International (MNN) — Camp season is underway with the arrival of summer, and Slavic Gospel Association is busy at work holding their own summer camps in several eastern countries. They will be conducting camps in places such as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and 20 different states in Russia. During this camp season, they hope to impact the lives of more than 18,000 children with their summer camp ministry.
Joel Griffith with SGA states, "In addition to the usual camp games and fun, there are nightly Bible studies that take place and discussions where the kids can ask questions and be ministered to in a personal sense."
Unfortunately, the ministry is not without its fair share of struggles. On top of financial issues and finding locations to conduct the camps, they also have to tread carefully with the more sensitive areas that are not as open to the Gospel.
"We'll be helping with camp ministry in some of the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union this summer," says Griffith. "But because of the pressures the evangelical churches there are facing these days, we would just ask in prayer that those camps would reach many children and go well and would not encounter any difficulties from the authorities as they endeavor to reach children for Christ."
The beauty of working with local churches in each area where camps are being held is that after camp season is over, churches are able to do follow-up ministry with the children that are reached. They have been touched to see the impact children then have upon returning to their families. According to Griffith, "Very often kids who are reached with the Gospel at summer camp often end up going back to their families and being the best evangelists to reach the rest of their families with the truths that they hear in camp."
Each camp session lasts about a week, and the cost of sending one child to experience a week of this ministry is a mere $41. Children attending the camps also receive Russian language Bibles and Christian literature. These, as well as camp funding and follow-up discipleship, are greatly helped by supportive donations from the Christian community.
If you would like to give to support SGA's summer camp ministry, you can donate through a link at www.sga.org. You may also contact them at 1-800-BIBLE-50 or send a gift to 6151 Commonwealth Drive, Loves Park, IL, 61111.
"There's really a lot spiritually riding on these few short weeks in summer when this ministry happens," says Griffith. The opportunity is invaluable to evangelize children who may be experiencing the love of Christ for the first time. "There can be no greater calling as we come alongside brothers and sisters who are planting seeds of the Gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission."