Young Christian leaders overcome challenges

By October 8, 2008

Russia (MNN) — Despite the outbreak of war and high waters, Next Generation leaders shared the love of Christ with over 7,000 orphans at evangelistic summer camps sponsored by Russian Ministries.

Planned for months, the camp for disabled orphans was to be held in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.  Scheduled to begin in August, young Next Generation leaders from a local evangelical church and a short-term team from Ireland looked forward to working at the camp.

"A week before camp was to begin, war broke out in neighboring South Ossetia and Georgia," explains Gennady Terkun, pastor of the church and Russian Ministries' ministry director in Vladikavkaz. "We had to wait for peace to return before we could hold camp."

Eventually the staff was able to return to the orphanage and hold camp for 100 children and teenagers. It was a touch of God for all of them, but the turning point came for campers when waters rose.

"I think this was the determining factor for some of the campers in deciding whether or not to follow Jesus," said one of the leaders.

After the Dniester and Prut Rivers in Moldova flooded and dozens of campsites were washed out, team leaders put their heads together and in five short days mapped out new routes for a rafting trip. Teenaged campers were taken on the trip, and it brought out the good, bad, and ugly in everyone who participated. But by the end, everyone pulled together to help and encourage one another. The leaders were especially proud to see Christian teens reaching out to show the love of Jesus to their peers.

To learn more about God's work in Russian Ministries' summer camps, click here.

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