CAMP 2008: Medjugorje
On July 24, 2008, forty-seven enthusiastic American
volunteers arrived in Medjugorje to participate
in St. David's Relief Foundation 2008 Volunteer
Work Camp. During the first week, the volunteers
participated in two different work projects in Medjugorje,
consisting of (1) installing electric lights on
the pathway leading up Apparition Hill and (2) assisting
in the construction of a new dining facility to
serve the Merciful Father Community.
Merciful Father Community is drug rehabilitation
center located in Mother's Village. The Community
was founded in 1999 through the initiative of Father
Slavko Barbaric. It is a Franciscan project that
aims to help young men who have problems with drug
addiction, gambling and alcohol. The three-year
recovery program is based on prayer, physical work,
obedience and building self confidence and trust
among the people and their environment. This year's
work camp volunteers were allowed to work side by
side with the young men from the Community. The
bonding and friendships that developed between the
work camp volunteers and the men from the Community
was truly an unexpected blessing.
The second week of the work camp coincided with
the annual Medjugorje Youth Festival. Over forty
thousand young men and women from all over the world
descended on Medjugorje during first week in August.
Witnessing the faith of these young Christians during
their outdoor mass was an awe-inspiring experience
for the work camp volunteers. Another highlight
from the second week was the witnessing of an apparition
by Our Lady with Marija.
On August 7, 2008 the forty-seven tired but spiritually
enriched volunteers boarded a bus to begin the trip
back to America.