Last year, over 30 4D-sponsored youth camps took place throughout Eastern Europe. More than 200 volunteers were involved and over 3,000 kids attended!
In the Czech Republic, Mona Paulson organized camps in two different towns where a Christian camp had never been held before. The draw for both camps was for kids to improve their English with “native speakers,” but the purpose went beyond that. The theme “Christmas in August” gave a natural opportunity to share the historical Christmas story (as recorded in Luke) of Jesus’ birth. Over half of each group had never heard the Biblical account. One child even asked, “Who or what is “the Bible?”
Fortunately, Mona had an amazing short term missions team from Grace Church in Allen, TX and a dedicated team of local volunteers that helped her. At the end of each camp, there were tearful goodbyes and many requests from both the kids and the parents who were invited for the final evening, for “more” and for “next year.”
In southern Moldova – a very different part of Eastern Europe – 4D’s dear friend and ministry partner, George, wrote this about one of the 15 camps 4D sponsored there: “We held the camp in the park of the village of Vishinovka. It lasted from August 22 through 25. Every day we had between 80 and 90 children. Breakfast and lunch was brought to us by a church from another town. The children (and youth) had Bible lessons, music, sports and crafts. The purpose of the camp was to have the kids come to love and obey Jesus. At the end of the camp, we saw the results. Praise God! Sixty children accepted Jesus into their hearts. We hope and pray that these children and their parents will become followers of Christ.”
In Romania, kids’ lives were changed when they attended one of the many 4D-sponsored youth camps. One of the campers, Mihaela, wrote, “In this camp I felt God’s love. I understand that I have received forgiveness and the chance to start a new life.” Orlando, another camper wrote, “This camp brought me closer to God. I began to understand His Word and to love Him more.” Ana wrote, “I made new friends, but above all, I understood the power of God. This camp is where we received comfort and encouragement. In this camp I understood that I must be ready. I learned that every moment counts and every second should be lived for God.”
Over and over, child after child, the experience was different but the same thread of hope runs through testimony after testimony. Kids who attended 4D-sponsored camps across Eastern Europe were introduced to Christ and their hearts were changed!
The results of these camps were God’s work, but we are so thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to be part of it. We’re thankful for all our partners, both in the US and Eastern Europe, who helped make these camps possible, either through financial partnership or hands-on involvement. Now, it’s time to prepare for this summer, as 4D has a goal of a 20% increase in 2016 – that’s 3,500-4,000 kids in camp!
If you would like to help lay that foundation by partnering financially, please donate here. Just $10 sends a child to camp. Together, we can send kids across Eastern Europe to camp to hear the Gospel and have the opportunity to put their faith in Jesus Christ as they encounter the Cross, many for the very first time!
Dear ministry friends, Thanksgiving, when I grew up in Holland, was often referred to as Harvest Thanksgiving Day. For thousands of children and youth, this year’s Thanksgiving