ACORNCAMPS has teamed up with this town’s Baptist church for a number of years to reach out to teenages in Vác.
Vác Baptist church, a half hour train ride north of Budapest is found in the beautiful town of
Vác, sat on the banks of the Danube river. The church itself is a modern, purpose-built structure that houses the 100-strong congregation of all ages and backgrounds. Sundays provide a welcoming family environment with Pastor Attila taking a lead and others using their gifts to run the services.
It is in partnership with this church that the Vác ACORNCAMP runs, with a main emphasis on
supporting the local youth leaders and youth aged 14-18ish reach out to their friends with the
One main way of drawing youth into the camp is through teaching English for a structured one
and a half hours a day. The rest of the day is a combination of Bible teaching, sport, craft, general fun and games, with a day out somewhere special in the middle. Our theme this year – Superheroes – brought repeated appearances of Batman and Spiderman to stir things up a little…!
This year we had about 35 youth, then about 10 leaders from Hungary, (headed up by Krisztian
and Noemi with Ákos, Marci, and Erik), together with 7 from England, (Gareth, Claire, Tash, Micah, Lucy, Will and Hannah). Andy Oatridge and family also came! There was also a team of caterers who appeared magically each day and cooked us all delicious Hungarian food for lunch. Bonus!
It was brilliant to see the Vacs youth arrive the day before camp started and decorate the whole centre whilst we were getting orientated. They did such a good job! Playing super-hero top trumps in English lessons was great, and then it was amazing to watch the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever witnessed after a film night at church (then drive through floods to get home!)
Other highlights for me included the gospel choir with the boys trying to sing really high… attempting to learn Hungarian on a walk through the woods on our day out – SO hard for me…! Eating huge ice-creams in the centre of Vacs on a beautiful balmy evening as we wondered about the town…And then enjoying fellowship with the Vacs church on Sundays (more good food of course), and seeing the young people relax and soften as the week progressed and respond to the gospel.
The challenges are always communication across the languages. Wanting to converse with young people at speed about where they are up to with Jesus,when they have limited English, simply just does not happen. But this is where we work in partnership with the local church and the gospel work that is already going on, to encourage Vác church by bringing out an English
programme that may involve some fresh ideas and spending time with them.
It can be frustrating when the language barriers are there at times, however God does use our cross-cultural endeavours to keep everything fun and fresh as we work to understand each other, relying heavily on our translators of course.
We pray that the gospel partnership with this church would continue and remain strong, and that we’d have some continuity in Hungarian and English leaders going on camp so we can
build on work done in the past. Please pray too for good communication so AcornCamps can understand well the needs of Vác church.
(written by Claire Wroe, programme leader on this summers’ camp)