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Mar 27, 2023
Summer Camps & Youth Ministry
Editor’s Note: The report and images below were provided by an SGA-supported children’s and youth ministry in Russia.

God is at work in so many ways and with so many different people, all in the same place. He uses retreats like the one you’ll read about in the report below to open hearts and eyes to Himself. Not only did one of the invited young people have her heart opened to the gift of God, but even a volunteer—who was not a participant at the retreat—saw Jesus in a new and greater way. 

Praise God with us for this life-changing ministry . . .

“Greetings! Many wonderful events occurred in January that I want to share with you.

We held a retreat session out of town for non-believing teens from January 2 to 4. We gathered children among those who came to our clubs on Saturdays, as well as their classmates and friends. The goal of the retreat was to tell them about Christ and give them an opportunity to be in silence, where they could take a step toward God. As a result, 12 of the 16 children aged 11 to 14 gave their hearts to Jesus. 

A girl named Stesha had been born into a family of deaf and dumb parents. She knows sign language and is very embarrassed that her parents are different from the parents of the other children. She is currently going through a phase and is often sad. She likes to be alone for fear of not being accepted. However, she said, everything changed for her during the retreat.

Stesha felt comfortable in a welcoming and loving atmosphere, and she realized that her family had been a gift from God. Because God was accepting her through her new friends, she decided to take a step toward God. She showed a desire to attend our church after the retreat was over, and her parents did not mind. And later, after celebrating her birthday with all the other children, she even wanted to give her tithe to the church. Stesha has started attending our Sunday school and learning more about God there. Please pray for her heart, and that the seed that was sown will bear its fruit! 

Also, there was a girl volunteer at this retreat (Vilina, 17 years old; she was a helper there, not a participant) who realized that she needed to learn more about Jesus. So, we started meeting with her every week and reading the Bible together. She had known about God since she was a little girl because her parents were Christians, but she had never had a personal relationship with God. She says that she never understood why people sit and talk about God all the time; it was boring to her.

But when Vilina came with us to this retreat, and even afterward, she was surprised to learn that Jesus is a very interesting person, and she was eager to learn even more about Him. This is a very joyful moment for us, and our hearts rejoice! Please pray that she will not stop seeking Jesus and will have a conscious desire to be baptized.”

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