For Stephanie Garbonzo, experiencing WinShape Camps opened her eyes to seeing God in a way she had never known was possible.
“Before camp in March, I just knew God, but in a different way. Like, every Sunday [I’d] go to the church and listen…come home again and just…that,” she says.
Stephanie’s dad, Franco Garbonzo, is a THRIVE Farmer in Costa Rica. He, too, knew that Stephanie was not fully embracing the relationship with God that was available to her.
“My daughter had health problems, so we tried to get her connected and involved because she was a little bit…a little distracted. She had health problems and we tried to encourage her,” he says.
Even with the support and encouragement from her family, it wasn’t until an experience with WinShape Camps that Stephanie was able to see God in a different way.
“Being with WinShape has changed my [life] like 100 percent,” she says.
“I had been sad and [thinking], ‘I feel alone, I don’t have [anyone].’ But when we went to the church for the first time with the team with WinShape Camps, I saw everyone jumping and clapping and singing, and I was like, ‘Can we do this at church?…The pastor is going to get angry!’”
WinShape Camps team members assured her it was more than okay; it was supposed to be that way!
“That was a different way to…talk to God, [one] that I didn’t know” Stephanie says, remembering the moment when she saw her relationship with Him in a totally new light.
Stephanie was energized by the way WInShape Camps brought the message of Christ to life for the campers.
“At camp, the kids learn about God, but in a fun way…[one] that I didn’t know,” she says.
With several of her younger family members attending camp, Stephanie was even more excited to have WinShape Camps in Frailes, Costa Rica. On a more personal level, she knew camp had finally given those kids a safe place to share about their feelings and the troubles within their own families.
Seeing his daughter be a part of this unprecedented experience for Frailes is what impacted Franco the most in seeing WinShape Camps come to Costa Rica.
“I feel very proud of what my daughter is doing…” he says. “And I hope that, maybe one day, she can do it in other places, too – to share with other people. I am proud that she can have this impact on her community and one day that she could do this in other communities.”
WinShape Camps in Costa Rica
In 2018, WinShape Camps partnered with ThriveWorx Foundation, the nonprofit arm of THRIVE Farmers Coffee, to host eight weeks of camp in Costa Rica. Many of the THRIVE farmers’ children attended WinShape Camps throughout the spring and summer.