What brings more joy to a heart than seeing children in prayer! Bringing their lives before God at a young age will only better prepare their hearts for the journey ahead. As you will see at the end of this summer camp report from SGA-supported Pastor Pavel, Nikita is a young boy with a heart that has already needed to cry out to God for help. But, what maturity in this young life!
May we all be so ready to lift our hearts to our Father in Heaven and pray not only for the big things, but recognize the many blessings as well. Be blessed as your read this story. God is at work!
Greetings brothers and sisters!
This year is the 29th year of the ministry of the Little Pearl Children’s Camp (Zhemchuzhinka) to needy children in Belarus, and another opportunity to share the Gospel with the children. All of this has been possible because of the support the Lord has provided. During that time, a whole generation of ministers has grown up who remember the camp as a place where new people were born to God.
This year was also a special year. Before the start of the season, we could feel the tension that was growing in the team. The very stressful preparations had a very strong effect on the team. I could feel the nervousness. The whole team experienced a very strong spiritual turmoil. And there was no energy and no desire to work. It felt like something was going to happen. And indeed. The prayers of the children were special.
People rarely see so much repentance in a camp—much less in churches. I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years. Every day 24, 27, 20, 60 children and teenagers came out to the call to reconcile with God. Afterwards, during the day, the children prayed alone with their counselors and stated their desire to follow Christ. During the day, from the moment of the call to God, 71 children turned to God. There were more to come. They didn’t stop coming. I can’t say that there was a special program. The usual topics were studied—biblical examples of heroes and the sins and actions associated with their lives.
It is hard to estimate even the total number of children who prayed. Only from the photos, perhaps. It was counted that 147 of the 204 children on the camp repented.
The counselors talked about special conscious prayers of children. They say that even adults rarely pray this way. In the photos you can see children in groups going out every day for a call to repentance.
Another counselor told how a child was talking to his parents on the phone and hearing his father’s swear words said: “Daddy! We can’t say such swear words in front of God.”
Here is a testimony of a boy from camp…
“I want to tell you a story that made me believe in God.
“It all started on my cousin’s birthday. And for some unknown reason, my parents had a fight, I don’t remember exactly what it was about, but I do remember that they yelled a lot at each other, I remember lying in tears all night in my bed and crying. But I don’t think it was all for nothing! In some strange way, I decided to pray, yes, pray!
“This whole thing led to my parents’ divorce. After that my mom and I moved in with my mom’s brother. Now, I would like to thank them all so much for their kindness and help! It was very difficult for me. When my mom found us a place to live, things started to get better. Now I don’t regret that I went through that. I don’t, because I received the most important thing for all people in this world—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. On the one hand one might think and say: ‘Lord, why!’ but on the other hand you can think and say: ‘Lord, thank you for everything!’
“Yes, it was very difficult. That’s what we sometimes, even I would say always, have to sacrifice for faith! God always knows what’s best for all of us. I am glad I am living by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Nikita, 10 years old.
The counselor said that Nikita prayed during the camp like this, “I’m sorry my little brother wasn’t born. Forgive my mother. Thank You for the Bible lesson today, through which I learned how to forgive. You took away my heartache. And I was able to forgive my father today.”
Time is very short. The days go by quickly. Not everything can be heard and saved. But changes are evident. Both in the children and the counselors.