Archive for the ‘Camp’ Category
Monday, May 7th, 2012
From the poverty of inner-city Moldova to the war-torn towns of Chechnya, life is very hard for many children in the former Soviet Union. An estimated two to four million live on the streets, either abandoned by their families or running away from abuse and neglect. These boys, girls, and young adults are their nations’ Next Generation leaders, so the character they form today can determine the future of the whole region.
You can make that future brighter with a gift to send needy, at-risk children and youth to an evangelistic Russian Ministries summer camp! In 2011, friends like you helped 8,554 children attend 98 different summer camps.
Most of the children who attend come from non-Christian homes, but at camp an estimated 20% make the decision to trust Jesus. All are given Bibles or other Christian literature to take home, and camp leaders—our School Without Walls (SWW) students—follow up with discipleship. We know from experience that many of these boys and girls will come to church for Sunday School and other programs, and soon, they’ll be bringing their families along. In this way, the simple seed planted at summer camp can reach whole communities!
Every $50 you give will send another boy or girl to a life-transforming—and fun—summer camp experience. How many young lives will you change today?
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
How your support changed lives this summer!
At 98 different Russian Ministries evangelistic camps across the former Soviet Union this summer — in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Central Asia — children gathered from broken homes, orphanages, and situations of abuse and misery. And where the Communist regime once indoctrinated boys and girls in the worship of state and duty, your support helped 8,554 children and youth discover freedom and love in Christ!
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” the Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 (ESV).
Summer camps are our most effective strategic mission tool reaching out to children and youth in the countries of the former Soviet Union, from the poverty of inner-city Moldova to the war-torn towns of Chechnya. Most of the children who attend come from non-Christian homes. Many are from a Muslim background, or Buddhist, or atheist.
But at camp, they have the opportunity to discover God’s love, learn from His Word, and grow in their faith under the caring guidance of young Next Generation Christian leaders. An estimated 20% of our campers make the decision to trust in Jesus at camp, while the rest are sown with the seed of the gospel! These boys, girls, and teens will someday become Next Generation leaders themselves, so it’s important to give them a strong foundation now.
For the young men and women leading each camp, this is also a crucial time to put into practice the ministry lessons learned during their School Without Walls (SWW) classes. This hands-on immersion in children’s outreach helps build their confidence in sharing their faith, and launch them into a future of service to God, their churches, and their communities.
The “least of these”
For example, in Poltava, Ukraine, Russian Ministries teamed up with Samaritan’s Purse to create a summer camp for 55 children living with HIV and special needs. Most Ukrainians know little about HIV, despite the fact that the country has one of the fastest growth rates of HIV/AIDS in the world, so these children live under a daily cloud of fear and stigma. But at camp, they were surrounded by God’s love as they did crafts, sang Bible songs, and learned about Jesus. For once, they felt wanted and accepted—a wonderful witness to them and to their families.
Putting faith into practice
Kabardino-Balkaria, in the Northern Caucasus, is often in the news — as a breeding-ground for suicide bombers and a hotbed of Al-Qaeda indoctrination of young boys. But at the Russian Ministries summer camp, your generosity brought the Prince of Peace and a message of hope for the future.
Oksana, a SWW student who helped lead the camp in Kabardino-Balkaria, reports that, “I was greatly helped by knowledge gained through SWW, which I graduated from this year. I called to mind what our teachers had taught us about children’s ministry, which really helped me. We became close friends with the children during the camp. There were three children from a needy family who were on their guard at first, like animals. But during camp they were transformed into thankful listeners. They were grateful for every piece of candy and every kind word. By the end of the camp they were completely ours, and parted with us with great sadness. You could tell that they didn’t want the camp to end.”
These stories, and hundreds more, show how the lives of both campers and leaders were transformed by Russian Ministries evangelistic summer camps. And it doesn’t stop there! Our bold young Next Generation Christian leaders will use the foundation of camp as a bridge to build strong relationships with the campers and their families.
