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Editor’s Note: The images below were provided by an SGA-supported church in Central Asia.
From Darkness To Light A Christian Summer Camp Changes Lives 1

For Farukh, life has been difficult. Day after day he watched his father beat his mother and drink nonstop. But after being invited by a friend to a Christian summer camp, something wonderful took place. While there, Farukh was amazed to experience peace and love among the believers. Only later did he realize that people who call themselves Christians are truly called to live for Christ.
            After talking to a counselor and sharing about his life at home, Farukh was encouraged to begin praying for a miracle so that his dad would stop drinking. You will see at the end of this story exactly what happened. As you read this story from a summer camp report in Central Asia, please know that it’s support from friends like you that makes stories like Farukh’s possible and can make an impact for generations. Thank you for your compassionate support!

“Farukh, who is 13, lives in a small village with his mom and dad. Unfortunately, his father abuses alcohol and all the burdens and care for the family fell on the shoulders of his mother, who is the only breadwinner in their household. His father beats his wife in front of Farukh’s eyes; when the boy wants to stand up for mom, he cannot overcome his father, as he is much stronger. Farukh often started escaping to the mountains, sitting there, and wondering if there is happiness in life or anything good at all. He started talking to God, not even knowing what he wanted to pray for. He was asking God to change everything around him. All he saw in his life was a crying mother, lack of finances, and spending most of his time at home, which was not a place of safety, peace, and joy. He thought that the bleak and rugged life they lived was all and nothing else seemed to exist.
            His friend was going to a camp, but his parents would not let him go alone, only with someone else, so he decided to invite Farukh to come with him. Thus, the boys were able to go to the camp, escaping for a while from life in a small village and find themselves in a new civilized place. When Farukh arrived, he was astonished to see how different everything around waslots of trees, a large dining room, a swing, a pool in which he dreamed to swim in for so long. People’s attitude towards him seemed strange to him at first, as he saw their love and care towards himself. The boy could not understand why people in the camp behaved so different compared to what he experienced at home. Toward the end of the camp shift, Farukh saw Christ living in the hearts of people around him, that there was so much love in them, and for a good reason. He knew that it was a Christian camp, but only later, he realized that people did not just call themselves “Christians,” they did indeed live for Christ. The boy realized that God answered his prayer, as he asked Him to change his life and wanted to feel joy. The time in the camp was especially enjoyable for him, and Farukh’s hardened heart started to soften.
            The boy shared with his counselors what he had experienced living in his family; that his father drank hard and beat his mother. Then they offered to pray with faith for his family, and every day the boy asked God for a miracle so that his dad would stop drinking. While at camp, Farukh enjoyed talking with the other boys and mentors, swimming in the pool, riding on slides, playing football, eating delicious food — and listening to Bible stories!
            After the camp, the boy came home and met with his father. Miraculously, his father stopped drinking and beating his mother. The father asked for forgiveness from his son for all that brutality and treating his family harshly. For Farukh, it was a miracle, as the boy had not seen his father sober for a long time. Things that have happened recently to him – the camp and changes in the father’s behavior – influenced the boy, and it required from him a big leap of faith to understand and find out who Christ is.”

Central Asia
From a Summer Camp Report

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