There are many reasons to look forward to the summer months, especially when you are a child. Children in the former Soviet Union are no different.
While we certainly have had summer camp opportunities in North America, in their culture it is even more of an event. During the communist years, many children spent time in what were known as Young Pioneer Camps. At one time in the early 1970s, there were some 40,000 such camps across the 15 countries that made up the Soviet Union. There was also a Young Pioneer organization for youth that taught and upheld the values of the Soviet system. After the Soviet breakup in the early 1990s, most of these camps ceased operating. In time, this opened the door for evangelical churches to begin holding summer camp ministries where the children were able to hear the Gospel and learn biblical values along with all the other fun activities that usually go along with camp season.
By God’s grace and wonderful provision, SGA partners have had the blessing of supporting hundreds of these church-run camps, and as you read in Eric Mock’s article, a record number of children are being reached. We have every reason to hope for even greater things this camp season, and I invite you to join us in praying in advance for a fruitful camp season with more children being reached than ever before. There are many challenges, including the ongoing tragedy of war in Ukraine. Our resourceful brothers and sisters there still managed to find a way to minister to the children in the midst of it all, trusting in the Lord for His protection and work in the hearts of the children. In other former Soviet nations, other challenges exist—often from governments and other religious groups that oppose evangelical churches and their outreaches. But God always makes a way. It is so vitally important to seize every opportunity to reach as many as possible with the Gospel.
I am so thankful to God for you and your faithful support of SGA-sponsored summer camp ministry, and for your support of all our other ministries. Above all, I am thankful to know that you are our prayer partners in all this. Our founder Peter Deyneka’s motto, “Much Prayer, Much Power,” is still our motto today. Please pray in advance with thanksgiving at what God will do!
For our Savior,