The Youth Department in BIG is involved every year in organizing evangelistic camps, assisting the local churches in evangelizing the next generation. An end-of-season evaluation shows that this year we organized no less than 12 such camps, together with five teams from USA, made out of 40 people.
Each camp was organized by a core of around 20 Romanian leaders, part from the organizing churches, part from BIG, leaders who took the responsibilities needed for reaching the objectives, and for coordinating the activities.
An estimated 900 people benefited from these camps, from which 400 needed a clear and relevant exposure to the Gospel. From among them, 70 young people have dedicated or re-dedicated their lives to Christ, remaining under the care and nurture of the churches that organized the camps they attended, and, also, a large number of leaders have shown interest in getting involved in small groups, or taking part in other youth oriented activities.
Beyond these statistics, which can seem cold or numeric, we would like to present to you some insights caught by the organizers:
- it was a refreshment and re-motivation in regards to the passion for youth evangelism; it was an opportunity to build new leaders and assistants; there were many opportunities, in the camp, for service, for discussions, for accountability, and, because the young people have worked to pay for their camp, they were very responsible, and appreciate it more.
- the leaders had the opportunity to talk to those in their small group – that led to a rekindle of the enthusiasm and to a personal refreshment; it was needed to work in such a demanding project, because our unity was strengthened.
- the results were encouraging: all the non-Christian young people who attended, except for three people who come from a remote village, have kept in touch with us and, either got into small groups, or attend our activities.
- we wanted this year to be different in terms of organizing, from the years before, meaning we wanted youth to feel they are also involved in organizing, to feel there are more options; we didn’t want to have a barrier between us, organizers, and the camp participants. Therefore, each evening we had three themes: money and carrier, self image and friendships. Each individual could choose a theme that was most interesting to him or her.
- we tried to step into their world, to understand the participants, and have tried to meet their needs, through the chosen themes. It was a camp full of games, volleyball and table tennis championships, there even was a day when we all went to the swimming pool! The American team had an English class hour each morning, depending on the knowledge level of each of the participants. Everything ended with a magnificent camp fire, in the last night!