We know from experience that many of these boys, girls, and teens will come to church for Sunday School and other programs, and soon, they’ll be bringing their families along. In this way, the simple seed planted at summer camp can reach whole communities! Thank you for giving so many children this time to explore God’s love for them and learn to trust Him for the rest of their lives.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, talked with Russian Ministries’ President Sergey Rakhuba about the next generation of young people in the Northern Caucasus and other Muslim dominated regions of Russia.
Read Peter’s interview and discover how one young man turned from violence to peace.
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Donate online NOW, and start making a difference in a child’s life today.
Your support of these summer camps will bring hope to orphans like Inna.
Inna would have wound up another orphan statistic that plagues Ukraine and Russia, but as a young teen, she was invited by School Without Walls students from Rovno, Ukraine, to one of the evangelistic summer camps they organized and led.
When Inna’s father died almost ten years ago, her mother was left with five children to raise on her own. And it proved to be too much.
“My mother started to drink,” recalls Inna of her early childhood days. Eventually, Inna’s mother sent her two older brothers to an orphanage, and at the tender age of seven, Inna didn’t begin school, but began to care for her two younger sisters.
One dreadful day, Inna watched her mother walk out and lock the apartment door behind her, leaving behind three little girls, ages seven, five and three, all alone and with only frozen potatoes and cabbage to eat.
When local authorities discovered this gross neglect, the three sisters were quickly removed from the apartment and placed in separate orphanages, where Inna has lived for the past nine years.
It was at one of Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps that Inna discovered hope. “For the first time, I began to feel peaceful and calm,” says Inna.
God is using School Without Walls students and other young Christian leaders to reach out to helpless children and teenagers like Inna, and a new generation is discovering hope in Christ.
“There is joy in my heart in spite of everything that has happened in my life. I feel God’s love for me. I hope to attend many more camps like this one,” Inna states happily.
A donation to our evangelistic summer camp ministry will help School Without Walls students reach at least 5,000 needy children and teenagers at evangelistic summer camps in Russia and Ukraine, and especially significant, in the ever-turbulent Northern Caucasus, including North and South Ossetia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Each $50 gift will help send one camper to a life-changing week of camp and help provide a Bible and/or Christian literature for that child or teenager.
- $100 will help send two campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature for them.
- $200 will help send four campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
- $300 will help send six campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
Perhaps God is prompting you to help send eight or even ten campers to one of these evangelistic summer camps, so they can hear about God’s love for the first time, and discover new life and hope in Him
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, reports on our Summer of Hope campaign for our evangelistic summer camps.
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and sports day camps were havens of peace and hope in the Northern Caucasus region that was rocked with violence this summer.
Altogether, 1,300 children were involved in summer camp programs in Ingushetia, North Ossetia, South Ossetia and even Grozny, Chechnya, where terrorist attacked the parliment building this week.
School Without Walls students and graduates from Vladikavkaz put their training in cross-cultural studies and Muslim ministries to practice this summer as they encountered, and with God’s help, overcame ethnic tensions and cultural barriers at Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and special sports events.
Two camps—one in June and one in August—for refugee children living in Vladikakaz were bookends for the Northern Caucasus summer evangelistic camp ministry.
“Over the course of [the summer] we saw changes in every child,” reports Gennady Terkun, ministry director for the Northern Caucasus region. “The changes were not always big, but they were significant in the eyes of God, and the camp staff who invested so much love into the children.”
At the beginning of one of the refugee camps, Katya was an easy target for her fellow campers’ teasing. And when they weren’t teasing her, the children excluded her—a burden for a young girl whose father was dead, and whose mother was disabled.
As the week went on and the children discovered God’s Word and got to know Jesus better, the negative atmosphere changed. The School Without Walls students at the camp saw this as a step forward in not only building personal relationships but also in building bridges across ethnic divides in this region.
The summer camp in South Ossetia started out with a visit from local law enforcement officials who came to “investigate” the camp. But all the investigation turned up was caring young Christian leaders, who wanted to share Jesus’ love with their campers.
Nine-year-old Zira lives with her grandmother in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia. “My mom ran away to Tbilisi, Georgia, and lives there with my brother,” Zira says almost matter-of-factly. “No one wanted to be friends with me because my mom is Georgian.” That was the case until Zira was invited to the summer camp in
a village in South Ossetia.
