We are so very thankful for your prayers for the summer camps ~ God did amazing things and was at work in so many people's lives. I was reminded again that we can plan, work hard, organize but it's only the power of God that can give hope, forgiveness and a new life. The first camp we had 30 youth and seven people repented. At the second English camp we had 50 - 55 people (some came just for a few days) and 14 people repented. We were very thankful that almost all the youth were new contacts ~ had not been to previous camps or Bible studies at the youth center. We were also grateful for the way God provided teachers for the English camp. This was the first year we didn't have a group from the States come over and God provided some wonderful teenagers from Moscow whose parents are missionaries. They did a fantastic job with the English lessons and were such a blessings. I personally was encouraged to see their maturity and willingness to help ~ it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe missionary kids can turn out *normal* ::wink:: Here are a few pictures and stories.
James in one of the morning sessions
Preparing three meals a day in the middle of the woods can be quite a challenge. Very thankful for the cook God provided.
Capture the flag is always a favorite
Chris Koepke from Kerrville, TX came over for the month and was a big help
This is Alina ~ her story was neat because she comes from a great home where the parents are Christians and have been praying for her for years. She did not want to come to camp and be around 'boring Christians' but finally decided to come.. so great to see how God worked in her heart!
These two brothers Dima and Anatolli (^ and below) were great to get to know. They come from a very poor family and had never read the Bible or heard about God. Both of them repented and have been coming to the Bible studies at the youth center since camp ended.
The young man in the orange flowered shorts is 16 year old Vitya. The week before he came to camp he overdosed on drugs and had to be rushed to the emergency room. He repented and after camp James was able to take him out to a Christian rehab center for a 2 month stay. So exciting to see the change in his life!
These are two of Rachel's best friends ~ Olga on the left and Sveta on the right. Olga went to camp last year and has been several times to Bible studies at the youth center. During the first camp she prayed to receive Christ. The next day I was out at camp and she came running up to the car to tell me what had happened and asked me if I could take her to the Christian store in Moscow after camp was over to buy a Bible. Rachel was thrilled as she has been praying for Olga for almost three years. Sveta also prayed to receive Christ and James has been able to get to know her parents and witness to them through camp.
This is 19 year old Katya ~ she repented at the second camp. Later after camp was over she came by the youth center and told James how it was a like a battle was going on in her soul the entire time until she prayed. She said she would never forget the peace that has come into her life and how grateful she is she learned about God and now has a Bible to read. She comes from a very tragic home situation with no father and an alcoholic Mother.
When we first moved out to Nara-Faminsk eight years ago and had our very first camp in this area we had an 18 year old girl named Lena come... oiy was she a trouble maker! She smuggled vodka in and got drunk and James was on the verge of sending her home when he said he felt strongly 'no she's the one that needs to stay.' At the end of camp one person and only one person repented... Lena. She went from being an alcoholic, angry, rebellious teen who regularly went to the Satanic church to walking in truth and light. The change in her life was dramatic to say the least! She ended up going to a Christian university in Moscow and marrying a super Christian husband. Lena and Vitalya were a fantastic help during the camp ~ shopping, hauling water, cutting wood, sharing Christ and always investing in the lives around them. Such a blessings to see their lives!
I'll end with some pictures of our kids enjoying camp ~ Johanna is part fish and would stay in water all day if she could
David LOVED the rope swing
and playing with the boat
And here's James ~ I told him once he turns 40 he can't do stuff like this
I can't put into words how much we appreciate those who financially gave to make this camp possible, and to those who prayed. God answered in a great and mighty way and we give all glory to HIM! Thank you for your investment in the lives of Russian youth.