Making History and History Maker Camp 2012 Four Summers ago, in 2008, the group of Young believers from Bryansk Russia felt led to start a new Church in their city that would be a tool used by God to build a bridge into the lives of secular young people in this city of 500,000 people. Frankly, they emerged out of controversy, having been basically “run out” of a couple of more traditional churches. But we used a summer camp with the help of another highly dedicated group of young people from Dallas called “Glowing Heart”. At this camp a new church was born. Like any new church they have slowly had to figure out their way and clarify their vision. But each summer they have used a summer camp to continue to clarify their purpose. Each summer has been monumental. This summer is no different. The path has been cleared even more. Their is greater clarity than ever. Their maturity level has been raised once again. And lives are being changed.
At this writing we are in day 3 of a 5 day experience of the camp held at Camp Yolochka. There are just about 150 young people at the camp, plus Americans, and about a dozen children of History Makers. 173 people in all. (Easily the largest number ever) The vast majority are from Bryansk, but there are 5 from Moscow here investigating the truths of Christ. There are 30 from a church in the city of Dyatkovo who were led here by their pastor to build their outreach ministry. As for Americans, there are 4 from LifeWay Church and 9 from Oahu Hawaii and a new church on that island that is a new house plant of about 65 people. Yet they are highly engaged in global missions and they, led by their pastor and worship leader, are the best team of missionaries one could ask for. They are a fabulous example of what an organic and multiplying church can be an do for Kingdom work. We became connected with this church because two of their young people came for 3 years with the Glowing Heart team from Dallas Baptist University. From Seattle, to Dallas, to Honolulu, to Bryansk. A crazy world.
The pride that we all feel for the leaders of History Makers cannot be described in words well. You would have to see it. But I have 3 words to help us understand what God is doing.
Community: they have learned that the best way to show the love of Christ is to build a community around the love of Christ and love of others. Russia is often thought of as a relationally cold and disconnected world. There is truth in this history. Healthy mentoring is a missing concept most of the time on all levels. And genuine relationships non existing. At camp, there is loving, caring, fun, and meaningful community centered on a love for God. Even though they have done a nice job pulling of great events like wonderful outdoor concerts the last 2 nights, its all about genuine relationships in a godly community.
Creativity: we are so impressed with the creative juices and minds that came together to make this camp happen. These are highly competent young people. They are creating an outdoor atmosphere and a daily program that is not about events, but allowing room for God to work through people.
Servant hood: the night of the Jazz Coffee shop outdoor cafe and concert, (concert by Scott and Diane Jackson…very cool) the leaders of the church with towel and tray in hand serving Starbucks coffee and tea with sweets to the 100 others around tables till after midnight. Then finishing that with the outdoor showing of the movie “The Blind Side”. Everyone stayed til 1:30am. They truly are trying to bring Christ to people not just by preaching the word, but inviting people into their lives.
Our prayer for years has been that a movement of God would come out of Bryansk Russia and spread to the world. I believe it is happening.