“At camp, I learned that Jesus loves everyone,” exclaims Zira, “and I became friends with Diana and
Zhorik from Vladikavkaz. I have a lot of friends who also love Jesus!”
It was a difficult summer for the evangelistic camp in Grozny, Chechnya. Demands from local Chechen authorities and security issues prevented the team from Vladikavkaz from even traveling to Chechnya, but Next Generation Christians from Grozny stepped up to run the the evangelistic summer camp. Even
though some parents reacted negatively to the Bible lessons,
Yuri, a missionary and young Christan leader from Grozny, and another Christian leader whose daughters were students at the first School Without Walls program in Grozny, gave away 60 children’s Bibles and some New Testaments in the Chechen language. We are thankful that Yuri holds a lot of events for children and adults throughout the year.
• Continue to pray for the School Without Walls students from Vladikavkaz, other young Next
Generation Christian leaders and volunteers from local churches who gave their time, talent and
treasure to these summer camps.
• Pray especially for Project Hope, Russian Ministries’ Christmas outreach and gift distribution,
as young Christian leaders bring hope and peace to this violent region.
• Pray for Gennady T. as he oversees ministry in the Northern Caucasus region. Pray that Christians will be peacemakers as they share Jesus’ love across cultural and ethnic lines.
Monday, September 27th, 2010
In the Midst of Violence: Gospel Peace
In Russia’s Northern Caucasus, where car bombs explode in busy marketplaces and a pastor is gunned down outside of his church, peace can seem a long way off.
It is precisely in the middle of this violence and terrorism that God is raising up a Next Generation of peacemakers, who is bringing gospel peace and hope to this region.
This summer, young Christian leaders from the School Without Walls program in Karbardino-Balkaria traveled to Mahachkala, the capital city of Dagestan, to help the evangelical church with its first-ever evangelistic summer camp.
Residents of this primarily Muslim city watched church members and the School Without Walls students carefully, and asked a lot of questions about who they were and what they were doing. And the community not only heard but also saw Jesus’ love in action as children in the community happily participated in a week of summer camp.
A Place of Hope
With no father, and an alcoholic mother who is constantly in and out of prison, Zina (pictured) and her older brothers live with their grandmother. Though elderly and poor, this grandmother refuses to place her grandchildren in an orphanage. Zina’s brothers earn money here and there, but well-paying jobs are scarce in their area.
Providentially, a Christian family from the church in Mahachkala lives next door to Zina. Though hardly wealthy themselves, the parents help Zina and her family. This young girl basks in the family’s kindness, and spends a lot of time with them. This summer, the family invited Zina to camp.
A bit shy at first, wide-eyed Zina took everything in. Once settled, Zina threw herself into all of the camp activities, including the teaching times. But the best was yet to come.
The School Without Walls students and young Christian leaders from the church had designed the Bible teaching to cover basic biblical truths throughout the week, and at the end of camp, would give campers the opportunity to follow Jesus.
Zina didn’t need to hear the invitation to follow Jesus a second time. All week long, she had seen the gospel in action through her counselors and camp staff. She understood the gospel and Christ’s sacrifice for her. Perhaps the only people more excited and happy than Zina were the camp leaders.
As camp came to a close, Zina took as much Christian literature as she could for her brothers, hoping that they, too, would come to know Christ.
Russian Ministries praises God for Zina and all of the children she represents who chose to follow Christ this summer at its evangelistic summer camps. In all, 7,630 children and teenagers heard the good news of Jesus at the 107 evangelistic summer camps that were held throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova this summer.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
U.K. media consultant Peter Wooding interviewed Russian Ministries’ President Anita Deyneka about the late summer evangelistic summer camps that are running in the former Soviet Union. Many of these evangelistic summer camps are reaching children in difficult places such as Dagestan and Ingushetia.
As School Without Walls students and other young Next Generation Christian leaders are busy running summer camps in more than hundred locations, help is urgently needed to complete their goal of reaching more than 5,000 needy children across the former Soviet Union.
“We’re looking for partners who would want to be part of this marvelous movement to help children who still face so many problems the turmoil in their countries and from the legacy of communism,” said Russian Ministries President Anita Deyneka.
