Day Camps

In the region of North Moldova up to 80% of young people professing Christ and being baptized, have been influenced or converted at camp.
Camp ministry in Moldova is one of the most highly treasured of all Gospel outreach activities.

A glimpse back into Moldova’s past, just over three decades ago, reveals why. Pastor Peter Mihalchiuk, SGA’s Regional Co–ordinator writes:

During the Soviet times (i.e. pre–1991) we were not allowed to bring the children to the church. Policemen were standing at the doors of the church, and they only allowed adults to attend our services. And if a child was found the pastor would be arrested immediately.

Now when we have such freedom to work with children, we need people who are ready and prepared for that… especially during the summer.

Having been forbidden for so long, leaving generations of children without any kind of exposure to the Gospel and Bible teaching, believers today regard camp ministry as of premium value and of prime importance. That is reflected in the prayerful preparation and effort which is put into the annual summer camps programmes of many churches, the recruitment and training of camp leaders, and the God–given results and blessing of this ministry.

Peter estimates that in the region of North Moldova up to 80% of young people professing Christ and being baptized, have been influenced or converted at camp.

Sadly, the usual busy and very profitable programme of summer residential camps has been seriously curtailed in 2021 because of the pandemic, and church and camp leaders have had to find alternative ways to continue the ‘usual’ camp evangelistic and Bible teaching ministries.

The Bethany Camp facility could not operate normally, but a number of one–day meetings were arranged, several regional youth meetings, and also conferences for pastors and for women. Children’s camp work was re–structured as ‘day camps’ – meetings and activities arranged for several days in a number of villages, without the residential dimension.

The report of last summer’s activities makes encouraging reading.
At first, we planned to fully organize and fund seven 3–day camps, but later we discovered that some bigger churches had collected some money and were able to partially cover their camp expenses. That allowed us to use the finances SGA provided to help more churches.

In total SGA funded seven camps: Chapaevka, Sadovoe, Funduri, Codreni, Yabloana, Ushureia and Mohyliv–Podilskiy (Ukraine) and provided for sports and crafts equipment camps in Kalarashovka, Frunze and Bogdanesti…

In Codreni, where Feodor Popov, a former student of mission school serves, only 40 children showed up on day one… 76 children came on day three! Feodor’s wife said that since there are only 60 children in the local school, this is ‘impossible’.

It turned out that some children were coming from neighbouring villages. They woke up early in the morning and walked for 40–50 minutes to come to the camp… the same happened in almost every camp!

In the evenings when the camp activities were over, leaders visited the village homes and had precious opportunities to share the Gospel with parents and other family members.

So it transpired that while some aspects of camp life had to be cut out, God provided new opportunities to witness to whole families.

Feodor Popov’s verdict at the conclusion of their camp programme – ‘Camps are amazing!’ – causes us to praise God for His faithfulness and pray on that He will use them to transform many lives of both young and old.