique, to get closer to 2 of our campers. These moments of downtime helped us to have deeper conversations and really get to know one another.
“I […] remember the reflection time we had as a big group. I think it was helpful to just stop for a few minutes and think about different “storms” God has taken and/or is taking us through and have that comforting reminder that though He doesn’t always calm the storms, He promises to be there with us through them.”
- Monique, Guest Service Manager
Stop-By-Days was an AMAZING time full of fun, friendship and faith! We cherished every moment we had as a New Gen family and hope to see you at the next one!
My visit with Arianne in Sweden
Written by Nel Blanken
On my travels in Europe this Summer, I fulfilled one of my long-time dreams of visiting with Arianne in Sweden. Arianne, who is Jamaican, was around when we were still bushing the campsite in the mid- nineties. She enthusiastically was part of all those early developments, as camper, as leader and as intercessor, both in the Christian Student movement and in New Generation Camps. She felt called to minister to Muslims. Then she met her husband, a Swede, at YWAM and moved to Sweden in 2001. Arianne wondered what would become of her calling. In the meantime they had 2 children and Arianne learnt the language, and even now works as a dedicated teacher.
I am so fascinated about her journey of integration and how she makes her mark, as a Jamaican (no qualms about her style of worship and very clear about her faith in a secular society). Her calling? There are Muslims and many others around who she is prepared to share the Joy with, that she has. Arianne has not forgotten her roots and continues to support New Generation on a regular base. It was such a delight to see her and her family, her school and church environment! Thanks Arianne for the example you are to so many! Big up and love to you and your family!
Building on UK connections
Written by Judith Lewis
NewGen is honored to have friends all over the world. While in the UK this April I got to connect with two families who lived in Jamaica for a few years in the 1980s. My husband, Ricardo, and I spent a cold yet lovely day in Cambridge with Richard and Mary Leveritt and we also had great conversation over a meal with Lloyd and Dorothy Dwyer in Croyden.
My main purpose in the UK was to attend a Board meeting for Christian Camping International - Worldwide. It's an honor to serve on a board of camping veterans who have a heart for what God is doing through this ministry. CCI-WW is in transition this year as our International Director for 10 years hands over the baton to a new leader. We celebrate all that Dan Bolin accomplished as he faithfully served in this ministry and we pray for Mark Heasman as takes on the baton.
Teambuilding with CARIFTA Swim Championship Team 2018
Come join the water movement!” That was the slogan for the recent swim meet held in Jamaica over Easter, and New Generation is happy to say we joined the water movement!!
When New Generation first began offering team building training to groups, one of our target groups was the various sporting teams which represent Jamaica. Nobody knew us then, so nobody took up our offer. But 15 years and the word is getting out, and we were asked to train the CARFITA Swim team.
The CARIFTA games is an annual sporting competition between all the countries in the English speaking Caribbean, featuring high school students. The main championships is the one featuring athletics, but there is also a Swimming Championship which has been held since 1985. Last year Jamaica placed 6th, and with the championships being held in Jamaica this year, the push was on to finish in the top three.
Enter New Generation. A team of us put the young people through their paces, pushing them to work together as a team, eschewing their selfish individual goals for the good of the country. We believe we played a small part in the team moving from 6th place to 3rdplace this year, and they were just a couple points out of second.
Way to go Team Jamaica!!!
Valentine’s Day this year fell on a public holiday in Jamaica, thus making it the perfect day for couples to carve out some time for themselves. Pages in the Gardens, a restaurant smack in the city’s only botanical gardens, provided the setting for the event.
After a romantic dinner, the couples engaged in various fun couples competitions, complete with prizes and surprises. The main event of the evening however was the couples team building. All the couples were presented with challenges that they had to work together as a couple to overcome. They had to communicate effectively, give good feedback, be patient with each other, lean on each other and figure out the best way to lead each other.
The discussion time at the end of each activity helped couples to learn from each other, and better understand what they need to do to make their relationship successful. It helped greatly that the couples spanned different age groups and differing length of marriages so that the experiences were wide and varied.
The couples had the time of their lives, deeming it an evening well spent.
Rachel and her amazing cottage signs
A Successful Work Day in February
With our first camp for the year only two weeks away, I felt overwhelmed by the myriad of unfinished tasks at our campsite. Then God gave us this brilliant idea to ask persons from our Connect Groups at church to help us out.
The result was SEVENTEEN young adults representing FOUR Connect Groups at Swallowfield Chapel; they came for the day and helped us put up our tents, paint, clean, rake, fix and left us feeling ready for ministry. It was great to see our church’s goal to connect~grow~serve in action.