August 16, 2012
We serve God in northeast Germany because we want to invest in the lives of young people, showing them Christ Jesus in us as we love them, build relationships with them, and serve them in a fun-filled way. We’ve seen dozens of students make new friends and wonderful memories while experiencing Jesus Christ.
For several years, English Camp has been a vital link in our strategy to reach people in the former Communist sector, where God was basically erased from society. The theory of evolution was so engrained in the minds of the students that to believe in creation was unheard of.
Because no one talked about God, people from East Germany have little or no religious background. Some of the students have never heard of Jesus. Not only are the teens improving their English skills but also they are surrounded by staff members who exemplify biblical values. These young people memorize Bible verses throughout the week, and they study God’s Word each night during Bible lessons that teach them to apply His truth to their lives.
Hearing By the Word
Laura and Ellen* attended camp for a couple of years, knowing that because this is a Christian camp, they would learn godly principles as well as English. They loved practicing English and hanging out with their friends.
Both girls happened to be in my small group in the evenings, which I co-lead with my teammate, Karissa. Not only did I have the opportunity to chat with them during the day but also had the privilege of engaging in deep conversations with them after each evening session.
This year, our theme was “Timeline,” which explored growing as individuals and what that looked like in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Discussing the concept of relationship was meaningful to Laura and Ellen. As the week progressed, both girls opened up about their lack of significant relationship with their families and friends. They were seeking something deeper and more solid.
One evening, a question came up about making a “true” decision to follow Christ. Ellen said, “I’ve only prayed and asked God for help when I needed something, but I’ve never really just stopped and talked to God. I didn’t realize you can do that or that He wants to be there for us every day—always. This is something I want!”
I asked Ellen if she wanted to pray to have a relationship with Christ. She said yes. I left the room with the other girls; Ellen stayed and prayed with Karissa. When they came downstairs another teen ran up to Ellen, hugged her, and said, “You’re my sister now! Welcome to the family.”
Laura sat quietly, processing all that she had observed. Later, she approached Karissa and said, “Will you pray with me as well. I want to have a relationship with God like Ellen and you.”
Karissa encouraged her, prayed with her, and reminded her of the commitment she must have for this relationship to succeed. Afterwards, Laura hugged me and said, “Guess what! I’m your sister!”
It brought such joy to my heart, knowing that Laura and Ellen now would experience a meaningful relationship with God. I will be able to meet with them outside of camp to encourage and disciple them in a deeper walk with the Lord.
What You Can Do
The prayers and generous support of the Alliance family allows Alliance workers to live and serve in Germany and provide for the work of the English camps and other outreaches.
Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance workers like those in in Germany, who are engaged in innovative ministries that open doors to share the hope that only Christ offers.