Today was another great day!!! Each day we see God moving in the lives of campers. Each group is progressing nicely and are becoming more confident in there English Skills. At the end of the camp, the students will be tested on their English skills. If someone in the camp loses something it is placed in the Lost and Found Box. In order to get their item back, they have to go on stage and dance for it. Mary lost her name tag. She had to go on stage and dance for it tonight. I have included a video of her dance at the end of this blog.
Tonight a Russian Evangelist spoke. He shared the Gospel clearly and boldly. This is the first time that the Gospel has been shared in full during camp. The leadership has slowly been working it in, but tonight the Gospel was up front and right in the campers face. As the Gospel was being shared tonight, I could not help but think about the account in Acts during Pentecost. The Gospel is a universal story of God’s redemption of mankind. It best communicated in ones native tongue. On that day, thousands of people were in Jerusalem for the festivities. Jerusalem was a busy interenational trade center. Many people from different cultures and tongues traveled through this city on any given day. This particular day many people were gather in the center of the city. Peter, prompted by the Holy Spirit, shared the most clear and concise version of th Gospel recorded in Scripture. Peter, the man who had denied Christ 3 times just 40 days earlier, would powerfully and boldly share God great, grand story of redemption and salvation.
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them:”Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel. 17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they will testify. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ 22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know– 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,’The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
This is what happened tonight. The Gospel was shared clearly in the Russian language. Each student in the auditorium heard the Good News in their own tongue. You could have heard a pin drop. 80% of those in attendance had not heard the Gospel Message before. For the first time, they realized that God loves them just as they are and wants a relationship with them. At the end of the service, around 50 campers accepted Christ. It was awesome to see God move in such a mighty way!!!
Tomorrow we will spend the entire day preparing for the “American Party”. It is a time for campers and leaders to enjoy themselves. It provides a nice break from the intense teaching sessions. Each team will decorate an area of the auditorium like a state in the US. The Native Speaker Team will develop an elaborate skit to entertain the campers. It is a highlight of camp every year. The students and leaders really put a lot of effort in to making it a great party.
We really want to thank everyone who supported us to make this trip possible. From financial gifts to prayer, you all have given so much to make this trip possible. Just know that your gifts and prayers have aided in planting seeds in the lives of over 200 campers and Russian Leaders. We may never see the harvest in our lifetime, but we have sown the seed and trust that God will bring this seed to bear fruit and in turn make an impact in this generation of Russian students. We just really feel blessed and honored to be a part of what God is doing in Russia. This is just a beginning of what I believe will be a great partnership. I have spoken with Edward, the pastor of Reconciliation Church about TBC becoming a sister church in the US. This decision will have to be approved by the Elder Board and our Church, but I believe that God is leading us to this type of partnership. This would mean that we would be in constant prayer for them, assist financially if possible, send a Mission Team to help at camp often (every other year), and any other way that God might lead us to help. God Bless and more to follow tomorrow…
Russia Mission Team