My Romanian 2016 Experience

Luke Raby-Elmer

20th September 2016


In the summer, myself and a team of 19 others made our way out to Romania for our 12th summer camp mission. This was my 8th year and this time I was more excited than ever. I was looking forward to seeing what God had in store for every single young person and child and I was also looking forward to seeing how God wanted to use me during both weeks but more specifically for the second Youth Camp week.

It's always a fantastic privilege to be a part of this mission and to work along side such an incredible team. In fact, this years team was probably the best team I had ever worked with. Everyone was so humble, sensitive, full of energy, obedient and without any complaints. With such an awesome team it was no surprise to find that both weeks of camp went incredibly well and were abundantly successful.

Before I continue, I would just like to take this opportunity to say to every single person who supported us financially, in prayer, with resources, in fundraising and with time, just a massive "Thank You!" Without each and every single one of you this camp would have not been possible. Thank you for sending myself and the team to Romania to see first hand the amazing things that our church do and what God is doing in Romania, I am so privileged and honoured. Without finances and fundraising it would not have been possible to even have the children on camp yet alone feed them. Without the resources and time given into making such fantastic arts and crafts, the children would have been bored. And without prayer, we would have not made it through one week let alone two, but together in prayer we were able to come against the things of the enemy. We feel extremely supported by the fantastic prayer support of our church, so once again thank you! Every single little details helps give the children a super fun week that they will always remember.

We had an incredible two weeks and you can find out more about our Romania Missions through our Romania Missions page and other news posts too. However, I would like to write a personal testimony and share my own experiences of this years camps.

After a fantastic first week, I was excited about all that God wanted to do with the young people that were to attend the second week of the camp. Working with this age group is a specific passion of mine and is a path I believe God is guiding me in. My hearts desire is to see every single young person build a personal and genuine relationship with Jesus, so they can be used by God.

As soon as the young people arrived on the camp, my heart broke. I started sobbing and weeping inside. It was a painful feeling as I realised that God was showing me his love for every single one of them. God wanted a relationship with them and I wanted them to be able to experience God in the same way I have. This moment motivated me and gave me strength for the week..

On the first evening, Ryan did his champion lift presentation which gave the young people a good taste for the week ahead and seeds started being sown into their hearts. The theme for the week was 'I'm Chosen' and so every message given, was geared to teach them that God had chosen them for a plan and a purpose.

The first couple of days were very successful. We, as a team, were building relationships with the young people and were having fun with them. The weather stayed good for us, which enabled us to do some really fun activities with the young people, such as the zip wire, volley ball and football tournaments, and a mini Olympics.

On the second evening chapel meeting, I was given the opportunity to speak to the young people on the topic: 'God had chosen them before the world had even began'. This was perfect, as I was able to talk to them about the very thing that was on my heart. Through testimony and a simple message, I gave the gospel from another perspective and was able to show them that God loves and has chosen them. It felt like every word I spoke was God's, not my own. After a short response time, I could tell that many seeds had been planted that evening. All was going well, although I still had the pain in my heart to want to see them saved. This feeling even increased as I spoke that evening.

It got to the Thursday on camp and we only had one day left on camp. The team and I at this point were running on empty and relying on Gods strength to carry us through the rest of the week. On this day I was finding things extremely hard. The pain in my heart was growing even more. I wanted so badly for all the young people to leave camp knowing that they had the Holy Spirit with them always. Thursday evening was amazing! This was the last evening chapel time we had with the young people. Throughout the meeting, members of the team shared their testimonies and then we performed a sketch called 'The Lifehouse Skit'. It was a very powerful evening and you could feel Gods presence in the room. Some of the young people began to cry during and after the sketch and for some, the penny had dropped. They realised that they needed Jesus in their lives. Ben Morton then gave an incredible message in response and many said the prayer to follow Jesus. What a success!

After the meeting had finished, we gave the young people an opportunity to stay behind for prayerto which a number did so. My heart was overwhelmed by the number that wanted to start a relationship with Jesus and then I had the privilege to pray with two of the boys. I was able to speak into their lives, lead one of them to the Lord and then hear them both pray that their relationship with God would grow. I can not describe the feeling I had when I heard those prayers but I realised that all we had done throughout the week had led to that moment. That was why we were there and that was the purpose of the mission. So all I can say after two fantastic weeks in Romania is... MISSION SUCCESS!

Check out the video to see a glimpse of the amazing two weeks we had and if you would like to find out more about our missions and how you can get involved, please feel free to visit us or contact us via this website.

Thank you for reading.
God Bless,

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