Ready to Respond

From the Winter 2010 issue of Relationships magazine.

Last summer Moges Berassa, Young Life leader in Ethiopia, found himself in need of a sickle, because he was in the midst of a deep spiritual harvest. After five "rich weeks at a Young Life camp in a place called Kuriftu," Berassa returned to Addis Ababa, with a much larger spiritual family.

During camp, 973 kids from five Ethiopian towns attended. In typical Young Life fashion, these camps were marked by adventure and fun. Work crews from Alpharetta, Ga., and Lancaster and York, Pa., stood alongside the Ethiopian staff, doing a remarkable job serving the campers. And throughout the summer, Berassa reported, "The message about Jesus Christ was proclaimed clearly and neatly."

The result? "Many kids experienced Jesus like never before," Berassa said.

"We saw kids with tears, broken hearts and a readiness to respond — even kneeling down to pray." For Berassa, the most exciting part of the five weeks was witnessing 581 kids stand up to make decisions to follow Jesus Christ.

Anyone who has ever led at Young Life camp, however, knows that the end of camp is actually a beginning. It marks a new period of intense depth in the lives of kids, where leader follow-up is critical. In many ways, the time-consuming work of walking with kids as they learn to walk with Christ presents even greater challenges.

"Things are still hot!" Berassa said. "Kids keep calling for more questions and help. Pray for us as we continue to follow up with them and start Bible studies."