By: Jan Diaz
Director of Bible Adventure
“How do I know if I’m going to Heaven?”
The fifth grade student was intently watching and listening as we made words of our paper cross tear activity in Bible Adventure (where I was recently visiting). After the teacher explained the cross and why Jesus had to come into the world to die for our sins, we were rearranging the torn pieces to spell out words: Life, Love, Evil, Hell. This young student was fully engaged and her question was the result of intentional time spent on God’s redemption story in the gospels.
I leaned forward as our teacher led her back to the memory verse (John 3:16) and explained that Christ came to take the penalty for our sins so that we could accept His free gift of eternal life and spend forever with Him in heaven.
As the teacher invited anyone who wished to receive this gift, there was silence and then this student slowly raised her hand. We welcomed her up for prayer and four other students hands went up as well. As I was able to lead them in prayer, they eagerly accepted God’s gift of salvation and five students began a new relationship with Christ that day!
What an honor it was to be a part of their life-changing decision. Earlier in the morning two other students from the 3rd grade class had also began a relationship with Jesus. Seven in one day! In the few remaining weeks of the school year, as students had returned to face to face instruction at the Bible Adventure, 25 students began new relationships with Jesus in that one program and one rededicated their life to the Lord!
This year we have ended with over 1550 students who were able to hear God’s truth and hope in 85 Bible Adventure/CIA programs. 80 of these programs ended the year with in-person instruction as God re-opened many (as we prayed) right around the Easter season. We had determined to share the simple gospel message every week this year and have seen an increase over last year of students responding and beginning new relationships with Jesus Christ. We are so grateful that God has been very present and that our volunteer leaders are resilient and committed as we shared hope with so many students and their families this year.
We look forward to seeing these students as they continue to grow their faith at camp this summer! What a joy it is to serve at Joy El and see such life change!
Upcoming summer camp weeks:
- Summer Day Camps
- Summer Wilderness Camps
- Summer Overnight Camps
- Mother Daughter Retreat (October 8-10)
- Father Son Retreat (November 12-14)
- Bring your own group to Joy El