For several years I have been actively involved in the day camps that are organized within the “Buna Vestire” Church of which I am a part. At first I did not realize the impact that camps have on children, parents and society. Later, I understood that they are very important to raise a generation that will listen to God’s Word. I present to you in this article some of the reasons that show the importance of day camps.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20 NASB)
Children are no exception. They still need to be taught from God’s Word. They are the society of tomorrow in which we can invest today. Understanding this helps you see responsibility for what you have been entrusted to do. So let’s use this opportunity.
Children are receptive to God’s Word
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Mark 10:15 NASB)
The Bible clearly shows how open children are to the gospel message. Also, statistics show that 7 out of 10 adults who stay in church are those who have attended church since childhood. On the other hand, knowing that children are gullible, we, the church, are responsible for protecting children from heresies. We can only do this by transmitting sound teaching.
Through children you reach the parents with the gospel message
When the children get home, they start telling their parents what happened to them during the day. They tell them the things they learned at camp, and so the gospel reaches their parents. Also, in the program of the camps we have organized so far, we include homework that is directly related to the parents. Thus, we teach children to help and listen to their parents.
I remember giving the children the task of copying 20 verses from the Gospel of John. The next day, I went into a shop and the saleswoman was the mother of 3 children who came to the camp. When she found out that we are the organizers of the camp, she told us that she stayed up until 2 o’clock at night to write 40 verses for the 2 children who cannot write. Thus, that woman came to know what the Bible says in those 40 copied verses.
Local authorities are grateful for the work done
City Halls and schools are receptive to organizing such activities for children. Recently, the mayor of the village where a day camp was organized brought written thanks. Last year, the mayor of another town contributed gifts for the children, thus expressing his gratitude to the organizers.
Through the camps you can start a mission in the villages where there is no evangelical church
When you go for the first time to a place where you want to do mission work, you have to do something to attract the attention of those in the village. You have to start with something. Day camps are an opportunity to open the hearts of the authorities and parents and to attract the attention of teachers or the principal. This is the practice of the church I belong to. We go to a children’s day camp, after which we announce to the children that we are starting a Taekwon-Do, English or computer group. Thus, we begin the mission work in that place.
Day camps are an effective tool in working with children. Just imagine how much society would change if at least one day camp was organized in every locality in Moldova. Let’s use this opportunity to take the gospel message to the borders of Moldova and beyond. May the Lord help us with this!
Translated by Didina Vicliuc