All week, it had been difficult to get the group to talk. They weren’t connecting well with each other or with the topics at camp. One girl, Saci,* had especially closed herself off from the group, sitting guarded with her arms crossed and seemingly disinterested in sharing, even though she spoke great English. I wondered if she even wanted to be there.
As the week progressed, she remained uninterested, though she showed a little more warmth by Thursday evening. On Friday night, we had a local pastor come in and share his testimony. In the conversation group following, we give the kids an opportunity to respond. We decided to split our group into boys and girls, in hopes that this would make them more comfortable in opening up.
We sat with our chairs in a circle. Saci sat a bit away with her arms crossed. I shared my testimony and why I had come to camp and then asked the girls what they thought of God. After a few minutes of sharing opinions on faith and life struggles, Saci began to cry—a reaction that spread to the other girls. She asked us, “Am I the only one that doesn’t want camp to end?”
I was so surprised. She shared with us that last year was her first camp and that both then and now she had noticed how everyone was so happy, joyful, and nice and that maybe she needed some of this Jesus in her life. She wasn’t ready to make a decision, but she began to understand why she needed Jesus.
By the end of the group session, Saci had pulled her chair into our circle, and I was able to pray with the group and later with her one-on-one. The camp is done, but our communication is not. As we continue our conversation as pen pals, I look forward to helping her along her faith journey, and I am thankful for the journey that God took me on that week as well.
~OMS Hungary Missionary
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*Name withheld for privacy.