Students participate in activities during the 5-day English Bible Camp in Sopron, Hungary.
This post was shared by Melissa Karges, GEO missionary in Sopron, Hungary. She teaches English at a high school in Sopron and year-round, builds relationships with some of the students mentioned.
“Every two years, dozens of students from various parts of Hungary descend upon one town to participate in an English camp that is led by a team of individuals from Concordia University, Irvine, Calif. and Salem Lutheran Church, Orange, Calif. This year, in the city of Sopron, Hungary, this particular 12-year-old camp had the largest turnout in its history.
“During the two weeks the team led a 5-day junior high camp and a 5-day high school camp in Sopron, more than 180 Hungarian students who participated in the camps, not to mention the dozens of Hungarian teachers and former camp participants who were there to help out.
“From the outside, it sounds like a typical VBS; there is worship time, Bible studies, activities (sports, crafts, English, drama, music, and media), and big group games, but it didn’t take long to find some very important differences. For one thing, there was an added element of language teaching. This was apparent in nearly every activity, but was perhaps the most intentional during Bible study time. Through vocabulary lessons, American team members beautifully proclaimed the message of Jesus and our salvation through Him, which so many of these kids didn’t know.
A member of the short-term team from Concordia, Irvine, leads part of a Bible study.
“In addition to hearing the Gospel through lessons, students got to witness it through their interactions with the Lutherans who had come to be with them. The camp participants spent the week living in a dormitory with the American team. This is when the real relationship building began; faith shared and through the love of Christ pouring out.
“The difference of Christ’s love in the lives of these Christians was evident, and it raised questions that people long to answer. As the students begin to process this unique experience, hearts are being changed and Christ’s kingdom will grow as a result.”