April 2013 was a big month for Youth for Christ in Thailand. It was again time for Youth Challenge, one of the largest Christian youth camp gatherings in Thailand which is held every four years. This was the 4th ‘Youth Challenge’ since 2001.
The purposes of this event are

  1. to challenge Thai young people to commit and serve full-time in any church or Christian organization;
  2. to challenge young people to financially support those who are already or have committed to serve full-time;
  3. to challenge young people to make a commitment to evangelism.

This year, 801 young people from all over Thailand joined the 4-day-camp, plus over 200 staff, volunteers, and preachers. The programs were designed for young people to discover and experience a variety of ministry fields. Campers got to choose 2 out of 10 workshops that matched their interests, like “Strategic Planning in Ministry”, “Attitude in Serving”, “Spiritual Gifts”. They were also introduced to many different Christian organizations, seminaries, and mission organizations that opened booths to share about their ministries and advertise available jobs and volunteer opportunities.

Year of
Youth Challenge
Campers
Commit to
Serve Full Time
Commit to
Support Financially
Commit to Share the Gospel
2001
570
106
213
2005
650
252
300
400
2009
773
240
444
463
2013
801 253 442 521
Numbers of people that make 3 commitments according to the camp’s purpose.

 

One of the highlights of this camp was on the last day when the 253 teenagers whom made their commitment to serve full-time were walking to the front stage as the rest of the hall gave them a long applause. That moment was historic and everyone was united with one hope, the hope that this generation would bring Thai people to Jesus and return Thailand back to God. The speaker later asked those who did not come forward if they would be willing to support their friends and help them side by side along the ministry journey. The answer was boldly and loudly, ‘AMEN’!

Clockwise from top left: 1) Campers raising the heart-shape paper written goals to God; 2) ‘Worker Ant’ (Junior high kids) packing a thousand ‘Survival Kit Bags’ and diligently serving as laborers throughout the camp; 3) Small group discussion after each sermon; 4) Part of those who made commitments walking out to the front of the stage; 5) A gold medal given to everyone at the closing program as a symbol of an athlete winning the race (1 Cor.9:24-16).

 

Although ‘Youth Challenge’ is now ended, these young people’s ministry lives have just started and their commitments have just begun to be proved. Youth for Christ is experienced that following-up process is also as important as organizing the camp so they also provide one year follow-up process to the 801 campers, which also includes ‘6 Mission Trips’ to different provinces and, ‘Open House’ event for those who want to learn about ministry in depth. This also opened for the campers to sign up after the camp. The one year follow-up process will involve the individual goal of all 801 campers that they had written out in the camp so this provides them accountability to make sure they achieve their goals. Though we do not see the ultimate outcome yet, the seeds have been planted in these young people’s hearts and we believe that they will grow and multiply.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Matthew 13:31-32

 

Article by Jick Siwamoke
Edited by Scott Johnson