On Friday night, I (Mike) stood before a group of about 170 Polish adults, teens, and children with this message: “God is asking you to give up your hopes and your dreams and even your identity. He asks us to die to these things and come follow Him.”
What an absurd marketing pitch! Who would sign on to follow a God who asks us to give up everything we value? The theme verse for this year was Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God gives back so much more than we could ever possibly give up following Him. As a team, we brought this message through Bible reading, devotionals, worship and singing, personal testimonies, many hours of personal interaction, and by demonstrating God’s love by the way we loved our fellow team members. It was a powerful, unstoppable message.
Each year as the camp draws to a close, our team meets together and reads through the survey results written by the students. There were many surprises, praises, and joyful tears as we learned how God had impacted the students. It was clear to us as we read the feedback that God penetrated the hearts of every student and translator at the camp. Here are some of the results / praises:
- Approximately 35 adults and high school students indicated that they decided to trust Jesus as their Savior during the camp.
- 9-10 pre-teens (ages 10-13) indicated that they made a similar decision during the camp.
- Many students indicated that they really enjoyed the Bible Reading time.
- Several students indicated that they will start to read their Bibles after the camp.
- Many who did not accept Christ indicated that they are going home considering this weighty decision as they leave the camp.
Becky Miller, who has taught at 20+ English camps, shared this with me this morning, “I have never seen this happen at a camp before—every unbeliever in our group accepted Christ this week! It is so wonderful!”
Every single Bible reading group included people who indicated that they accepted Christ this week. What a blessing, and what a confirmation of the countless investments of time, effort, finances, and prayer that went into this week.
We were proud of Josiah who worked hard, built relationships with Polish kids and teens, invested in the other team members and served God faithfully throughout the week. The entire team was an absolute blessing to lead. Our members served faithfully, were transparent, allowed others to help with difficulties or discouragement and loved one another with the love of Christ. This testimony shone so brightly to the campers.
Mary and I walked into the week quite discouraged and exhausted. Many team members shared similar stories of discouragement as we started the camp on Sunday. In a way that only God could do, He used this incredibly busy and exhausting jet-lagged week to encourage, strengthen, reinvigorate, and bring joy to us and to these team members.
For more information, check out the pictures and videos at: FamilyEnglishCamp.PL
As this trip draws to a close, we are looking forward to the next ministry steps. Here are a few things you can continue to pray with us:
- God has not made it clear whether Mary and I will be traveling overseas for ministry this fall. Please pray with us that God will give us a clear answer.
- We will be hosting at least 2 missionaries in our home and providing training in counseling tools this summer / fall. Please pray that God will expand the reach of these tools to more hurting individuals through this training.
- God has moved things forward on the Forgiveness book providing a marketing expert who will help us package the book and design a cover. Please pray with us that this process will continue to move forward.
Thank you again for your financial and prayer partnership!
Mike, Mary, and Josiah