Already a month into the evangelistic summer camp program, Deyneka says help is urgently needed to reach the goal of impacting over 5,000 kids: “It has been magnificent so far,” explains Deyneka, ” with children coming to camp and responding to the counselors and staff, but what is challenging is having enough funds. With another month of summer camps to go, we need at least $75,000 to finish the summer strong. It costs just $50 per child to attend one week of camp—and every one of those dollars is an investment into a changed life.”
There are so many children who come to camp from tragic backgrounds, children with alcoholic parents, street kids, orphans, children with disabilities, tuberculosis and HIV. One of the toughest places where Russian Ministries is running camps right now is in Chechnya where all the children have known in their lives is war.
Deyneka says the impact on these vulnerable young lives goes far beyond summer camp: “That is one of the best aspects of the camps. It’s not just that one week, but our national co-workers, who lead the camps, keep a connection with the children. The camps build a bridge into a future of ongoing relationship with the children and their families and communities. The children want to keep in touch, and so doors oepn. The campers often return to their non-churched families and talk about camp and what they learned, and in some cases, parents have come to know the Lord and come to church.
“The community also sees these young Christians who care about the children and care enough to organize the camps. This leads to all sorts of wonderful paths for the future not only for the children but also the communities. The camps are a great blessing in themselves but the ripples afterward are just amazing in the ongoing impact in the lives of the children.”
With more than ten years of Russian Ministries’ summer camp ministry, many of those that were children from the beginning, now come back each year camp counselors, and then become involved School Without Walls as students at Russian Ministries’ non-formal training program that provides Christian discipleship and leadership.
But help is desperately needed now to ensure this legacy continues. To find out how you can help send a child to camp, click here www.russian-ministries.org and click on the donate now tab.
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Right now, as a special thank-you for a camp gift of $50 or more, we are offering original artwork either by a Russian Christian artist, Anastasia Taran or an American Christian artist, Pamela Alderman.
Anastasia (pictured at right) is wheelchair bound, and childhood rheumatoid poly-arthritis has gnarled her hands. But this gifted young woman joyfully serves God and uses her art for His glory. Pamela’s watercolors express the joys and trials of life. She has captured the joy of a young Russian girl for us in the print we’re offering.
When you give to our evangelistic summer camps, you’ll help
• at-risk children whose homes are orphanages and state-run institutions,
• special needs children in Zaporozhye, Ukraine,
• mothers and children living with HIV/AIDS in Moldova and
• children who live in the difficult-to-reach regions of Central Asia and the Northern Caucasus.
A $50 gift will help send one child to one week of summer camp, and give him or her a Bible or Christian literature.
A gift of $100 will double your impact, and give two children a week at summer camp and place a Bible or Christian literature into their hands.
An investment of $200 will give four children the opportunity to meet Jesus at one of our evangelistic summer camps, and $300 will help send six children to camp. A gift of $400 will help send eight children to camp, and each of these children will receive a Bible and/or Christian literature especially geared for him or her.
An even greater investment of $500 or $1000 will help send 10 or 20 children to one of these life-changing summer camps.
When you give online to our evangelistic summer camp ministry, your gift can start making a difference in the lives of children in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Read about our evangelistic summer camp ministry in the Northern Caucasus region of Russia.
Monday, May 24th, 2010
From July 31-August 7, join Russian Ministries at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference, where you’ll meet Gennady Terkun, national ministry director in the Northern Caucasus, and hear how God changed his life as . . .
“a conscious slave of the devil and an influential criminal.”
These words don’t fit with the man who is speaking them. Today, Gennady Terkun is more likely to share a Christmas present with a needy child, or baptize young people who have chosen to follow Jesus in the Northern Caucasus than to choose to do evil.
Flashback to 1987, when perestroika was just beginning, and a younger Gennady sat in a prison, where he exercised a cult-like hold over the other prisoners. About that time, some Christians came to the prison and shared the gospel with the prisoners.
“I was enraged,” recalls Gennady. “Their preaching about Christ was destroying my authority and cult practices.” He shot off an angry letter, intent on destroying the believers and their faith.
