Camp Havago is a boys only camp with a rich history and was recently revived about 4 years ago in partnership with Wortelgat campsite in the Western Cape. This year has not been unusual with very few signups at the beginning. We trusted the Lord as with a week to go we only had 2 campers signed up. It was probably the first time I ever thought of cancelling the camp. At the start of camp, we catered for 51.
This year we saw the Lord work in such amazing ways that “we could not have scripted it – even if we tried”. One such example is the story of Zelda the cook. As you know, boys are hungry most of the time and have huge appetites especially during a week of action and activity. The cooks, however, are almost unobtrusive and often go by unnoticed.
I was unaware of Zelda’s deep desire to share her story in a ministry capacity, and as I was gearing up to deliver the main gospel presentation literally about to step to the front – one of my leaders informed me that Zelda was keen to address our campers. This is unprecedented and all my cautionary and defence mechanisms kicked in. How articulate would she be? How long would she speak for? What would the content of her talk be? Had we never had a female speak to the boys before?
English was the language used at camp but to be honest we had a number of boys from the townships whose first language was Xhosa and others whose first language was Afrikaans. Up to this point the boys had accommodated us and I was not sure whether we were connecting with them. Zelda got up after being introduced by Ron Clark and proceeded to address the boys in their home language Xhosa. Halfway through her testimony she paused and repeated what she had said, but now in Afrikaans. I watched as these boy’s heads shot up. They listened intently as she poured out her story of what the Lord has done for her.
I arose rather sheepishly with not much to add, and as the boys drifted outside to ponder what they had heard, we discovered that 22 of the boys had made a commitment or recommitment to the call of salvation.
That afternoon I popped into the kitchen to express my gratitude but I found Zelda singing and worshipping the Lord with tears at the kitchen sink. I gingerly stepped away recognizing my God at work, using ordinary people for mighty exploits and confounding my stereotyped mindset.
SU Western Cape Regional Director