Missionary Update: Camp Qwanoes (Scott & Julie Bayley)
This week we will hear from another organization: Camp Qwanoes. Due to COVID-19, their usual ways of doing camp ministries had to be completely revamped. But they are trusting that God has a plan for them.
What is your current location and missions/ministry work?
We are located in Crofton on Vancouver Island, just over an hour north of Victoria and 45 minutes south of Nanaimo, right on the water, looking across to Salt Spring Island.
How is God working in and through you and your team during this unique and challenging season?
With overnight camps not being allowed this summer, we sought God's direction for how to carry out our purpose of loving kids to life in this new situation. In early June, we learned that day camps were allowed so this summer we offered ten week-long day camps for ages 8 to 16. Campers stayed in groups of 10 campers based on their age, with two counsellors. We had just over 1000 children and youth here this summer which we are so thankful for. God is working in powerful ways, and we saw many kids put their faith in Jesus. In addition to working with kids here at camp, we are also seeking to connect with past campers who live too far away to come to Qwanoes, including our 60% of campers who live in Metro Vancouver. We have started many new ministries. For example, QwanoesMC: we "built" Camp Qwanoes in Minecraft to offer special events where our leaders can have positive connection and relationship-building with campers. We offered several Q-Town-LIVE livestreams, we debuted Q4U, a new variety show, we've done two Virtual Firesides, a Virtual Open House, and we livestreamed a Q-Town one night a week to families with kids at that week's day camp. Another program we started is Qwanoes Cabins Connect, where we worked with past counsellors to connect with their past cabin groups.
How have you and your team been impacted by COVID-19?
The past number of months have been very different here, as I'm sure you can imagine. Starting in mid-March, we lost all weekend retreats, guest groups, and overnight camps. We had 40 international staff accepted and ready to come from over 10 countries, many in process since October. Only one made it. Many of our speakers had to cancel. These changes have brought a loss of over $3,000,000, over 75% of our annual budget, and a need to raise about $1,000,000 to be able to continue in ministry. Fortunately, the government 75% wage subsidy program is allowing most staff to continue, for now.
How can we pray for you and your team?
Your prayers are urgently needed and greatly appreciated! Please pray for all the campers, staff, our speakers, for safety, protection from COVID-19, and that God would draw campers to himself through all that happened this summer. Please pray for our financial needs, that God would provide the funds so that Qwanoes can continue forward. Please pray for wisdom as we make plans for the fall and coming year which will be especially difficult without knowing what will happen in the next 12 months. Please ask God to continue to make a way for us, and that he would show us how we are to love kids to life in the days ahead, and how we can best serve and be used by our churches.
As mentioned, please pray for Scott, Julie, and the Qwanoes team as they continue in ministry even in the midst of financial struggles and the huge learning curves that COVID-19 brought to the camp.