His letter made its way to one of the Christians who had come to the prison, and that began a two-year correspondence between Gennady and this bold believer.
“Gradually, the simple truth of the Good News found its way into my heart,” Gennady says. In 1991, Gennady made another conscious choice: to follow Jesus and point other prisoners to Him.
No longer imprisoned in sin, Gennady began Bible studies in prison and met Next Generation Christians from the Association for Spiritual Renewal (ASR-Russian Ministries’ national partner). “One of them became my mentor, and helped me with advice, resources and a vision for ministry.”
By God’s grace, Gennady’s prison sentence was shortened by five years, and he was released in 1996. “The day after my release,” Gennady points out, “I attended an ASR training seminar in Krasnodar.” Gennady began traveling throughout the region, sharing the good news of Jesus.
Gennady also received training in church-planting at Project-250 seminars-Russian Ministries’ early training for young Next Generation Christians in the former Soviet Union.
Ten years ago, Gennady moved to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia and began overseeing the ministry in North and South Ossetia, Chechnya and Ingushetia.
In the course of these ten years, God has used Gennady and his wife, Vera, in strategic, far-reaching ministries from aid and counseling in the aftermath of the 2004 Beslan public school terrorist attack, to ongoing bridge building to Muslim families and their children at evangelistic summer camps, to regular trips to the volatile regions of Chechnya, South Ossetia and Ingushetia for children’s events such as summer camp follow up and special seasonal events.
From July 31-August 7, you can meet Gennady Terkun at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in beautiful western Michigan. Gennady will share more of his story of faith as well as the latest news from his ministry. Joining Gennady will be Anita Deyneka, president of Russian Ministries, and Greg Yoder, weekly anchor for Mission Network News.
Plan to have a vacation with a purpose this summer and join Russian Ministries at Maranatha.
Contact Maranatha directly for more information. Be sure to register for Week 6.
See you by the lake!
Read how Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camp ministry is helping to bring gospel peace and hope to Chechnya this summer.
Click here to read a Christianity Today article that features Gennady Terkun.
Monday, May 10th, 2010
Sunday’s Victory Day in Russia commemorated the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. In Red Square, Russian soldiers joined ranks with troops from the U.S., France, Britain and Poland in marching in the Victory Day parade in Moscow.
Foreign leaders who planned to attend Sunday’s parade included French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Hu Jin Tao. Kyrgyzstan was represented by the head of its interim government, and other leaders from Central Asian countries also attended the showcase in Moscow.
Some observers felt that the Victory Day invitation to world leaders communicated Russia’s desire to strengthen its presence on the global stage.
Victory Day celebrations often have been marred by terrorist attacks, and Sunday was no exception as a bomb exploded in Dagestan near a Russian military base in this Northern Caucasus region.
Russian Ministries encourages Christians worldwide to continue to pray for stability and peace in this region of Russia and in the countries of Central Asia.
Lasting victory and peace, however, will be proclaimed this summer as at-risk children and troubled teenagers hear of Jesus’ victory over sin and death at Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps across the former Soviet Union.
This month, a faithful and generous ministry partner has presented Russian Ministries with a matching grant challenge of $15,000 for the evangelistic summer camp ministry.
That means that your investment in the evangelistic summer camp ministry will go even further in helping to send children and teenagers to life-changing summer camps.
- $50 will help give one child one week at summer camp and place a Bible or Christian literature into the hands of that child.
- $100 will double your impact, and give two children the opportunity to meet Jesus at one of our evangelistic summer camps.
- $150 will help send three children to camp.
- $200 will help send four children to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature for them.
- An even greater investment of $500 or $1,000 will help send ten or twenty children and teenagers to a life-changing week of summer camp.
As a special thank-you for your gift, you will receive a print of original artwork by a Russian Christian artist, Anastasia. Anastasia not only was orphaned as a young child but also copes with a physical disability. Neither has stopped Anastasia from using her artistic talent for God’s glory.
Help us meet the matching challenge today with an online donation to the evangelistic summer camp ministry.
If you’re on Facebook, you can also join the evangelistic summer camp cause.