Plans and ideas for winter weekend Christmas 2013
Attention to Christmas. I start by telling a Christmas story but from the perspective of heaven. What happened in heaven before the birth of Christ? Why did this have to happen.
Starting with Adam and Eve, the mistakes, the attempt to do better, everything gets worse, new chance for Noah, same problems again. Also pay attention to the angels. How they serve God and watch everything that happens.
Those angels have ideas of their own about what God does. God makes people and He loves them. Some angels get into doubts here and the most important of them get jealous. Match. He was the most important after all. No, man, that is the crown of the creation of God and the angels, also Lucifer, must serve God and serve people. Lucifer refuses, tries to be like God, receives a horde of angels but is banished from Heaven and decides to terrorize Earth. That works, everything becomes a mess.
The people are not strong enough. God sends helpers. People like Abraham, Moses, David and many others who show the way. But people want to listen less and less to what God wants. God sends prophets to warn the people, but some are even killed. What is God going to do? Is He giving up? No, He decides it's going to be Christmas.
And so our Christmas story begins. It starts with Maria. Suddenly there is an Angel in her room. She will become pregnant although she has never been with a man. Maria is in love. To Joseph. And Joseph is in love with Mary and they would love to get married together. But God chooses Mary to bring Jesus into the world. Mary says that to Joseph and it is very difficult for him. But then an angel also appears to Joseph. He says he must marry Maria. He must help her and be her husband.
At this time the Romans ruled Israel. The Emperor of the Romans, Emperor Augustus, wanted everyone in Israel to be counted. To count, everyone had to go back to the city where they were born. Because Joseph was from Bethlehem, he went with the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem. That was quite a long journey. Worst of all, the baby wanted out!
Yes, when they entered Bethlehem, Mary went into labor. Yes, the old prophets had said the Savior would be born in Bethlehem, but how did the baby know? Joseph started to sweat and knock on the doors. The baby couldn't be born on the street, could it? Where should they put it in then. But nowhere was room. Didn't they understand that that baby was the king of Israel and the Messiah? No, Jozef, they did not understand that. Joseph almost started to cry. He saw how much pain Maria was in. He knocked on a door again and told the man who answered that they didn't have to go in, they just needed a place with a roof and where it wouldn't be too cold. And so they ended up in a stable. Between the animals. It smelled a bit but it was not cold.
The shepherds were outside. They watched over the sheep. They were sometimes on the road for a few days with the sheep looking for grass and so could not return to the stable every night. And so they stayed out with the sheep all night. They made a fire and it was quite fun. They would tell each other the toughest stories. But the coolest and most beautiful story happened that night. Suddenly the sky was lit. It seemed brighter than the day. And a gigantic song filled the sky. The shepherds looked up in awe and saw hundreds of angels. It was beautiful. It was so beautiful and beautiful and incredible that a shepherd shouted, "I'm dying ...!" while another shepherd said, "How beautiful ....".
And suddenly the angels were gone, but the shepherds had understood. The Savior, the King of all kings, was born in Bethlehem, and they followed the light and come to the stable of Joseph and Mary, and found a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, and knowed that was the promise of God. They felt so small. And those tough shepherds, who managed to put wolves and bears to flight, knelt down by this baby and thanked God.
And so dear children, God showed how much He loves ordinary people. The great plan of God was set in motion, and He was born a baby. The firstborn Son of God ......
ASSIGNMENT: Make two nativity scenes with your group. A living and a wooden stall with clay figures. Try to act out that Christmas story on stage in your own way tonight.
The angels in heaven were completely amazed. This was the test. They knew. They could not understand this plan of God. Now it was important to show faith. Faith that says God never makes a mistake, makes no mistakes, and always knows what He is doing. The angels on Earth who had been sent away for chasing Lucifer did not understand either. But suddenly God was there, on earth, in a baby. They only had one plan: that baby had to die. As quickly as possible........
Wicked King Herod, he loved himself very much. He wanted to be in charge. Lucifer and his angels knew this and went to visit him. Lucifer also wanted to be in charge and maybe they could help each other. And so Lucifer gave Herod a plan: Herod's counselors suddenly knew (hey, how wonderful) that the ancient prophets had said that about this time a king would be born who would be more important than all kings. More important than Herod. Herod did not want that. And he decided what only a devil can decide: all babies and children up to 2 years old had to die! How does this end?
