He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely (Proverbs 10:5).
Our faithful brothers and sisters across the Commonwealth of Independent States have learned much through the years of ministering in their challenging nations. They have learned that when God grants an opportunity, it must be seized immediately. And each summer, thousands of children in Russia and her neighboring nations flock by invitation to Christian camp ministries that you—our faithful partners—help make possible. Although spring has two more months to go, preparations have already begun to reach the children for Christ. And in Russia, serious questions remain about how the new anti-missionary law may be enforced to harass or even close evangelical camps as in the Central Asian, and Caucasus nations.
The spiritual fruit of summer camps cannot be overstated. In Armenia last summer, a camp led by SGA-sponsored missionary pastor Gagik was held in a very beautiful mountainous area along Sevan Lake. Gagik reports that the camp opened up numerous opportunities . . .
At our camp, 60 percent of the children were from unbelieving families. After each camp session, we invited all of the children to our church so that we can could continue working with them. Sometimes the children even brought their parents, and we made personal visits to those children who were not able to come. We visited them in their homes, and got acquainted with their parents. We tried to develop a relationship with them. We decided to hold a VBS ministry after camp was over, I It was wonderful to see many of the parents bringing their children after having seen the changes in their children on their return from camp. The camp also helps us in our overall church ministry. After last year’s sessions, five parents began to attend our church. Camp is a very much needed ministry for our church!
In Russia’s Elista region, Buddhism is the main religion, but the summer’s heat helped open opportunities to reach local children in camp programs . . .
The summers in our republic are very hot. There are very few lakes or reservoirs here. There are two swimming pools in town, but we could not afford to pay for tickets to get in. So we prepared several games with water, which the children enjoyed very much. Some parents came along with their children to the camp. The mother of one young boy named Nikita told us, “I do not know what you did with him, but he has changed for the better after meetings with you. He is calmer and more obedient!” We are so thankful to hear such responses about our ministry!
Please pray in advance for the camp sessions being planned in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus republics, across Central Asia and in Israel where opposition to the Gospel is so strong. As boys and girls hear about Christ’s love for them, may He draw many boys and girls to Himself.