Szarvas is a lovely rural town in south east Hungary, around two hours south of Budapest. This day-camp partnering with the Lutheran church in Szarvas was born after being spotted (in action) on another camp! Minister Lázár Zsolt invited us to bring a group of Christians from the UK to help organise an English Bible camp for the young people of the town.

It was a delight to serve together with Zsolt and his team of Berta, Erika, Eva, Klara, Marta, Nora, Viki and Andrew. A team from Anna Read’s sending church in Kent came out: Pippa, Dan, David, Cyril, Anna and Yasmin, and brought a great blend of Englishness together with the gospel of Jesus. With the help of Piri (to bridge the translation and cultural gaps!) the 45 young people experienced English Culture, English Vocabulary, English Traditions…and we all saw Jesus in Luke’s gospel, the man who is at the centre of the universe and comes to save us in a way no other ever can.

There were a lot of requests to ‘SING!’ during the week, however even with the high volume of performance-requests, and the surprise of more young people (and younger people!) than expected, we saw the Lord at work. We praise Him that all of the activities worked really well for all ages and the talks seemed to be absorbed even by the younger ones! He is very good!

At the ‘end of camp’ church service on the final Sunday, it was amazing to see around 30 of the campers come along, even though quite a few had never been to the church before. Please do pray for a continued delight in meeting regularly with God’s people and for wisdom for Zsolt in finding the best ways to involve a younger generation in church life.

It was a privilege to see spiritual growth in understanding, confidence, hunger and commitment in both the campers and the leaders. We have heard of one boy in particular who has taken up reading his Bible every day which is amazing. Possibly the most rewarding moments each day were in the ‘Epilogue’ sessions when the campers were offered a sweet in return for a snippet from Dan’s morning talks: each day we had around 20 different campers eagerly recalling God’s truths and proclaiming them to each other! Please do pray for these truths and relationships to be making a difference in the hearts of those who declared them!

One of the key aims for the camp was to sow seeds for a new youth group: Klara was particularly enthusiastic about this and we have since heard encouraging reports that this youth group has been able to start up with some teenagers from the camp. Let’s pray on for this work to take root and flourish!
We are thankful for this opportunity to join with this church and share the laying of foundations for the church’s ministry to young people this summer. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with this church and their young people, and to seeing God at work over the years to come!

“This was the best week of my summer…!” (18 yr old guy from Szarvas)

(written by Pippa Halpin)