Central Asia Gospel Camp, Over 1,000 people participated in the glory of the gospel over 10 years
▲ Trainees who participated in the Gospel Camp in nation K are listening to a lecture ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

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294 / Field report 

A one-week gospel camp was held starting on January 2nd, when the new year began in nation K in Central Asia. Just before the gospel camp was held in nation K that is said to be the most open to the gospel among Central Asia nations, there was an unusual atmosphere. In the area where the camp was held, due to the strengthening of religious laws, joint enforcement teams visited churches and ordered the churches to be closed under the pretext of inspecting them. However, they could not stop the souls who came running with a thirst to hear the gospel. Believing that nothing can stop God’s calling, steps were taken to follow the gospel of God’s glory. We sought only the help of Jehovah’s good hand. 

“According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1 Timothy 1: 11) 

At the camp hosted by a Central Asia branch of the World Mobile Mission (WMM), there were 27 trainees and as many as 45 volunteers mobilized from S. Korea and from the local areas to serve the 27 trainees. Looking at the numbers alone, the camp began with an unusual structure in which two servants (volunteer workers) participated for the joy and glory of a trainee enjoying the gospel of life. This is how most overseas gospel camps are conducted, where the principle of grace rather than simple economic logic is applied.

▲ Gospel camp in nation K. ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

17th Gospel Camp held in Russian

The camp was the 17th gospel camp held in Russian. The beginning of the camp was weak. The camp began in May 2015 when a Russian language gospel camp was held in S. Korea for a small number of Koryo immigrants who entered S. Korea and lived difficult lives. After that, gospel festivals were held in four to five countries in Russia and Central Asia. Through the time, over 1,000 trainees have enjoyed the grace of stranding in front of the gospel.  

On January 1, 2024, a day before the Gospel Camp, a series of loud noises like gunshots and cannons were heard just after midnight. People said that the loud noise is fireworks. It is said that from midnight on January 1st, when the new year begins, Russian-speaking countries set off firecrackers at every house to enjoy fireworks. I kicked off the bedding I was lying on and went outside to watch the fireworks show being launched from each house. Looking at the fireworks embroidered in the night sky, I was filled with emotion as I spent the past year and welcomed the new year. The sound of exploding firecrackers made me feel like all the hard work of the past was gone away. The colorful fireworks before my eyes made me look forward the beautiful times ahead. Although languages, races and cultures are different, everyone who set off fireworks must have looked forward to something as they welcomed the new year. Specifically, I, hoping in heaven, looked at the night sky and looked forward to the Lord’s return. I stood in my pajamas until the sound of exploding fireworks quiets down.

Around 1 AM, the camp schedule was posted on social media. At 8 AM, the official schedule of the camp began with breakfast followed by a service meeting. Ahead of the start of the schedule, a camp team with an average age of over 60 was formed. The camp team was formed with senior missionaries serving in the mission fields and field missionaries from other regions obeying the Lord’s call, and the team leader of Gospel team from the WMM. 

“As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.” (Joshua 14:11) 

They were like Caleb, who said that he could still win God’s war at the age of 80. Of course, they were younger than Caleb, but everyone laughed, saying that they might be the oldest hosting team among teams serving the numerous gospel schools (camps) currently being held in dozens of countries around the world.  

Gospel festivals held in dozens of countries around the word

Currently, the WMM’s Gospel School (depending on the region, it is called Gospel Camp) is being conducted in dozens of countries around the world, including S. Korea, targeting various groups such as youth, adults and pastoral groups. Each time, a multinational hosting team is formed like this and continues to serve to glorify the gospel. In particular, in this Russian Gospel Camp, all the volunteers participated devotedly under the guidance and requests of the young gospel team leader.

However, it was unavoidable for elderly servants to have their weak bodies creaking. Missionary N said that he/she was weak against cancer but strong against colds, and went back and forth between the kitchen and the instructor’s dormitory all day, taking cold showers. Missionary K was serving a position that was his/her first time in his/her life, and although he/she said he/she knew nothing, he/she obeyed unconditionally. Missionary H shopped for groceries every day and toured the campsite facilities every day. Missionary J took care of all the trainees, devoted all his/her attention to running the school (camp) program and took care of small but important things. All of them were still strong and were able to go in and out to bring the souls of nation K before the gospel. 

