We are bringing news from the youth ministry. Within it, as in every year, we organized summer evangelistic camps, assisting Romanian local churches in this important aspect of their own ministry. Such an evangelistic project has several objectives. As they are fulfilled, the younger generation from your community is brought to faith and enthusiasm is generated among the youth groups.
Our first objective was to present the Gospel to youth from outside of the benefiting local church, in a clear and relevant way. For this very reason, we used a curricula of interactive Bible lessons called “Story of God” summarizing the plan God has for mankind. This course challenged the faith of the participants. Secondly, we aimed and succeeded in having the church youth rededicating their lives and developing an evangelistic spirit within their groups. And not the least, new youth leaders were challenged and encouraged to serve, experiencing in an enthusiastic context the leading others to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
For the Summer of 2009 were planned and organized three evangelistic camps, with emphasis in learning and going deeper in knowing English language. This was part of the partnership with Josiah Venture, an organization with long term experience handling teams from US and not only. This kind of partnership between Josiah Venture organization, BIG Impact foundation and Romanian beneficiary churches was initiated for the first time.
For each of these camping events, two training sessions were put together for training local church teams regarding the philosophy of ministry. These also were done with evangelism in mind. “The Story of God” was held few weeks prior to camp and the teambuilding one, a week before camp. During these training sessions, the interns were able to visit all beneficiary local churches, in June and July. Thousands of km were covered to see these teams together and meet the youth and the leaders from those churches. In this time, evangelistic events were organized in different parks inviting youth to attend our camps.
To organize this evangelistic English camping project, three teams were working together:
- Intern team (two voluntary leaders from BIG and three volunteers from JV)
- Local church teams, mainly the youth leader and 7-10 young leaders
- One American team brought in by one of the local churches from USA, partnering with JV/BIG, meaning 10-15 youth or students led by their youth pastor.
The Beneficiaries of these 2009 summer camps were:
- Baptist church from Seleus
- Baptist church from Ineu
- Baptist church from Sepreus
- Pentecostal church from Mangalia
- Evangelical Free Church from Craiova
- Baptist church, Sfânta Treime from Galati
These churches provided a total of 260 participants (leaders included). Out of these participants, about 60 youth were encouraged to walk in faith and 5 youth met Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Our desire is to keep in prayer all of those who were spiritually challenged during this summer, to grow in faith and be integrated in a discipleship process within their youth group from the local church they came with.
We plan to continue our relationship with the local churches and multiply the number of youth exposed to the power of the Gospel, as well as the leaders involved in this ministry. Our intentions are to organize five evangelistic camps for the summer for 2010, varying our focus: learning English (beginner and advance English), music camp in partnership with Fusion (a brand of Josiah Venture organization) and extreme sports camp (including skiing camp during the cold season).
We are thanking those who supported us in any ways, to youth leaders, interns, churches participating in this project and to the volunteers from USA. We are thanking those who supported us from distance, in prayer; their prayers were the reason of the successful and blessed summer we had.
Finally I would like to share some of the opinions of those attending the camp:
Ana Stan, from Seleus:
“What I can say about this camp is that it changed my perspective for God’s work: my faith grew and I saw God changing people and how wonderful He does it! I am happy that He uses me in His plan. I have seen lives changed in this camp, attitudes changed and youth were so open for relationships, in spite of my initial thoughts. I have seen harmony and fellowship and that was like a cold glass of water during a dry season, for me. I can only thank God for this camp.”
Vali , small group leader, Craiova
“I was able to see and experiment new things that encouraged me but challenged me in the same time. The fact that I worked with such a diverse team, ready to sacrifice from their spare time to serve others, confirmed for me that when we are ready to give up our comfort to serve God, He is with us working along side us. In this kind of ministry, we need each other and in turn, we all need God.”
Adi Tudorache, camp attendee, Craiova
“I loved the English lessons, the songs from the evening program but what I liked best was that what I planed on doing, I did: I got closer to God and forgot about problems. The camp helped me think more about my decisions I take for my life. Super!!! I wish that every week I would spend the time as I did during camp.”