On the last day of January, after many months of preparation and two years of anticipation, we started our Youth Camp. Much was against us logistically and financially, as this was our first camp since the pandemic. Just three weeks before the camp, the Peruvian news had a new scare campaign about the Coronavirus. More than 60 campers canceled during that time. One of our ladies came to me with tears in her eyes because of a huge purchasing blunder on her part. We told her, “The hearts of these young people are far more important than the money lost. This is simply a test by God to see if we are worthy of the greater blessing that He wishes to bestow upon us.” Wow . . . and how God blessed in a mighty way! We had 128 campers come from 13 churches. With volunteers and their children, a total of 186 were at the camp. More than half of our campers and volunteers had never been to a church camp in their life. There were 10 saved and 12 baptized. All made a decision for purity, 95 committed to be soul winners, and 58 surrendered their lives to full-time Christian service.
We truly had revival at our camp, but there was also a revival that happened within the revival. The Sunday morning before camp, we preached hard to the young people that they do not know what they want. Afterwards, a young man named Caesar told me, “I know I need to go to camp. I’m going to tell my boss I’m going. If I lose my job, so be it.” Caesar lost his job and came to camp.
The first night during devotions, the counselors listen to each camper’s salvation testimony and talk to them about salvation and baptism. That night, Caesar made the decision to be baptized. The next day after the games, everyone surrounded the pool, while just Caesar and I entered the pool. We briefly explained baptism; then I baptized Caesar. Afterwards, I confronted everyone else about baptism. From inside the pool, we told them that if they were not baptized, they were living in disobedience against Christ. At that moment, no one accepted the invitation.
The next day, one of the participating pastors at the camp told to me that someone from his church wanted to be baptized. After the games, we went back to the pool. The pastor explained baptism, baptized the young lady, and then gave the challenge to others. The next morning, counselors began to approach me, saying that other young people knew they needed to be baptized. That afternoon, 4 pastors baptized 10 young people from 6 different churches. We had a revival at the pool, we had singing in our dining hall, and we had decisions made in our chapel.
Brother Ricky Torres was our guest speaker for the camp. The last night of camp, he said that after 30 years of youth work and working with 80 different camps around the globe, this week was one of the best weeks he had ever experienced. After camp, I approached Caesar. I asked him, “Was it worth the loss of your job?” He said, “Yes, Pastor, I would gladly lose my job next year as well for this.”
Camp was just the start of February; so, of course, we continued to have fun. The following week in our institute class, we enjoyed studying the Greek of the New Testament. For two weekends, our young people enjoyed a Friendship Workshop with dinner. A total of six hours was invested in courtship and future planning studies. During the month, more souls were saved, and more were baptized.
Please pray for our young people who have made decisions. Pray for our future church facilities. Pray for our family, especially for my dad, Kyle Rader. He is now fighting cancer. Please pray for the immigration process here in Peru.
Thank you so much for partnering with us in the work of Christ here in Peru. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. Thank you for your faithfulness to serve the Lord where you are. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, & Timothy Rader