Summer Camp Outreach

By Levi MacGregor, VOMC's International Ministry

"I felt in my heart that he should be invited to the camp and I heard
the words, 'Do not stop the children from coming to Me.'"

~ Youth Camp Leader

Last July, a group of 25 Christian young adults in Central Asia led three separate youth camps, featuring English as a second language and sports training, with the intention of sharing the Gospel. The overnight camps provided a loving, safe environment for children from as young as 10 years old, to young people up to the age of 22, so they can enjoy sports, improve their English, and learn about Jesus.

In the country where these camps were discretely being held, the majority of the population is Muslim. Religious freedom is guaranteed by its constitution, but the fear of radical Islam empowers the government to closely monitor and suppress all religious activity -- including Christian outreach when it's discovered.

During one of the camps, all of the staff and campers had left for a separate area of the fenced facility to begin the sports activities. On his way, one of the camp leaders noticed a young boy sitting alone on the pavement outside the gate. Because of limited funds, staff, and supplies, not all the youth living in local communities near where the camps were held had been invited.

As the leader looked at the child, he felt this boy was special and should be invited to the camp. In his mind, he heard the words, "Do not stop the children from coming to Me."

He approached the boy and asked him, "Why did you not come to the camp?"
"No one told me about it," the boy replied.
"Do you want to be at this camp?" asked the leader.
"Yes! So much!" exclaimed the boy.

The camp leader told the boy to wait there and, when the campers returned, he would be added to a sports team. After the group came back, the leader discussed the little boy with his co-leaders. They noted that there were already so many kids and the fact that this boy was not on the attendee list.

At this point, one of the leaders stated, "But he is on our special list." With some of the staff in agreement, the boy was added to a team. Of the 60 kids who attended that camp, this boy expressed the greatest value for being able to attend.

"No one told me about it," were the words the boy had said about the camp. How sobering. Maybe it was the only opportunity this boy, living in a restricted country, would have had to hear the Gospel; and the absence of a few extra resources could have kept him from attending.

VOMC's in-country ministry partners report that these camps are an excellent outreach tool for presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, many partnering pastors say it is the best outreach to youth that they have. Will you join me in prayer and support for these camps which we are once again sponsoring this coming summer? May that "special list" grow longer and, as a result, keep one less child stopped from attending.

Levi MacGregor
International Ministry

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