▲ Missionary Jeong-Gu KANG who spread the gospel in the Gospel Camp. ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

Many teenagers participated in this camp, which was conducted with simultaneous interpretation in two languages, which are Russian and a local language. Maybe that’s why the light and cheerful atmosphere continued until half of the lecture was over. From the past experiences, the atmosphere should have been serious when looking at our sinful existences before the gospel of the cross, but there were times when the atmosphere at the camp was not serious. I used to feel regretful when I saw young people who were distracted while eating from the moment the lecture started to the end, teenagers who kept talking to friends or made eye contact with friends across from them and teenagers never stop joking and sleeping souls.

Missionary Yeong-Ji YOON (from the Central Asia branch of the WMM) who was in charge of conducting the camp sad “I remember the Bible verse ‘But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?’ (Romans 10:16), but ultimately, I expected the Lord to work beyond our thoughts.” 

And the Lord truly worked according to the faith. At the end of the “Gospel and Mission” lecture, which was scheduled for the second half of the camp, the instructor encouraged the trainees and volunteer workers to dedicate themselves as missionaries. The instructor asked those who would obey as missionaries to stand up and show their determination. Then, something amazing happened. Except for two people, all the trainees and volunteer workers stood up to give their lives as missionaries spreading the gospel. That was something no one expected.  Missionary YOON expressed his/her feelings, “Who would have expected it? I see the zeal of the Lord. I saw the people standing in front of Lord, immersed in the Lord’s call. It was very touching moment.”

▲ Trainees who participated in the Gospel Camp in nation K ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

However, there was also something unfortunate. Seven of the camp applicants did not attend. During the camp period, two trainees returned home. And on the last day, one sister returned home without confessing Jesus Christ as her savior and without receiving the cross necklace. However, I hope that the Lord will work for her since she read the Bible during the camp period.

Missionary YOON finally said to them “I was sad when (people) returned home, but the unchanging love of the Lord will meet them at the most precise time” and “I believe that the Lord does not give up. If only the Lord would meet them, (they would be saved). So I pray for that.”

▲ Trainees who participated in the Gospel Camp in nation K ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

“I believe that I died with Jesus and that I have now been restored to new life.”

At the end of the gospel camp, the attendees made decision to unite with the truth of the gospel of the cross and live the life of Jesus. The followings are the confessions of trainees who participated in the gospel camp and decided to live in obedience to the gospel.

“May marriage was not happy. Even after marriage, I kept thinking about my ex-boyfriend and had two abortions. However, I found that all of this is a sin. My old self was crucified with Jesus. Now Jesus lives in me. I believe in Jesus and I decided to spread the gospel.” Surakan

“I drank a lot and fought a lot with people around me. My father left home, and I have been earning money since I was in middle school under my strong mother. From a young age, I learned what sin was and enjoyed entertainment, but I always felt empty. Although I came to know Jesus through my older sister, I was still sexually immoral and drank alcohol, and I enjoyed pornography. ‘I believed in Jesus, but why doesn’t my life change?’ I had a doubt. However, I believe that I, such a sinner, was crucified with Jesus and died 2000 years ago. I will now follow Jesus.” Chinggooth

“I lived the way I wanted to. I lived hard for my future. I tried to stop sinning, but I went back to the sin like a dog on a leash. I swore at others. Cell phones, social media and horror movies were my idols. I fooled a lot of people. I was very self-righteous, and I judged and condemned even believers. But I died with Jesus 2000 years ago and have now been restored to new life. I will rely only on the Lord and believe only in the Lord.” Cholpon

▲ A trainee confessing his decision (on the left) at the end of the gospel camp in nation K ⓒ Gospel Prayer News


<Copyright ⓒ The Gospel and Prayer Newspaper that opens the world with the truth, the kingdom of God in my hand> Contact: gpnews@kakao.com

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