I hardly know where to start in describing this camp. When I explain it in Spanish all I can tell people is that is was muy oscuro (very dark). But even with my command of the English language I still have trouble describing it.
First off, the camp was mostly men and I was never more grateful for my hideous baggy shirt and floor length skirt than I was that night. I was also grateful that I chose to wear my hair up that day, concealing my curls and drawing less attention to myself. The men were so bold in staring at me and calling out at me all night long. I felt so objectified and dirty being there because of how they treated me walking by and my heart broke for the few women and children I saw living in the midst of those men. I can't imagine that environment being healthy for them. Second, the conditions of the camp were horrible with trash piled everywhere and rotting tomatoes splattered in the rooms and on the ground. Many of the men were either doing drugs when we knocked on their doors or were already high when we arrived. The smell of Marijuana was overwhelming and I can imagine other drugs were being used as well. Third, we encountered a cross-dresser snuggled up with another guy at one of the rooms we stopped at. I had no idea what to do other than pray and I felt the weight of Satan's power in that camp increase. But even that was not the most tangible example of Satan's hold on that camp. Despite the cross-dresser and drugs, the charcoal drawings on the walls of the rooms were the darkest thing I saw that night. The walls were peppered with horrible drawings of demons, death, sexual innuendos, monsters, and evil animals leaping from the walls. My eyes and mind were constantly bombarded by things of darkness. Basically, the longer we were there the more unsafe I felt and the harder I prayed. I could sense the bubble of protection God had around me but it didn't block the eyes of the men and didn't protect Isabel and me from being surrounded by men when Armando ran to give another team some discs.
But I didn't come away from this camp completely discouraged because I know God is bigger than all of that. My eyes were opened to what Satan can do but God can do so much more. He can blast through that camp and destroy the strongholds of Satan with the gospel message we handed out. God can claim those women and children back for his kingdom. And He can transform those men from pleasure seekers into God seekers. God can cleanse that camp and use the seeds we sowed there to spread roots deep into the soil. God can transform those people; from the little girl who ran up and gave me a hug, to the man who feels he has to be a woman to be himself. From the woman whose face lit up when I smiled at her to the men whistling at me as I walked by. From the kids who loved the stickers we had to the men addicted to drugs. God can move in that darkness and banish it from returning. My eyes have been opened to Satan's power but God's as well. And God is bigger!