Training – Relationship – Discipleship

 

In 2 Timothy, chapter 2, Paul says:

You have heard me teach in front of many witnesses. Pass on to men you can trust the things you’ve heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others also.[1]

It is such a great encouragement to see so many of the children who attend camp return to be camp counselors as they get older. Over 80% of those who attended camp in the first few years became involved in ministry in one form or another.

They heard about Jesus at camp; continued to learn about Him during weekly follow-up programs, came to know Him as Saviour, and grew in that knowledge so that they were able to teach others.

This is key in the disciple-making process and it always has been.

Carol Stream in The Magnetic fellowship: reaching and keeping people answers the question, “What should a disciple-making strategy include to be effective?”

The strategy should seek to foster genuine caring relationships between a variety of members and the potential disciple. It should also seek to involve the potential disciple in several appropriate groups and church programs where new friendships can be made. The more exposures a non-Christian can have to the person of Christ through his people and the church, the more complete his or her understanding of Christ and his love.[2]

This is why the weekly follow up programs are so vital to the success of the ministry of Children’s Camps International. It is there that relationships are built and real discipleship occurs.  It is there that lives are transformed.

And we see those transformed lives in action as they take on leadership roles in the church and lead others to know Christ.

[1] New International Reader’s Version. (1998). (1st ed., 2 Ti 2:2). Zondervan.

[2] Weeden, L. K. (Ed.). (1988). The Magnetic fellowship: reaching and keeping people (Vol. 15, p. 114). Carol Stream, IL; Waco, TX: Christianity Today, Inc.; Word Books.

From Ripping up Scripture to Church Goer

How a Five Year Old Girl Influenced Her Own Father

A little five year old girl in Brazil would come home from her small group discipleship class with her memory verses in hand.  As soon as she got home her father would rip those little memory cards into pieces.  Every week it was the same thing.

A little while later the father got a call from the school.  They wanted to know what teaching methods he was using at home.  He didn’t understand.  They said that his daughter was well ahead of the rest of the class and was reading at a high level for her age.  They were just wondering if he was doing something different at home.

The man congratulated his daughter and asked how she had learned to read so well.  She replied, ” Daddy, I had to learn to read.  You tear up my memory verses as soon as I get home and I had to learn to read so that I could put them back together.”

That father now takes his daughter to church every Sunday and attends himself.

Isn’t it amazing how a hardened heart can be changed by the faith of a little child.

But there is a problem.  The cost of printing is very high in Brazil and that means that it is very expensive to print up those memory verses and all the follow up materials.  Our partners in Brazil are printing this material on a home printer right now. In fact, that is what has stalled the growth of our camps in Brazil; the cost of printing. There are churches waiting to become involved with us once the materials can be printed.

You Can Make a Difference

Please head over to our store. (Click on the Donate button below.)  Scroll down to Bibles & Lesson Materials and make a donation of just $25.00 to help with these printing costs so that more children can go to camp and be involved in these follow-up groups.  Just add Brazil in the comments section as you check out.

 

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205,000 Kids to Bible Camp in India in 2016

This May we sent 205,000 kids to camp in India. That equates to every child between five and fifteen in the entire province of Manitoba. And in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.  And over 20 thousand more.

If those children held hands they would make a line from Winnipeg to Brandon and beyond.

If we took a penny for each child and stacked them, it would be higher than the Richardson Building piled on top of the RBC Building, both of these piled on top of a 12 storey building.

If we piled 205,000 five dollar bills it would reach over 22 metres.  And the interesting thing is that, this is the exactly what it costs for these kids to attend a week of camp and a year of weekly discipleship programming at their local church.  Five dollars.  

There are over 2000 churches on a waiting list who really want to be a part of this ministry.

It’s been 2000 Years, But It Still Happens Today

Over 2000 years ago a man who spent all his time and energy trying to prove that Jesus was not God, went through a life changing experience and began to preach Christ as Lord.

