Again this year, the Light of the World Church team along with Beginning of Life ran a ‘Restart’ youth summer camp. With wide experience of carrying out similar camps, this year’s was very special both in terms of the number of participants, and the program. No previous camp had so many participants: including team camp, there were 120 young people aged 16-21 years, the majority of whom also regularly attend church youth club and participate in BOL events.
This year’s influence on some participants was even deeper, as many of them passed the ‘Way to Success’ training course, which definitely brought them closer to an understanding of holistic character and ministry to people.
A main theme through all 5 days was integrity of personality. We spoke about spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social components of the identity of the person. We discussed questions and issues which directly touch the minds and souls of young people.
“I had to rethink a lot of things in my life during this camp, and here I learned to be more tolerant and attentive to people around me. I think this question concerned not only me! Along with a friend, we decided to give up harmful habits.” (Dmitry, high school student)
Each evening, when the program came to an end, the young people had an opportunity to talk about sharp and exciting subjects. “I was surprised how interested the guys from my group were. We began our evening discussions with conversations on personal things. We noted that they weren’t afraid to share personal experiences and to ask difficult questions.”
“For me, the last evening became very special when me and the guys stayed around the campfire and spoke about our fathers and forgiveness. All participants of that conversation grew up without fathers. I shared my personal story of how I forgave my father. After the conversation, one of the guys approached me and asked how I succeeded in my relationship with my father. His father left them when he was little, and this wound had never healed. Our conversation was not long, but in it there was time for tears, for forgiveness of those who deeply wounded this young man, and for understanding that he also needs forgiveness from above.” Sergei, BOL social educator.
Oleg admitted at the end of camp: “Going to camp, I didn’t set myself any goals. I simply wanted to have fun there. But the events in camp from the very first day made me wonder. I was surprised that the majority of young people here don’t smoke and don’t drink, and openly speak about their moral and spiritual values and convictions, which are usually ignored in our society. I got acquainted with beautiful people, overcame myself in many respects, changed my mind and have got a new perspective on life. Conversations with the leaders were making me think things over for a long time. I am glad that there was such a unique opportunity to learn to be more open and purposeful.”