The first interchurch youth tent camp was organized on the river Vala, Udmurtia, on 10-18 July. Four Izhevsk churches — Izhevsk Christian community, “Delo very”, “The church of God” and “Philadelphia” — altogether prepared this unprecedented event for the Udmurt republic.

330 people from 20 cities, towns and villages — it is a real Russian record for such summer outings in the region. The open air “Renewal” united people from friendly churches of the republic, moreover — from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The new “town” of 50 tents and one big tent for ministry was built on the place of this open-air event.

The very topic of the outing — “Renewal – the way to the solution” — reveals the ideas of the sermons. Every day the young people were to make a decision: to live with God, to win, to live in a godly way, to be a disciple of Jesus, be eager for God and reach people for Christ. The senior and youth pastors of the churches talked about this at the morning and evening meetings. Moreover there was a guest from Murmansk Konstantin Grohovskij. These were not just bright speeches, but the preachers tried to help people to change, thinking over relationships with God, to understand who we are for Him and who He is for us, to realize that it is possible to live a full life only with Him and to be not just an ordinary Christian but the disciple of Jesus. This was accompanied by prayers for those who were eager to experience these changes and new depths in communication with God.  In small groups people helped one another fully realize the topics. Beforehand there was a special seminar about small groups and several people decided to launch a small group from September.

Worship groups from the three churches tuned everybody in praising God. There was a creative prayer: different objects and symbols were aimed at concentrating on God and prayer for specific questions. Young people were writing their sins on paper, pinned it on the cross and asked God to forgive them. Those who wanted to pray for unity of believers turned puzzle pieces on the table. For those wishing to bring more fruit for God there were grapes — they ate it praying. There was a table with many small candles and one big one — boys and girls lit these small candles from it and prayed so that the fire of the Holy Spirit would flame in their hearts. Adding to this there was an opportunity to write the wishes for the youth ministry and to pray for particular people.

The talk-show “Openly about the intimate things”, held on one of the days,  was very relevant. All the inhabitants of the tent “town” were divided into 12 teams who competed in different sport and creative contests. They gained stars that were used at the auction at the end of the outing to bye different tasty things.

The last evening was full of funny sketches and songs telling about interesting events during the open air. By the big final fire everybody was making nods on little laces wishing something good one another.

It is too early to sum up the results of this camp because the realization of the decisions will be clear only after some time. Anyway the organizations — the four youth pastors — are sure that this was a real renewal in relations between young people from different churches and will serve for the revival in Udmurtia.

Vladimir Batalov, the youth pastor of the youth ministry of the church “Philadelphia”: “The youth ministry in Izhevsk got renewal of the relationship with God, new friends, commitment and wish not just be called Christians but be real Jesus disciples and serve others. The outing was great to strengthen friendship with believers from other cities, villages and even countries. This is a clearer understanding and higher importance of the youth ministry, renewal of our commitment to God.

Youth ministry


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