Let’s see how Paul describes it himself as we read about it in Acts 22:

Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 “ ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ [1]

[1]The New International Version. (2011). (Ac 22:2–16). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

 

Praise God, that same kind of life turnaround is still happening today. Read Amala’s story (in his own words)

My name is Amala Rani, I am in grade 8. I have two other younger sisters. This summer in May, my sisters and myself attended 5 days of camp. We went there because there was free lunch at the camp. My parents are atheists, so they don’t encourage us to pray to any gods. My dad usually argues with Christians and tries to prove that Jesus is not a God. I have seen few times arguing with Christians and other religious people. One day myself and my sisters got free New Testament from Gideon’s at our school. When my dad saw those New Testaments, he put them in garbage. He said that Christians are trying to convert ignorant people in our country. He had bad opinion towards Christian religion.  Because of the free meal and sports, my parents sent us to the 5 day camp. There we got many good friends. We wanted to meet our friends regularly, so we pleaded our parents to take us to Sunday church. Now we have been attending an evangelical church in our village for last 3 months. My parents also got good friends at the church. So now my parents also interested in attending regular Sunday service and house bible study. My parents accepted Jesus as God and personal saviour now. Hopefully they will get baptism in few months. One day my dad threw the bible in garbage, but now he holds bible in his hand and goes to church. Even neighbours look this as strange. Before he used to argue against Jesus Christ, but now he tries his best to prove that Jesus Christ is Lord and saviour to his friends. He will bring others to Jesus Christ. All this happened because of the Summer camp “ Prayer Brings Victory”

Told By Amala Rani – Written by Pastor. Mahimairaj – Thiruvarur District

Amala’s father may not have had the same dramatic conversion that Saul did. Saul was stunned by the voice and blinded by the light that flashed around him on the road to Damascus, and he crumpled to the ground. And his world crumpled too. Everything that Saul had believed was suddenly revealed to be completely in conflict with the truth he now knew.

Even without the flash of light and the blindness, Amala’s father came to the same understanding, that his worldview was twisted and he had to flip it around 180 degrees.

Many of us wish we had a more ‘dramatic’ testimony to share with others but it is not the flash of light that is important it is the 180 degree turn, from not following God, to following Him. For some it can be as simple finding some good friends at church.

Amala’s father came to know Christ the same way most of us have come to know him.

  • Someone prayed for him. Note Amala’s last words “Prayer brings victory.”
  • He was invited to church.
  • He made good friends there.
  • Someone shared the Good News with him.

It can be hard to pray for someone who argues with us that Jesus cannot be God and that we must be ignorant to believe that. However, it is only by prayer that their spiritual blindness can be removed.

We need to keep praying

Very few people come out to church without an invitation. It is our job to invite them. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association did a survey and found that over 80% of those who came forward at one of their events had come on a church bus or van.

We need to keep inviting.

If a newcomer to church does not make a few good friends in the first several weeks of attending, they are likely to stop coming out. I once saw a pastor who had a 90 second rule. He instructed us to find someone new and speak with them within the first 90 seconds after the service was finished. Our friends would wait but the newcomers would be gone if we talked to out friends first.

We need to keep making new friends at church.

It is obvious that every pre-Christian needs to have the Gospel clearly explained. I know so many people who claim that they cannot be a part of the Great Commission because they are not ‘gifted’ in evangelism. That has nothing to do with the command. The command is to make disciples, whether you are gifted or not. This is not an optional part of our Christian life. It is the core of it.

We need to keep sharing the Good News.

Are you doing all four? Some may have to answer that they are not doing even one of these. It is not a good idea to feel guilty about this. It is time to change it.

Pray               Invite               Make Friends               Share the Good News

 

Brazil Camps

We have just started camps in Brazil and, as always happens, the opportunities far outweigh the resources.  We had 120 kids at this camp but will have 160 kids in the followup program.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2 NIV

 

They do things a little bit different with the followup in Brazil. They work in small groups for followup.  Each group is about ten kids and is led by a youth from the local church who has been trained as a leader.  These leaders then meet with the children every week for a couple of hours; playing, singing, and sharing the lessons.  They are trained in how to interact with the children, how to share the lessons, and most importantly, how to play with them.

