A Historic Day
Jul 13, 2014 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
July 12, 2014 is a historic day for Josiah Venture.
Twenty years ago my wife and I were serving in a small church in the Czech Republic. There were just five in the youth group, sixty in the church, and none of us knew how we could reach the thousands of young people in our city who had never heard of Jesus Christ.
I was teaching English part time in a Czech High School as summer approached. Asking my students what they had planned for the months of vacation, it surprised me to hear that most of them had nothing to do. “Under communism we all spent several weeks at a Young Pioneer’s camp, “ they told me, “but since the revolution all these camps have been closed.”
I immediately remembered what Lenin said about youth work. “The best way to raise communists is through an organization for children,” he stated, pouring huge amounts of finances and energy into his communist youth organizations.
“Why don’t you do an English camp for us this summer?” one of my students piped in. “Our parents would love to get us out of the house, and if you teach us English, they won’t even mind if you talk about God.”
Heading home, I couldn’t get his comment out of my head. We didn’t have much time, but I sensed this idea was from the Lord. Miraculously, we managed to pull together a team in time to offer an English camp in July. In spite of the short notice, over 80 students attended. I invited them to a youth group at our house in the fall, and over 60 showed up at the first meeting. Many became believers and are walking with God today.
The next summer we led three camps, and then seven the next year. On July 12, 2014, the JV team will lead the 1000th camp since that first one 20 years ago. Close to 60,000 young people have attended these week-long events, and thousands have put their faith in Christ.
Join us in thanking God for this multiplied fruit – and asking him for many more to respond to Jesus Christ in the years ahead!
Grateful to be part of His story,