In planning for the Moldova for Christ Summer English Camp 2009, we prayed, set the dates, and as time approached, began working toward making this ministry possible. As it was expected, many details had to be decided and we trusted the Lord to guide us in every step in the direction he wanted us to go.
The Lord put on our heart to choose the study of the book of James, titled “Boy, have I got problems!” by Precept Ministries International as a workbook for the camp. We began studying the book with all the leaders, and everything was coming together and nothing looked unusual. Little did we know the surprises we were about to encounter. Here is how the Lord changed our direction and how He turned what some wanted to be evil to be a blessing for His glory.
We signed the contract for renting a former communist indoctrination camp for children for our Moldova for Christ English Camp. It is a nice place in the woods nearby Edinet city in Northern Moldova and can hold up to 300 participants with fields for playing soccer, volleyball and basketball. However, the camp belongs to the Government.
When we started enlisting participants from all over Moldova, Satan began opposing our work by using the Minister of Education who is member of Communist Party. We were told that we could use the place for the camp but with the condition that no Christian work would be done at the camp, and they would have to approve the program for the camp.
As we negotiated again and again, it became obvious that we will not be able to have our camp at this location. We were frustrated and disappointed; more than 150 participants were already enlisted from many cities and villages. After much prayer the decision was made. We would have the camp in the building of our church in Cupcini that is still in the construction stage with no facilities to hold the camp at all.
The number of participants dropped and we were praying for direction from the Lord. The camp started with about 75 participants, and another 20 were added in the first days. Of great help in conducting this camp was the Sanibel Community Church, Florida team of 12 that helped lead studies in English, songs, drama and sports.
Since the camp was smaller than we planned, half of our team was free to do another ministry – Vacation Bible Schools in villages. They went into nine villages and more than 500 children and adults heard the Gospel. Many prayed and trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We were also able to show the Jesus Film in four villages where nearly 300 people heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ! As result, the Word of God was proclaimed to far more people than we were planning for. What the Communists meant for evil, the Lord turned into a blessing and a far greater proclamation of the Gospel!
At the English camp at the church we had a blessed time as well! In just a couple of hours the balcony became our restaurant for the camp and people from our churches cooked food for the camp around the clock at our home. Many people from Cupcini First Christian Church opened their homes and hearts to host every camp participant for 10 days. The Word of God touched everybody and dozens of teenagers were saved! Everybody enjoyed the Bible study in groups with two leaders in each- one from USA and one native. Drama time in the evenings engraved the truths studied during the day in the hearts of the boys and girls. A baseball match at the end of the week was a spectacular presentation to the whole camp. Relationships were built that strengthened the body of Christ all across the country. We also praise the Lord for the ones who were saved at camp that have already been baptized, joined the church, attended Training Institute for leaders in Cupcini and are actively ministering in local churches!