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October 2020
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Something Quite Special
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September 2020
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September 2020
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What's Up
SU WA Summer Camps applications are reopening from Monday 26th October.

Camp application openings will be staggered progressively over three days. This will be on the following schedule:

9am Monday 26th: Glen Echo 3

12.30pm Monday 26th: SUPA Splash and Camp Odyssey

9am Tuesday 27th: Glen Echo 1

12.30pm Tuesday 27th: Sailing and Beach Camps

9am Wednesday 28th: Glen Echo 2

You will not be able to apply for a specific camp until after the time listed for it above. We will not be taking phone applications.


Please note

Due to venue capacity and COVID restrictions, camps have a limited capacity and this is different for each camp and for each gender combination on different camps. As a result, registering your child does not automatically mean they have a place on camp. We will acknowledge receipt of your application but you will receive a followup email confirming if you have a place or are on a waitlist and requiring full payment to reserve your position. We aim to send this to you in a week from application.

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News

Jesus had a marked influence on those around him. He spoke and lived a winning formula – unity with his father, close relationship with his inner circle and love for all people. His impact was transformational.

While our SU representatives (staff, volunteers, supporters, donor, helpers) don’t claim to be Jesus, we do aim to be witnesses through our programs. We do this by keeping close to God, having unity in our teams and loving our participants. This Jesus winning formula is evident in our programs, and the impact that SU has is life-giving, transformational and longlasting.

Here is what one parent shared in a recent letter to our CEO: “…what moved me to write was our experience with the performing arts camp. Our youngest attended that camp this year and [my wife] and I went to the performance on the Friday night. Our child has a variety of challenges that he needs to cope with, and mum was wondering how he was going to be when we connected with him on Friday night.

He was fantastic and was clearly having a ball. [We] left the night realising that we had seen something quite special. Here was a space that had been created for a group of very eclectic, creative young people, some of whom I have no doubt don’t necessarily fit easily into the more common social moulds, and they were flourishing in that environment. They were stepping out beyond their comfort zones, they were enjoying their leaders and each other and were getting a kick out of performing. Such a space of safety and inclusion does not happen by accident and I came away recognising that I could not do that but was profoundly grateful that [SU] and [their] team there do.

Our son had an absolute ball, and I have no doubt will want to be there next year.

Many will not understand all of the challenges of leadership, coordination, energy, prayer, thought, planning and general struggle that goes on behind the scenes to enable these camps to occur. From a Dad and a Mum who do, can we say that we are very grateful for the gift that SU provides to our kids and to so many other young people across WA.”

Over the last 18 months to 2 years SU WA has embarked on a project, to gather as much feedback as we can to measure the impact our programs and ministries are having. While we do want to grow in numbers, we also want to grow in quality, influence and impact, while also getting better at journeying with people outside of our programs. We know extraordinary things happen in our SU ministries and this project provides evidence that we are on the right path. Through our ministries people come to know who Jesus is and more about him, grow in their faith, feel loved and cared for and become connected with a church or faith community all while having fun.

by Joyce Arnott

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News

In the last 12 months, real challenges and incredibly lifechanging moments were experienced in the lives of young people on Holiday Camps. Summer Camps had such an influx of registrations that many camps were full within 45 minutes of registrations opening! There was a large number of campers who reported a greater understanding of Christianity ‘being a relationship and not just a religion’ as a result of attending camp. Summer Beach Camp campers were led on an apologetics journey through Galatians, which resulted in one teenager walking up to the speaker and asking how he can give his life to the Lord, which he did so in that moment. Another girl expressed her surprise that Christianity was not just about following rules, but that Christ shows us grace and loves us. Another camper on our Winter ‘Camp vs Wild’ camp said, “I learnt more about The Holy Spirit. It was more about reconnecting with God than learning”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, camps continued in an online setting with a high focus on small-group breakout rooms. One girl on our Online CHIC program has been connecting with her camp leader on an ongoing basis over Zoom and is being mentored in how to lead a small group of her own. In addition to the written feedback from returned campers who expressed a desire to “start going to church” or “tell my friends about Jesus”, one of our primary aged SUPA Splash campers, on a visit to the dentist during camp, couldn’t stop talking to the dentist about all the things he’d learnt about Jesus over the previous few days.