It was horrible. The soldiers drove through the streets with their horses, stormed into all the houses and killed all the babies ..... It was a very black time for Israel .... Joseph and Mary knew nothing about it. There was no Facebook yet, no telephone, and not even a morning newspaper or television. But there were angels. And God again sent an angel to Joseph and he told Joseph to flee with Mary and the little Jesus. To Egypt. And Joseph awoke Mary, put her on the donkey with the baby, and fled all night, all day, and again all night. He fled until he couldn't run anymore. And luckily they were then safe in Egypt.
GAME: We're going to the forest. But first you must try to understand the angel's command per group. Take that assignment with you to the forest.
Below some status updates from Meindert Jorna from Facebook. The updates can also be followed via www.facebook.com/meindert.jorna
Below my Facebook status updates during the week that I went to Croatia from October 7 to October 14, 2013. For visits, site checks and activities.
The Lion Camp by the sea in Posedarje, Croatia, was a great success. Below the program with many program ideas.
Dear children and young people of the Lion Gang,
Our Lion Camp will start in a few days. Now I (Meindert) have to work very hard to put together a program and I help myself to continue writing. So this open letter is actually a helicopter view of the current program at the sea.
You are the Lion Gang, a children's and youth club in Croatia. Now that sounds cool, but what is this really about? Why a Lion Gang and not a Frog Mess? ( For group discussion: Click here for ideas ) A lion appeals to the imagination. He is big, strong and the king of the jungle. In itself enough reasons to call yourselves the Lion Gang. As you know, our project (Projekt DUGA) is there for you to help you. So if I help you with the Lion Gang it means that I believe this is good for you and that it can help you. You want to be like lions? Okay, but then I ask you: what can you learn from a lion that also benefits yourself? An example. I see a lion on TV and it stalks a deer. And I see how patiently that lion waits for the right moment, and then all of a sudden it jumps out of the high grass and with great speed and great power, it overtakes this poor deer. You want to be like a lion? What can you learn from this?
Okay, I'm okay with it. We can practice this and you can prove yourself this week. I come up with a patience game, a sneak game, you have to sprint, jump and pounce and catch and master. But I also want to ask you: what do you think this would benefit from in your own life? We will work this out in the small groups so that you get enough help from your group leader.
Camp rules are important. It is also important that you understand and agree with them. Can you come up with camp rules yourself? You can do that in your own group. I'm going to give points for the best list of camp rules. Just name a few yourself:
This week you will receive supplies to use. Each group has its own bucket, shirts or cap in the color of the group, a plastic box, plates, cutlery cups, and so on. We are going to check which group best fits the stuff. There are also things that you have to make yourself. First you will make a Lion flag in the color of your group . You monitor it all week. We are also going to play a game with it. You will also receive your own craft supplies and markers, pencils, clay, pens, paper, glue, scissors and a number of magazines and newspapers per group. At the beginning of the week you will set up a Leeuwenhonk per group on the small campsite. A place where you can sit together as a group and where you keep your belongings. In this Leeuwenhonk you will also consult with each other and the first meeting is an introductory game . Then you will make a poster together . You can cut, paste, write, draw and paint, but the poster must be about the question: what is the character of a real lion. And in the evening you can present that poster in the group.
You are also going to make a mask. Of a lion. That's a big doll and I'll explain how to do this. You have to protect this lion this week because a lion protects his family very well.
The character of the Leo
Ok, of course you made beautiful posters and gave an interesting explanation. What are you saying now? Do you want to be like a lion? Or are you already like a lion. In what and where not? What would you like to grow in? Interestingly, you know that I enjoy talking to people about their faith and that I enjoy talking about Jesus. Well, what about the character of Jesus. Does it look like a lion? Why and why not? Well, there are a lot of people who think that Jesus is a soft boiled egg. If someone hits you on the left cheek, you have to turn the other. And He just let himself be killed! That doesn't really look like a lion. But do you know that it is He that has been given the title "Lion"? He is the Lion of Judah. What could that mean now? Apparently, the character of Jesus resembles a lion. And if you want to be like a lion, then you have to be like Him. Hmmmm, enough to think about .........
Unfortunately, a lion is not always doing well .....
We also pay attention to this one morning: a lion can be strong and powerful, but that does not mean that he is always doing well (unfortunately). Click here for ideas, a game, explanation and a play.
* Levend stratego met variatie Leeuwen; wordt gespeeld in Posedarje in stadje en aan strand. (deze link verwijst naar de uitwerking op Scoutpedia)
Click here to see how we worked this out during this camp.
