Alpiniş expresses the vision and dedication of the MLI team to equip and reach the young generation in Romania with the Gospel through camps, outdoor activities and retreats.
Located in the mountains near Sibiu, Alpiniş is a – small but growing! – camp/wilderness and conference center used for Christian outreach, spiritual guidance, mentoring and leadership development. Annually hundreds of Romanians, young and old, take part in spiritual camp/wilderness programs, lay leadership and pastors’ conferences and team building retreats at Alpiniş. Some regular programs include:
Alpinis summer/winter camps – with church youth groups from Romania and abroad who come for a week of camp: initiative games, hikes, Bible studies, volleyball, ski and snowboard, friendships and fun.
Alpiniş Outdoor Challenge (in partnership with Wilderness Ministry Institute, CO, USA) – training leaders to take youth on a life transforming adventure journey: leaving behind modern life distractions (watches, mobiles, i-pods, etc.) we backpack for six days through some of Romania’s most beautiful scenery. Every person is stretched to new personal limits, experiences God’s creation and develops deeper friendships.
“The mountain is not meant to teach us anything. It is meant to make us something.” (Oswald Chambers)
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Some numbers from the past five years at Alpinis:
- – We hosted over 150 groups with over 3100 participants;
- – Over 10 outdoor backpacking camps and 8 guide training sessions;
- – We led and hosted more than 50 training sessions and spiritual retreats;
- – We organized more than 35 youth camps;
Short History of Alpiniş:
- 2001 – land purchase, near Sibiu, outside the mountain ski resort of Păltiniş;
- 2002 – 2003 – we bought a 3 bedroom vacation home and 5 acres of land around it.
- 2004 – 2008 – we transformed the house into a ministry facility, a villa accommodating thirty people.
The first camps at Alpiniş were in 2005 while the villa was transformed; every year since then the facility was used for camps and retreats.
Alpinis has developed with the financial support of friends, organizations, and churches in the USA. We need your prayers and some practical ways of being involved include:
- – Short term mission teams – running a camp with a Romanian group; work teams for development projects;
- – Financial support – support a week of camp or participants to camp, development and building projects;
What makes Alpiniş, camps and outdoors, special is people – people who encounter God both as leaders and participants. Following are some of the highlights from participants:
Summer Camps testimonies:
“My fondest memory of the entire trip can be summed up in the Alpiniş Camp. During the short week we spent there, I was able to develop friendships with many of the Romanian kids; especially many who were my age. These interactions have taught me lessons that no class or teacher here could have shown me. I now know of challenges that many Romanian students and young adults face that I, as an American, will not have to deal with in my life. This gives me a new outlook on my own future and the choices I make every day that affect it. And of course I am genuinely excited that I can say I have friends on the other side of the world!” (Jordan Fischer, Grace Church, Normal, IL)
“For a number of children in our group, this was their first camp experience ever. They all returned excited. One of the mothers who is not part of a church, shared with me how her daughter Ovideana impressed her whole family and relatives with the stories from camp and the lessons she has learned from the Bible studies. I am impressed by the way many of the un-churched children who came to camp share the Gospel with their families and friends.” (Pastor Florin Botar, Câmpeni, Romania)
“I was most excited to see how our youth have consolidated friendships and how they formed new friends in the five days at Alpiniş last summer. Alpiniş seems to slowly become a part of our lives.” (Lori Erbatu, youth leader and MLI Board member, Giurgiu, Romania)
“I did in one week more things than I would do in a whole year: Bible study, Arka (adventure) Park, the long hike, new friends, team games, songs, great thoughts, good weather and an amazing view – all made for a very blessed week. I am glad I could experience all this to the max at Alpinis.” (Iulia, Bucharest)
“This camp always renews my sense of joy. It is here that I came to Christ and it is here that my relation with Him was strengthened. All we learned this week helped me to connect my daily life with God.” (Anda, Fetesti)
Outdoors Ministry testimonies:
The survival camp meant so much for me. It was great to hear everyone’s “life story” and to see how amazingly God works in people’s lives. I will never forget the caves, the meadows, the rock climbing experience, the food and drinking Coke with a spoon (from the bowl in which I had soup). (Cristina C., Timişoara)
Florin P. is a student in Bucharest. He serves as one of the youth leaders in our church partner in Fetesti. During a meal we asked each participant “what was the nicest place you visited?” Florin answered “this one”. He later wrote about the outdoor camp: “I learned to appreciate more what I have, especially people, because I realized we need each other in life. I was new in the group, and I was impressed that in less than a week I got to know everyone so well and to form relationships beyond my expectations.”
This was a real adventure! Rain, cold, wind, sunshine, friends, bonding and fun. What seemed difficult at the beginning turned into an unforgettable experience. None of us will forget how wet we were and how we dried our boots and clothes. But we will also remember the special moments and the breathtaking view. Climbing up was hard, climbing down even harder. Yet, in all of it I experienced God’s joy and care. (Hedda, Timişoara)