Leader Training

Leader Training

I was lucky enough to see both a camp and a small group in action when I visited Brazil recently.  The children were totally engaged and highly motivated to learn the lessons.  They wanted to solve the mysteries and earn the “metres” to “complete the trail”.  Most, if not all, of the children in the small groups have no church affiliation.  It is during these followup sessions that they build a relationship with the leader and then can be introduced into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Small Group_edited-1

Small Group

We have a wonderful couple who run the Brazilian ministry who have a real heart to reach the children and they have found others who have that same passion to work with them.  Brazil is going through some tough economical times. And their government may have some ethical problems, (while I was there the former President of Brazil was brought in questioning about alleged money laundering).   But the future of any country is in its children. And if the CAMP ministry continues as it has, that will mean a great future for Brazil.

If you would like more information on our camps in Brazil and how you can help please Contact Us.

Were you involved in a small group as a child?

What benefits did YOU see from your small group?

Just leave a reply below to let us know.

How To Buy A Christmas Presents For Those Who Have Everything

This Christmas, what do you get for someone who has everything? What do you get for those impossible to buy for  people? How about getting them something that can change lives forever.

A few years ago, a little before Christmas, my dad told the family that he already had everything he needed AND when he wanted something, he went out and bought it.  With this in mind he asked that we not buy him anything for Christmas.  He didn’t need another tie or gag golf gift. Instead he asked that we use the money to make a difference elsewhere.

Oonaugh and I went out and got him a bicycle, but we gave it to someone else. Smile

Matt Klassen 09 066

We not only gave Dad a gift, we also gave the message of Jesus Christ mobility.

When speaking with pastors in India, many have one request: a bicycle. The reason, so they can bring the gospel message more effectively to the neighbouring community. While many pastors are making this trip on foot we know a bike will help them reach those who need to hear more efficiently. The cost was only $125.00.  I have been fortunate enough to have been present at a number of “bicycle giveaways” in Tamil Nadu, India, and the gratitude expressed by these pastors is beyond words to describe.  We have since bought a second bicycle for Dad.  He now has two bikes that he has never seen.  I’ll let you in on a little secret…….Dad’s getting a third one this year….shhhhhh.

Here are some other ideas depending on your price range.

$5 Sponsor a child to attend camp and weekly follow-up programs At camp each child is loved, well fed and introduced to the best Christmas present of all… Jesus!

$15 Clothes for a pastor – it’s a small gift that is a huge encouragement to a pastor. And you never have to worry about getting the wrong size.

$10 Train a leader – Mobilize young leaders that will contribute faithfully to camp, follow-up, youth councils and other church run programs.

$15.00 Crayons for 50 children – Read Ratha’s story to hear more of the impact a box of crayons has

$30 Sports equipment – Purchase the simple things that make camp special for kids (cricket bats, balls, skipping ropes, etc.).

$25 New Testaments and lesson materials for up to 100 children for a full year – Sponsor the gift of the word this Christmas.

$100 A church follow-up program (or $2 per child) – Children who attend camp often invite their friends to attend follow-up programs and more resources are needed.

$500 A cow – You could help a struggling pastor reach self-sufficiency this Christmas. It will provide nourishing milk for his family AND income through the sale of the extra milk.

Instead of sharing a $15 or $20 gag gift at the office party this year, why not give a gift that can make a real difference this year? Check out all of these gifts HERE.

This Christmas, why not ask for a gift that can make a real difference?

How will YOU shop this year?

Is Christmas about Giving or Receiving?

Is Christmas about getting gifts? Haven’t we always been taught that it is supposed to be about GIVING? I adamantly disagree. I believe that Christmas is all about RECEIVING.

When we think of the very first Christmas, it was about getting. We didn’t GIVE anything. We GOT something. It was something we weren’t expecting and certainly did not deserve, but we were given a gift. We just need to receive it.

The giving of a gift is not complete until it is received.

When our children were younger we lived in a small town. When gifts were mailed to us, we were given a small note telling us that we needed to go and get the gift from the post office. It didn’t matter how wonderful the gift was, if we didn’t go and pick it up, we would never know how great it was.

It is the same with the gift that God gave us over two thousand years ago. We need to receive it.

So it really IS about receiving.

What do you think?
Is Christmas about Giving or Receiving?