We recently had the pleasure of meeting Otto Peeters who brought a group of men from Dubbo Presbyterian Church to BASECAMP 19. In this interview, Otto shares his BASECAMP highlights, stories of transformation, and why BASECAMP ministry is both ‘significant and special’ for men in his church.
1. What has been the response from the guys that you bring to BASECAMP?
I witnessed a growing resolve amongst the men in my church to step up as leaders in their families, and to be the man God has called them to be. The event was definitely a catalyst for change! We drove to BASECMP in cars and the conversations before and after were terrific! Last year, on the way home to Dubbo, we stopped in Orange for dinner. There was a sense of excitement amongst the men as we had all been part of something significant and special. I remember one guy said to me, “This has definitely started something. I’ve been chatting with the other guys in the car and there will be a lot that comes out of this.” The look on his face said it all.
Since BASECAMP, I have seen men at church be more proactive about encouraging each other, catching up together and a growing intentionality through men’s ministry. To say BASECAMP was a turning point for many men in our church would not be an overstatement.
A few months after BASECAMP, we had a men’s breakfast where the event theme ‘portrait of a man of faith’ was revisited. We were challenged again to be fearless, tender and thankful. Country NSW was in the grips of the drought at the time, so being fearless was a real challenge to many of us affected. It was a timely message for us all!
2. Do you have any stories of how you or other individuals have been encouraged during and after BASECAMP?
At BASECAMP, I saw biblical truths connecting with men which led to the healing of past hurts and dealing with sin and past events. This in turn caused growth and change, and men left Katoomba transformed.
I was sitting next to one guy who has had a long and painful experience with his brother. I saw first-hand one of the talks really connect with him. He was clearly emotional as his situation was ‘opened up’ by Paul Tripp’s talk. He spoke to me afterwards that he was encouraged as some healing had taken place.
Both Steve’s story about donating a kidney to a friend and George’s talk about his recent diagnosis with Parkinson’s were very stirring. George calling in his three friends to help him cope was such a great example of men helping one another through life’s challenges. George summed it up well: “I knew my friends could and would help me through this."
I and others then asked ourselves, who are our ‘go to’ guys? We learned that using the support of other men is not a weakness but a strength! This can be a monumental mind shift for ‘men on the land.’
3. Why do you think men should set aside time to prioritise conferences like BASECAMP?
BASECAMP 2019 achieved for our group of men a huge range of benefits. The men who attended realised they did not have to walk alone. With other men from church, they could strive to be a man of faith with the support of others. Not only is it a difficult thing to walk alone, it’s quite foolish! It takes some work to convince a bunch of men, some of whom were tough farmers and builders, that it’s ok to open up about struggles, challenges and depression.
BASECAMP was able to offer us all an opportunity to ‘realign our compass to true north’ and feel equipped to be a man of God again. It also reminded us to do this with the support of other men who were in this together. There is something very special about doing this with a larger group of some 3,000 Christian men in ‘the shed.’
I witnessed in our group a shared experience that became a catalyst for change. There is an inertia that begins at BASECAMP that continued back at home. Men from church now encourage each other to continue in ‘what was discovered and learnt on the mountain!’ We look forward to BASECAMP 2020 however it arrives this year!
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