11th International Camp: Golden Friendship

From Wednesday, May 3 thru Friday, May 12, 2017, the biggest CFO event of the year took place. The 11TH INTERNATIONAL CAMP along with the CFOI BOARD MEETING and CFOI TRAINING drew just under two-hundred people from various parts of the world to Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Many, many more supported this event with prayers from their corner of the globe. We were all “Together on the way – One in Christ” no matter where we were… and we felt it. That’s the belt of prayer for ya!

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After a thirteen-hour plane flight from Seattle to Manilla, a six-hour flight delay in Manilla, and a one-hour flight to Laguindingan, I, along with Michael Hegeman and Amber Kenison, arrived at the Laguindingan Airport just outside Cagayan de Oro City, on the island of Mindanao. If you’ve been keeping up with our past news, you’ll remember that this is the island where Dr. Frank Laubach spent time as a missionary. After all the prayers, planning, and more prayers, we were finally coming full circle. We were about to receive fresh manna in a place where CFO took root long ago.

We exited the airport and there was a large crowd of locals waiting to pick up friends and loved ones. For a brief moment we were very much out of our element… and then… a familiar face! Goel Bagundol waved to us from the thick of the crowd. We moved towards him. He weaved through the joyous throng. (Goel had already been to the airport five or six times to pick up other CFOers.) As I extended my arms for a CFO hug, Goel held up a beaded necklace. I lowered my head and he placed it around my neck. Then, a CFO hug!… and a hug for Amber… and a hug for Mike… and necklaces for them as well. We would later learn these necklaces were made by the elder women of Cagayan de Oro City and to purchase one was a way to support these women. Goel spoke. “Welcome to Cagayan de Oro! City of golden friendship! This is Edward… a CFOer… he is our driver”

We embraced Edward and began to load our luggage into the van… (yes, we brought too much). Somehow, Edward got our bags to fit and as the van pulled away, it wasn’t long before we were talking, laughing… singing! Goel and Edward relayed to us the recent happenings… prayers, preparations, airport pick-ups… as we whizzed and bounced our way to Cagayan de Oro City. Other CFOI board members were already tucked into their beds at the homes of various Filipino CFOers. And soon, we would be as well.

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Golden friendship! That’s CFO, isn’t it? We all know the feeling when we arrive at THE CFO. The warm embrace into the accepting love of Christ as lived and shown by God’s people. Welcome home!!!

This is the beginning of several accounts from 11TH INTERNATIONAL CAMP. Watch your email, our website, and the CFOI Facebook page for more “11th Installments.”

THANK YOU!!!… to all those who supported this event in prayer, with financial gifts for camperships, in spreading the word, in the printing of materials for use at the event… and so much more! 11TH INTERNATIONAL CAMP was a worldwide CFO prayer effort. The Holy Spirit showed up, and many were changed.

To be continued…

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