SGA-supported Summer Bible Camp Ministries are yet another example of how your faithful, generous support enables evangelical churches across the former Soviet Union to reach thousands of children with the life-changing Gospel. In some nations, especially the Muslim-dominated countries of Central Asia, such outreaches can face significant opposition and must be carried out discreetly. Despite these challenges, the camps continue to bear much fruit for the glory of Christ. We recently received the following report from a Central Asian nation, highlighting the impact of the camp outreach on one special young boy . . .
“Maxim (not his real name) is 9 years old. He is a very shy and modest boy. Because of his physical resemblance with another Central Asian ethnic group, children often mock Maxim. The reason is because in that region, there are constant conflicts between Maxim’s ethnic group and the group native to this country, and they do not feel friendly towards each other.
He lives in a village where most of the inhabitants live on the poverty line, without any of the usual blessings of civilization. Among many challenges, they must endure constant shortages of water. There are no jobs and people are just surviving. Since there are no jobs in the village, Maxim’s parents have to go for work in other places—his mother is a pharmacist in another town, and his father is a migrant worker in Russia. Due to the current economic situation, the money they make is barely enough for food and the family has a hard time making ends meet.
Maxim started attending a sports club at the church and we became good friends. He felt the love of God, because God loves everyone, regardless of their nation or appearance. When we announced the sign-up for the camp, Maxim was delighted and set his heart upon going to the camp. However, the boy realized that his family was not able to pay for the ticket. When we told him that God took care of that and the ticket was free for him, his joy knew no bounds. He never traveled far from home and had never been to the large lake/reservoir here. He was looking out the window all the way to the camp, admiring the scenery.
Once in the camp, Maxim settled down in a comfortable room, and we all went for dinner together where he could satisfy his hunger, because at home he would not always have a full meal. He admired many things in the camp— the delicious food, swimming pool, nature, and games. Besides, Maxim was active during the Bible lessons, where he could learn a lot about his Creator. He made many friends and he was truly happy these days, as in his village he felt largely neglected.
As we were returning home, he asked us to continue studying the Bible with him and not to forget him. God touched his young little heart and made him realize that he is important to God, and that God loves him!”
One young boy, an unexpected opportunity for the joy of being at a fun camp with believers who loved him, and the Gospel being communicated—and lived out—before him. Seeds have been planted and your faithfulness in prayers and giving have helped make the opportunity possible. Please pray for Maxim, and for the thousands of other boys and girls who participated in Summer Camp ministries across the former Soviet Union. May the Lord bring many to Himself in saving faith!