How does the idea begin?
Insensibly for us, all the kids, whom we invited for Christmas and Easter to our small church, have grown up and become teenagers, and it became uninteresting for them to play the games and to get the presents.
Also it became uninteresting for those, whose parents and grandparents brought them to the church, without their peers. And one by one teenagers and youth started to retreat from the church and then from life with God. Although a lot of children were born from church’s members, the lack of teenagers and youth starter to worry. We were praying and were trying to find the answer, we were looking at successful youth ministries and were asking God to show our way. In 2013 in January we met wonderful young people from Church “Holy Trinity” from Yekaterinburg in the summer camp. Those days’ two young sisters accepted Christ and they were inspired by simple, joyful communication. We invited the youth from “Holy Trinity” to our church to help us organize summer camp for kids and teenagers. And in summer 2013 the group from “Holy Trinity” came to Tyumen with the program and the UMC member from Tyumen organized everything needful. Although the ages were different, from 4 to 14, the camp was good and was remembered. And we decided to make two camps in summer in 2014 – for children in the church, and for teenagers in the tents.
The youth group from “Holy Trinity” (Pentecostals) came to Tyumen with the program of the summer tent camp “Light Travel” and UMC “Salvation” prepared organizational and economic support. We are thankful to God for brothers and sisters from Baptist Church, who gave us tents, sleeping bags and other equipment, and also for Presbyterians, who helped us with transport. We all do the same task – we cultivate the youth for Christ. During these three days 16 teenagers, 4 children of servants and 7 adults had joyful communication, captivating games and serious conversations about life, faith and Bible. Last Service some kids came to repentance and other asked Jesus became their Savior and Lord from their seats. The favourite songs were “Bless the Lord o my soul” and “Our God is greater”.
Marina is preparing the lesson
Team game “who is higher”
A special joy was that next day after the youth rest teenagers served in the children camp and helped organize the program, played with kids and were the leaders of the teams. There were 9 children and 7 teenagers. Food, transport and everything they need, organized 11 adults from the church. We organized children camp by ourselves – and it’s a big victory. Per day from the camp one sister from the church died and all the church planned to go to the funeral, and then sisters from friendly church in village Shorokhovo (Pentecostals) came to help us for this time. And the camp continued. Children found out a lot about God, played a lot, talked, ate well and became tired to the evening. Both camps exceeded our expectations and plans in number of teenagers and kids and in the quality of the service, and in fruit – God multiplied.
Games in the air
In the house
Near the church building
And further… Camp is not the purpose, it’s the way to help children come together and think about their faith, life and to feel a good Christian communication with peers. But the main thing is what will be after the camp. We don’t want to lose everything that we gained. For today we send the group of kids and youth for Christian rest in Yekaterinburg. Let communication will become even stronger. And we pray for weekly meetings of teenagers and youth during the year. Today we invest and sow in the young generation, that they will bring a lot of fruit for Christ. Pray for us. And we’ll tell you about the fruit next year. We pray for those, who has problems with organization of the children, teenager and youth ministries, in small churches. God wants that it will be in our churches that we will grow up and raise the young generation who follow Chris, pastors and missionaries. There is a lot of work, but it’s worth doing…
Pastor of Tyumen UMC “Salvation”
Photo: E. Zubkova
Translate by Julia Minihanova
Elder sisters- servants