Even through all the trials of 2020, there is a steady and constant buzz of excitement for learning more about God and connecting with him on a more regular basis.

by Bea Wickham

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News

Camp Geographe has been in the hands of SUWA for 51 years. 20 years ago, it was staffed for only 10 hours a week; these days we run on 44 staff hours each week, plus up to 50 catering hours when required.

The site was formerly used just for Summer Camps, plus a few family and church groups. It is such a blessing to report that we are now full of SU holiday camps every school holiday period. We have 4-8 school camps run by SU during the summer terms as well as many other ministry groups using the site. Over this past year, we had 116 bookings (representing 2942 people). Of these, 29 were SU programs, 47 non-SU programs, and 40 individual bookings. We love welcoming SU volunteers when we aren’t hosting ministry groups, and they generally enjoy a wonderful rest. We were also able to help out a family in need of accommodation during COVID-19. God uses Camp Geographe to minister to people in unexpected ways.

“Thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity while we stayed here… it was such a blessing to our family.”

“We had a wonderful stay. So relaxed and pleasant. The campsite is beautifully maintained and very functional. Thank you so much for your warm hospitality.”

SUWA staff in the SW are enjoying the new energy and teamwork that this regional hub provides. Please be in prayer for Camp Geographe as we look at new ways of managing the facility and making the best use of the staff hours available.

by Dianne Abbott

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News

‘At the beginning of camp, we received a phone call from a parent saying that her child was begging them to turn the car around. Before they arrived at the car park, we prayed for the camper and that God would help us to get him onto camp and that the devil would not have a foothold. When the camper arrived John and I met with him where we found him in a huddled-up position in between the back and front car seats. After 20 minutes of chatting to the camper we managed to 1) Get him to sit up, 2) Get him out of the car and 3) Get him onto the bus. Over the course of the ride, he opened up and began to chat to me about himself, and over the camp he really got involved and stayed engaged. It was so awesome to see God at work in his heart!’ Chloe (School Camping Fieldworker)

This speaks to God’s power at work through SU’s School Camps and the value these camps hold for schools and families. Our partnerships with schools have continued to strengthen over the last year. Despite COVID-19 and program cancellations we facilitated 14 school camps, reaching approximately 600 children and other young people with the Gospel. We praise God daily for the outpouring of opportunities to speak into and impact young lives. God is so big and good and faithful. And we thank you so very much for your continued encouragement, prayer, financial giving, and your serving on camp alongside us.

Please pray for sustainable and effective ministry, and that God would continue to bring volunteers into the ministry who love and fear the Lord.

by Mike Bezant

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News

In the latter half of 2019, we had some schools reach out to us to enquire about our Mentoring ministry, and our Chic and Blokes programs, on top of the already running SUPA Clubs. In 2020 we had some mentoring programs start up, and we were also training facilitators for Chic and Blokes when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Term two saw all of our school programs put on hold due to restrictions around visitors in schools. Although we were disheartened that our teams were not able to connect with the students, we were encouraged to know that schools really value our volunteers and the relationships they are building with the students.

The following email was received from Mentoring Team Leader Jeannie, Carey Baptist College, Forrestdale: ‘I have received a plea from Carey Baptist College Forrestdale concerning recommencing mentoring. All mentees have returned to school, and they have been asking after their mentors. The Principal is eager for the Mentoring Team to return as part of the wider College Team as soon as possible.’

