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.