Regarding the latter: I have submitted an application for legalization (on time, this had to be done before 30.06.2013). The architect has calculated today that the registration of the house and the barns and buildings will cost approximately 2000 Euro. The surveyor indicates that the survey will cost about 500 Euro and the municipal government indicates that taxes and levies will cost about 700 Euro. Altogether 3200 Euro. Lots of money. But not wasted money. Because after this legalization, a procedure that is fairly easy to go through, we finally have a starting point and basis to really start something. I am thinking, for example, of the somewhat older plan to start a campsite here. This mandatory legalization quickly brings us closer to a solution.
Last Saturday - June 15 - was an enthusiastic day for the Lion Gang. My brother Maarten was visiting and quite a few children and young people came to participate. In total 18. Still, ten children from the permanent group were not present. We started the day with a lively game of farmer's basebal.
Then the happening followed: baking pizzas in the new pizza oven. The pizza oven was very hot and so we could bake a pizza within 5 to 7 minutes and the 8 pizzas of the children within an hour. A pizza success and also fun for when we have guests.
We divided the children into four small groups and each group had come up with a game. We enjoyed that a lot in the afternoon. Then some energy to play a fanatic game of football in Krstinja and so we had a very pleasant and enthusiastic Lion Gang day.
Saturday June 22
This day I expected an even larger group. The children of Katarina Matosevic (Kristijan, Vedran and Tihana) were punished last week and were not allowed to come by Mom and there were still some children that I had expected. But no, Katarina's children are still punished (for what?), Stefica's mother (also Katarina) is too insecure to let her child go to the club, Selvedin and Lara could not be brought across the border by their mother Mirsad, Tomi had been taken by dad to a wedding and so on. Result: Beki and Amel and Irad were the only children besides Manuel and Samuel and Emma and Dragan, Edis and Elvis were also present. We had a nice day but worries have grown. Especially after Beki and Amel told me that they will be housed with grandma until the end of the summer.
On Saturday I paid attention to the similarity of the talents. Together we made a list of things that they can make or do and that can be offered for sale at www.dugashop.nl We then cooked (was a group of 11 all together) and we went into the forest look for materials we could use. Visiting Kika and together to Krstinja to end the day with an enthusiastic game of football.
Today was a beautiful day. Saturday, the day that we organize a program for young people and children and the day that is central every week with regard to our work in Croatia. As a result, it is always exciting to see which of the young people and children want to come. Today was a beautiful day, not because there were a lot of children, but because the weather was nice and very cozy.
Attendees: Patricija (not seen since last winter), Pamela, Kristijan, Eldin and Kristina (also no longer been), Dragan (always faithfully present since last year), Zoran, Maja and Zeljka and Manuel, Samuel, Emma, Samira and I. Last week, Dragan made the ceiling of the collapsed and repaired roof of cafe Bethlehem. Meindert has built a pizza oven there in recent weeks. Today it was time to clean up the mess together. And so we finally once again very cozy together with the children cooked and eaten in Cafe Bethlehem.
Also this year we started a children's club in Croatia. So in addition to visiting the elderly and youth work (for young people up to 25 years old), we pay special attention to children. Every Saturday we organize a kids club. We have now had two Saturdays and it is starting to be a nice club. As participants we now have:
Irnad, Amel, Bekki, Lare, Selvedin, Ena, Stefica, Kristian, Vedran, Tihana, Manuel and Samuel.
The first weekend the children wrote their own story and made a video of it. The second weekend the children worked on the computer and started making a comic strip. Of course all their productions can be followed on the ProjektDUGA YouTube channel and on this website or the bi-weekly email news. Do not forget to sign up to receive the newsletter. Information about the children can be found at www.degebedsmuur.nl .
Monday I traveled to Croatia for a week to meet young people from Projekt DUGA and to do refurbishment work at Projekt DUGA. The trip went well. Samira and the children stayed behind in Wageningen.
Roof cafe Bethlehem collapsed
Situation young people, elderly, project.
This week Dragan, Zoran and Edis and my father-in-law help Husein. These guys are always willing to help and we can continue with them in the summer. Ismet is not to be seen in any fields or roads. Unfortunately. Dragan is in our house all winter and has kept everything neat and tidy. I'm trying to find a way to keep him here all year round. Does someone want to sponsor Projekt DUGA and Kamp Manuel? Then it is best to become a sponsor of Dragan.
