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Been there! Done that! We’ve all been to teen camp before, right? We know what to expect. Loads of fun. Good food. And sound Bible teaching. So why does teen camp merit a prayer letter of its own? Because God moved in the hearts of our teenagers in tremendous ways that are still being manifested today.
This year was the first year our own church participated in teen camp. In years past, we accompanied other churches and helped where we could. However, thirteen teenagers from our church attended teen camp for the first time this year. Many of these teenagers have been faithfully attending our services for some time while others have just recently started to come. However, most of them had never given a clear profession of faith in Christ. Salvation was evidently their greatest need and our prayer for them.
It’s hard to determine the exact time and way God began working, but by Wednesday evening, we began to see the fruit. The service had ended and the kids were returning to their dorms for the night. While chatting with some of the other leaders, one of our counselors called me (Dan) and said that one of the girls from our church wanted to talk. We have known this girl for a long time and, as a family, had prayed for her salvation. Finding a quiet place in the chapel building, together with one of our counselors, we sat down and began talking. Soon, tears began to flow as this young teenage girl placed her faith in Jesus Christ.
The next morning, a friend and national pastor preached a clear, salvation message. He invited anyone who was unsure of their salvation to find a counselor and settle the matter once and for all. At least two girls from our church responded and accepted Christ as Savior that morning. Later in the day, when talking with another counselor, we learned that two more girls from our church had accepted Christ during the personal Bible study time! God was moving in an evident and powerful way.
As Friday morning came, the pastor asked all those who accepted Christ during the week to stand and make a public demonstration of their new faith in Christ. A young man from our church, along with the other five girls, stood to their feet! We knew about the girls, but did not know about this young man. Later, we learned that he had accepted Christ during the personal Bible study time. It was truly overwhelming to witness the work God had done in the hearts of these young people.
As we returned home from camp, excitement and stories flooded the air as the teens recounted their experience to their friends and family. The week after camp, we asked the teenagers to share public testimonies with the church of what God had done in their hearts. Young person after young person stood before the congregation and recounted the work God had done in their lives — salvation, assurance of salvation, and decisions to stand firm for Christ was the main theme.
One of the older teenage boys (with whom Dan has been doing discipleship for several months) recounted that he had simply be going through the motions of Christianity for some time. But the Lord pricked his heart at camp and he rededicated his life to the Lord. Then, unbeknownst to anyone, he began to give a public invitation for those who wanted to accept Christ. As Dan assisted him with the invitation, several adults raised their hand for salvation. Finally, after nearly two hours, we closed the time of testimonies. Our hearts were full and many adults were noticeably touched by the work God had done in the hearts of the teenagers! As we dismissed, one lady approached Dan and said that she had accepted Christ as her Savior because of the testimonies!
As we end this update, we ask that you, our faithful prayer supporters, please keep in prayer these young people who made decisions for Christ. Many of them come from very broken homes where they have no spiritual influence or encouragement. Pray that God protects them and helps them as they begin to demonstrate their new found faith in Jesus Christ. Pray that they would be faithful to God, His Word, and His house as they begin their new journey of faith.
As always, we are thankful for your faithful prayers and support. God is at work in Madagascar and we are privileged to see it firsthand! Of course, none of this would ever be possible without you. May God bless you as much as you have been a blessing to us.
The Browns to Madagascar
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38