The summer camp season is an important way for the Slavic Gospel Association to help Russian churches and pastors introduce the Gospel to children and their families. But in July, President Putin signed into law the “Anti-Terrorism Act,” which significantly reduced the Russian Evangelical Church’s freedom. It also caused a lot of concern for SGA’s 2016 summer camp ministries. The bill make sharing one’s faith illegal if it’s not within an official and registered church building. However, SGA’s Joel Griffith has good news.
SGA doesn’t have the final statistics yet, but it looks like the ministry helped reach out to nearly 17,000 kids with the Gospel in hundreds of camps throughout Russia and Central Asia.
Griffith says he’s heard that about 2,400 kids accepted Christ and that 3,000 wanted to be involved with the church. “It’s always interesting to us how much the children like the Bible stories and the Bible studies and being able to just have discussions around the campfire about their lives. [They talk about how] situations that are described in Scripture are applied to their own lives.” “Sometimes those discussions can get pretty deep and the children are just really warmed by what the scriptural accounts and the power the Word of God do in their hearts.”
The Gospel’s and personal love the kids get from their camp workers create the perfect environment for building lasting relationships. That’s part of the reason why these camps don’t only reach the kids, they reach the adults too. As a result, about 650 adults expressed a desire to attend church, opening up for further conversations about the Gospel. The pastors and church workers continue to build the budding relationships by visiting the families and inviting them to church and Sunday school.
Source: Slavic Gospel Association
Bible Study: 2 Chronicles 34:1-3
PRAISE God that these camps were able to go ahead and that so many kids experienced Christ’s love. Pray for lasting relationships with the local churches.