Knowing that students will be in extra need of nurturing after the uncertainties of the past few months, more schools have been enquiring with us about what SU can offer their students once restrictions are lifted. We have since been able to develop an online SUPA club as well as a new in-school weekly club program which will incorporate elements of our camping ministry. We are excited to see how the students will respond to this new program and how God will be at work in their lives. Thank you for your continued support through prayer, encouraging words and financial giving. Because of you, we are able to continue being there for young people and saying yes to new ministry opportunities.

by Mel Hallsworth

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News

In late 2019 we piloted REEL Change in select schools which provided valuable feedback for rolling out the program more fully in 2020. Armed with 6 new videos, Reel Change started 2020 with some positive enquiries from schools, including Kennedy Baptist College. Although we were only able to visit Kennedy Baptist College twice before restrictions kicked in, it has been a time of renewing faith – even though we might be restricted in what we do, God never is. Our biggest challenge has been to avoid the assumption that students have a Christian Faith because they attend a Christian school. Breaking through to the students on a spiritual level is a journey that we trust God has started and will complete.

‘Be encouraged that God is at work! We are privileged that we’re the first school where you’re presenting REEL. I hope SU can do this many more times at many different schools!’ Liezl, Christian Ed Coordinator, Kennedy Baptist College.

With COVID disruptions, schools have had to readjust their program plans for the remainder of the year. During the downtime we have been able to train further volunteers that will be ready to attend schools at short notice when permissible. We trust and pray that many more students will have and take the opportunity to experience meeting Jesus through the testimonies shared in the REEL videos. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the hearts of the students and the relationships they are building with our volunteers and our Heavenly Father.

by Mel Hallsworth

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News

We kicked off 2020 with our 8 Summer Missions teams, bringing around 340 enthusiastic volunteers and their families together in mission to share the gospel with over a thousand holiday-makers. Team Leaders reported a really great response and we continue to pray that the seeds planted at this time will bring forth a harvest in God’s appointed time. We continue to plan new missions in Mandurah and Kalbarri in the future.

Our Boost Youth Discipleship program did not receive sufficient new numbers to reconvene in 2020. Out of the core planning group has come a brand-new initiative – a Worldview Academy Camp to be held in January next year. Broad support from churches and other Christian ministries around WA should see our inaugural camp commence well as we spend a few days building a strong biblical foundation into the hearts and minds of the teenagers attending. We would love to extend an invitation to all of our supporters and their families to join with us in this new work. For parents and young people, we would love them to consider volunteering to provide leadership and counsel. For teenagers we would love them to take a little of their school holiday time to build a strong foundation in apologetics and learn how to actively live their faith in high school and beyond.

by Paul Edwards

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“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33)

God’s word above has been key for our staff team, keeping us looking to him throughout this pandemic season! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, reminding us all that this is God’s work that he invites us into with him. The first half of the 2019/20 year was a fruitful one with new (mainly Christian) schools asking SU to help with ministry to their students. While our strategy is to invite local churches to help us form teams to run programs, churches cannot always help out; our faithful SU volunteers have proved essential to running these programs. However, we are very thankful for those churches who do clearly prioritise local mission, and we value their partnership.

Since March, of course, most churches have focused on their own congregations and SU programs were put on hold. But as we all emerge from our enforced ‘quiet time’ some churches see that God may be leading them to do things differently. I am also excited about what is emerging around the mission and discipleship of younger people. My role at SU is changing as I explore how we might more directly equip and support SU volunteers to set up discipleship relationships with children and youth who meet Jesus on SU programs. Watch this space! And please contact me if you’d like to find out more or get involved at sally@suwa.org.au

by Sally Howe

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News

As we look back on the last year we can give thanks to God for the work of El Holmes and other staff in the PaLD space.

During the last year 126 participants underwent ministry training through 22 training events. 100% of these participants reported that they grew as a result. LEAD Summer saw approximately 50% increase of camper numbers from the previous camp with 95% reporting that they grew in faith and leadership skills.

One camper shared the following feedback: “I have prayed that I would be more like Jesus but have never really known what I was praying for. I feel as if I know what action and change I need to take to become more Christ-like, especially in the area of leadership”.

We were delighted to be able to run Junior LEAD in July, aimed at students in years 10-12. We hope these young people become junior leaders within SU ministries and their local churches. We have been blessed to support and invest in two interns during the last year. We have also seen 3 staff undertake the Certificate IV in Youth Work (SU QLD). COVID-19 meant we needed to adapt to online training and consider how we can continue to innovate in the future.

by Heather Pitman

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