Letters from the mission field:
“It seems like each year we have to start our letter with the words “persecution worsened in (our country)”. It never gets better, and with the ‘End Time’ perspective in mind we actually need to get ready for more persecution to come. So, it went worse this past spring again. Police started to actively search and expose home churches all over (our country), some believers were arrested and imprisoned for 2 weeks, others were imposed fines in the amount of $1,500 (huge amount for ordinary people) – our government’s new strategy of dealing with active Christians. The gatherings of believers outside of registered church buildings became almost impossible to hide and to justify before police when exposed. “Are you sure you want to do camps this year?”-we were asked by others warningly; “Will you do camps?”- we are being asked by children hopefully. We had to ask that question ourselves and God, consider the risk and possible consequences in case of exposure by police. We felt that we needed to trust more the One who has protected us over past several years. So, by faith we are making step into this camp season, relying on the mercy of God. It became clear to us that this year we have to change our strategy and the forms of the camps.”
Under great pressure and persecution our leaders in this Muslim country are reporting THEY WERE ABLE TO AVOID arrest and fines as they divided into smaller groups and moved around. Recently the government offered their agents a bonus if they found Christians meeting and it made our camp leaders get more creative. They never said, “we can’t run camps this summer. They just said we will have to be more creative and trust God more.
Christian Camping is still one of the best ways to reach young people with the gospel. Leaders we have trained in 10 countries are reporting that many have come to Christ this summer and even with the difficult financial situation God has blessed with wonderful results. Our leaders constantly ask us to thank YOU, our supporters and prayer partners for your help.
As we write this letter we are on the way to Ukraine where we will work in nine different camps.
Bob and Sharon Hilts