At the moment I do not have a car here and I cannot visit very many young people. I did of course visit Kika. She really just wants to be prayed for that she will not live too long and that she may die peacefully. My father-in-law, Husein, comes here every day with my sister-in-law Mirsada and / or my mother-in-law Seka.
Another issue: project location, house and all accompanying barns and the like, must be legalized until June (for accession to the European Union). That is quite a process and will entail a lot of costs. I have a tear in my meniscus and this will have to be remedied in the Netherlands. I hope to leave for the Netherlands on Monday. See you soon!
Test: price rag: We are completely settled in the Netherlands again and ready to organize the work in Croatia from here. That means the following:
The 12 children of the school in Maljevac
The 33 packages for single elderly people and families have been put together by the young people of the Project. They not only wrapped the packages nicely but also provided them with a beautiful, handmade, New Year's greeting.
The complete report of the past winter camp can be read at www.projektduga.nl ( http://projektduga.nl/index.php/nl/jongeren-6/features/2012-winterkamp-programma-soldaten-van-gerechtigheid/verslag-winterkamp Programma-soldaten-van-raadigheid/ http://projektduga.nl/index.php/nl/jongeren-6/features/2012-winterkamp-programma-soldaten-van-gerechtigheid/verslag-winterkamp ). The report is not yet ready but updates will be announced at www.facebook.com/projektduga . Conclusion: very difficult to get the group of young people together but in the end a very successful winter camp about "soldiers" and "armor" with a lot of fun and fun.
After the winter camp, we managed to get the young people together for another weekend. The absent girls were also present. We have tried to make agreements with them for 2013 and write down ideas. For 2013, the plan is to return to the Netherlands with a group of Croatian youth (in June), to continue the youth weekends, to work at summer camps and to receive groups. In addition, I (Meindert) am busy instructing Dragan Borota and Edis Kendic on web development and web design, we have set up an office in Croatia for this and I hope that they will have income from this in the longer term. The office can be viewed on our facebook profile www.facebook.com/projektduga (direct link to video: http://www.facebook.com/v/10151300300909284 )
As a family we are again busy with our departure to the Netherlands because of the schooling of the boys, to do sponsorship in the Netherlands, to visit people who want to come to Croatia in 2013 to help and for the presentation of the project in the Netherlands .
Meindert, Samira, Manuel, Samuel, Emmanoella
The 2012 Winter Camp (Soldiers of Justice) came to an end last night, December 30, 2012. This also includes the 2012 youth program. Time for an evaluation and drawing up a planning and strategy for 2013. I will start with the evaluation here. Comments, ideas, experiences and advice are always welcome. Certainly also of those who participated in any way whatsoever in 2012.
Evaluation and points for attention
Looking back from the end to the beginning: The winter camp was very successful in the end. But again a different group of participating young people than expected. That may seem less bad than it is because of the group of 7 young people who, for example, went on mini DTS (Discipleship Training School) to the Netherlands (8 would go along, but Eldin dropped out on the day of departure while Nenad took the place of Edis), only 3 people participated in the winter camp: Dragan Borota and Ismet Sabic and Patricija Obad. Kristina Kicic has not been coming for weeks because she was sentenced to stay at home for her bad grades on math. During the winter camp she was able to participate but in the meantime she is involved in a love affair with Eldin Sabic and she did not show up. Her sister Nikolina has ended up in a love affair with Daniel Raka from Serbia who would come here as a volunteer and who I could not receive here. Nikolina didn't show up either. Nenad has not come since he has returned from the Netherlands and is busy telling all kinds of untruths about us. Paula is also involved in teenage love. In short: these teens experience puberty quite a bit when it comes to hormones and falling in love and relationships take precedence over a contribution to the work here.
Because of these kinds of situations, we as a couple and also as a family always have to struggle through many disappointments before the start of a camp. Also this year I wanted to cancel the winter camp just before the start. There was also disappointment in relation to Roberta Kraus (doesn't it always participate?), Her brothers Viktorio and Leonardo, for whom we did a separate sponsor campaign in the summer to get them to the sea, the Horvatinec family with their four children, Nikolina Matosevic who is not allowed to come because we are a sect, Helena Kasljevic whom we do not hear about, Dalibor Martijevic who indicated that she wanted to come and whom we ultimately did not hear about and a dozen others. In short: too big a task for us to keep them all on their toes.
