Their favorite part of camp is Bible studies
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Russia’s Yakutsk region is a land of extremes. Located in the Far East, the republic of Yakutia-Sakha is the world’s coldest place in winter with temperatures plunging to -50F or below. And yet summers are hot and humid with swarms of mosquitoes! It’s not a place where you’d expect to find a vibrant children’s camp ministry. Yet the local evangelical churches in Yakutsk are undaunted, and the generous support of SGA partners is helping them introduce many young boys and girls to Christ!
Last summer, a children’s ministry team led by Oksana Sivtseva held camp activities in several outlying villages including Mokhsogollokh near the city of Yakutsk. She wrote to tell us that the camp season is eagerly anticipated by both children and adults:
The local residents know about our church and many of them allow their children to come to the camp—even encouraging it! During the camp session, the children wanted to know more about God, and memorizing Bible verses very well. We had the usual games and camp activities, but when we asked the children about their favorite part of camp, many of them answered, “Most of all the Bible studies!” God is at work in these kids! Instead of liking the food or games, they liked God’s Word instead!
In another village, Oksana said that some local authorities put up obstacles, but the activities went ahead anyway:
We had received permission from the local administration to hold our camp activities at the central clubhouse in the village. After we had been meeting for three days, the deputy principal of the school came to watch the program and to check our documents. Then he just left! The next day, we arrived to find the clubhouse closed and we couldn’t find anyone with the keys. We stood there in the street and the children waited so patiently while we tried to find someone. But then a sister in Christ named Margarita—the only believer in this village—invited us to come to her brother’s house and hold the activities for the children. So the enemy was overcome and we succeeded in holding the evangelism program for the children. At the end, the kids didn’t want to leave and stayed playing for some time. We want to continue our ministry there, so please pray for us!
In Belarus, Pastor Nikolai oversaw several summer camp sessions in the Minsk region. Some 93 percent of the children were from unbelieving families—most of them large, low-income and needy. After the camp sessions, he had parents testify that the children had changed for the better. One young mother wrote to offer her thanks . . .
I am a mother of six children and we lack money for food. My two children were in the camp, and they have changed after learning about God. Sveta received the book A Faith to Grow On, and Maxim received The Bible Explorer. My children have begun to help me around the house, they’ve begun to pray and ask me to go to church with them. I could not say no, and we made a commitment to attend. Thank you for helping my children go to camp!
Summer camp season will soon begin again in June. Please pray in advance for the Lord to open the hearts of the children to the Gospel, as well as for the resources needed to send as many kids to camp as we can.