Friday, July 03, 2015
Above: Every day the kids walk from the local community center to our camp site. The above shot gives a better perspective of the number of kids attending this year. We praise God that even with the increased number, there have been very minor injuries in free time. The kids are sensing that we are coming to the last day of camp. One teacher shared that a child in her class asked, “Why can’t camp be two weeks instead of one?”
Above: Eszti teaching on the life of Moses and how God gave him a special calling.
Above: Dezso giving his testimony to the teen group. There are some in this group that have begun asking follow up questions with various leaders. One camper from the town of Rozsaszentmarton told Dezso that now she wanted to read through the book of John at home.
Above: Edit serving with joy and helping the kids learn their memory verse.
Above: What’s camp without horseback riding?
Above: No, that is not facepaint. While riding a horse, a lone thorny branch caught Kira’s cheek and gave her a pretty bad cut.
Day four and five have been great! Thank you for your prayers for strength and for the gospel to be proclaimed with clarity and power. Tomorrow (Saturday), will be our last day of camp. Parents are invited to attend and participate throughout the day. We’ll have a special small group for them to attend and a drama and puppet show as we continue to communicate the Gospel. Pray for those sharing the Gospel tomorrow and for God’s Spirit to move to bring conviction to those attending.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Above: After shouts from the kids requesting their favorite song, Miki sings, “God loves you, what more could He do?” This song talks about Jesus’ calling, His miraculous works, and his voluntarily giving of himself to save us. This is a slower song where the kids have a tradition of locking arms and swaying back and forth as they sing.
Above: Today, Miki taught on the account of the criminal on the cross who called out to Jesus and was saved. God’s amazing grace, is brand new to so many of these kids who only know a ‘god’ who needs to be impressed and can only be approached through religious works. Praise God that these kids are being blessed day after day with Scripture and stories that proclaim the Gospel and the grace we find in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Above: The Spirit led us to some important themes in our small group discussion today. We discussed the amazing reality that God is self-sufficient and therefore His love is not a love that is given based on what He will receive in return. We contrasted the world’s definition of love which is full of conditions and temporary with God’s love that was displayed while we were yet sinners. We also talked about who determines the standard of truth we have put our trust in and by whom we have formed our world view. If the standard of my life (the truth that guides me) is based on my feelings, that standard is unstable. That type of standard has led to so many divorcing and making choices that have brought pain to others and others have used that standard to bring pain to us. More than anything, I’m hoping that our discussions are stirring them to begin seeking and be awakened from living in indifference towards God and His truth revealed in Scripture. I want them to see that Jesus raised from the dead is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
After our study was over, Bogi (from our English Club in Jászfényszaru) was curious as to how our fellowship viewed ‘outsiders’. In her experience, denominations in her area were very closed. She recognized that we were very inviting toward those who were not believers. I shared that we judge how to act toward others the way Jesus acted toward others. If the way our church interacts with sinners and the world is not the way Jesus interacted with them, then we have a problem. I shared that I welcome all ‘outsiders’ in and hope to give them an opportunity to hear God’s truth and His provision for a way to be saved through faith in Christ. As I read the Scriptures, it seems to me that Jesus was the harshest with those who were religious and he was gentlest to those who had great need because they knew they were sinners. He gave all of them opportunity to hear the truth. God continues to work to stir Bogi’s heart and is drawing her to Himself.
Above: Miki and Heidi split their group up today meeting with boys and girls separately. They’ve been focusing on the topic of identity and how God values us. Children in this culture grow up being shamed constantly and are rarely affirmed that they have any value. God wants them to know that even though they have rebelled and turned away, He desires that they turn back and be restored because He highly values each one of them.
Above: Gabi trying to cool off the kids after some fun games in the sun. The weather has been great and God has kept the rain away.
Above: At the end of the day, we have an ongoing drama about an old shoemaker set in winter in the days leading up until Christmas. While reading God’s word, he recognizes that there was no place for Jesus when He was born. The old shoemaker thinks that he would gladly help Jesus if he had an opportunity. One night, he hears the voice of Jesus telling him that he will be visiting. The shoemaker has encountered many guests over the past days, but still no Jesus. The guests who have stopped by have had various needs, some have been beggars, others poor and the shoemaker has helped each one. He’ll soon find out the truth of Matthew 25:39, “‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
Above: Our youngest Ziva with our oldest Ben. Ben celebrated his 14 birthday today!
God continues to use this VBS to impact hearts. Many seeds are being planted that will bear much fruit. There are kids with us that have returned for the past 8 years. May this investment in their lives lead to them putting their faith in our Savior. Please continue to pray as we have reached the half point of VBS. Continue to pray for good rest, strength for a new day and for the Gospel to be proclaimed in all that we do tomorrow!