But the winter camp and certainly the summer camps have also shown possibilities. All three were beautiful camps with enough participants. Apparently, children and young people always participate from an unexpected angle. We could look for that more. I am thinking of the children of Katarina Zarifovic, Zeljka and Tonka Matijevic, the children of Marinko and Djana and the primary school in Vojnic with 400 students. All children who might have wanted to participate if we could have given more time to it. But now we have given all of our time to the group of young people who expected to participate, and when they did not show up, there was disappointment, discouragement, and too little time to involve other children and youth. I have thought a lot about the words of Jesus, such as: if one does not want to hear, then move on to people who do want to hear. We may have to be careful not to lose time with young people who could also make a choice on their own because they have experienced enough with us to do so.
At the moment I am having coffee at the Mac Donalds in Karlovac and I am waiting for 4 ladies from Switzerland who will come to help us through Youth with a Mission during the upcoming winter camp. This upcoming winter camp was supposed to start tonight. Usually it is very difficult to get a group of children and young people together in this deserted and disadvantaged area (Kordun), but this time it is again dramatic in this regard. So much demotivating that as a missionary and husband and father of 3 small children you are seriously thinking about quitting these child and youth camps.
In Vojnic, parents of younger children like to talk about us even if we are a cult. I think that is also positive because it indicates that they at least realize that the spiritual message, in addition to practical assistance, is central to us. But this makes the group immediately 30% smaller. We also have a close-knit group of teenagers. Or so they thought. A number of them went to the Netherlands on mini DTS this year and they have been participating for years in programs that sometimes have real depth and yet require a certain dedication.
But just before winter camp, half are busy with falling in love, distant aunts suddenly coming over at Christmas, homework and catch-up exams and so on and so we lose another 50% of the group. So 20% remains. I just received a facebook message from a teenage lady with the message: "I'm not coming anyway; no use."
Because we expect help and visit, I just let the winter camp continue. If these ladies had not come (from Switzerland) I would have wanted to pass the winter camp. While I am writing this I also get a message from a young man (16 years old) who has not been heard from all summer and now suddenly wants to come to the winter camp. I also pick up his comrade (15 years old) who turns out to be drunk in bed. It's raining cats and dogs. Samira, my wife, has cooked with a teenage lady and so in the evening the ten of us sit in cafe Bethlehem to eat and drink coffee and tea. I go through the program with all of them and calculate that we can expect another ten participants tomorrow. Still 4 x 5 in the end. And so there is enthusiasm in the group, at the project, with the visitors and also with me. The expectation is that after this winter camp, I will be completely excited to continue, together with the teenagers. But still I wonder whether it is wise to take some time to think about whether we should not change the course completely. I'm really going to think about what it would be like if I didn't organize a summer camp by the sea at all. Just skip a year. Then I have more time to visit parents and the elderly, to run my web agency and to involve young people here in this work. I also have more time for my 3 children, my wife and myself.
First of all: a blessed birthday today (Christmas). The winter camp of Projekt DUGA starts tomorrow. It is all very exciting again. First we expect 4 ladies from Switzerland from Youth with a Mission tomorrow who will help out here for a week. Furthermore, as always, it is very difficult to indicate who to expect. The theme of the camp is "Soldiers (of justice)" and Dragan Borota and Ismet Sabic have done everything they can to furnish and warm up all the spaces of Projekt DUGA.
Ok, shopping has been done, the program is almost complete, the rooms have been set up, we get help from Youth with a Mission and why am I nervous? Please pray for us for: a nice group of teenagers and children. The teens have also been here on the weekends in recent weeks. That was good, but many of them perform poorly at school and some of them really take themselves under arms. The atmosphere is just not happy. All too tense. I hope that the camp can change that for them and give them a boost and encourage them again. Do you want to think of us? The camp lasts until December 31.
Ps: Ismet Sabic has worked here all year round. Without him this camp would never have been able to function as a campsite and we would not have been able to receive groups. Also during this winter it is clear that this work cannot be done without someone like Ismet Sabic. I therefore want to make an effort to establish a separate fund within Projekt DUGA with which we can keep Ismet Sabic within Projekt DUGA and Camping Manuel in 2013 as well. Thinking along is appreciated. I am also thinking about looking for work for him in the Netherlands so that he can come with us to the Netherlands to generate income himself and possibly recruit sponsors.
Cordial greetings; I will try to provide a daily update via www.facebook.com/projektduga and www.projektduga.nl regarding the winter camp;
Contributions for the winter camp, for Ismet Sabic and for Projekt DUGA can be transferred to account 4723003 in the name of "Stg. Jonah ins. Outreach Krajina" in Ede. Gifts are 100% delivered to their destination.