Christ captures teen’s heart at camp

Tags: Eurasia, Russia, Story

By A.S. in Tambov, Russia

When I first met Sofia*, she did not look very happy. She was sitting in the camp cafeteria, not playing or talking with too many people. I tried to strike up a conversation, but this didn’t go so well, seeing as it was only my second week in Russia and language study hadn’t even begun.

A few weeks later a woman repented, and I learned it was Sofia’s mom. The church had been praying for her for years. Now both of Sofia’s parents were believers and followers of Christ!

Sofia had been going to church with her parents since she was little, but when she graduated from Sunday school, she decided that church was not interesting. She still had to go, but she sat on the couch out in the hallway, not in the sanctuary.

Then Sofia was invited to our church’s youth camp, which she thought was pretty cool. In fact, it left such a good impression on her that the next year she decided to attend even more camps, one of them being the children’s camp in a nearby village.

At first she thought that camp was boring because the program was geared toward younger children. Because of this, most of her free time was spent alone playing on her phone. One day, while she was tapping away on the screen, she noticed that she had a Bible app. Sofia had read the Bible before but didn’t understand its significance for her life.

As Sofia was reading the Bible on her phone, her mother called and gave her the unexpected news that her grandmother had passed away. As she sat on the bench crying, Sofia realized how quickly life goes by. She didn’t know if her grandma had trusted Christ, but she knew that trusting him was very important. Sofia decided that she was going to give her life to God and trust Jesus as her savior. Later that week, when the gospel was presented and the children were invited to accept Christ, she was one of the many who chose to receive salvation. 

Sofia and six others recently declared their faith through baptism.

Sofia previously had little interest in and understanding of Scripture; now she eagerly reads and studies God’s Word with greater comprehension. She used to avoid church services; now she enthusiastically invites others to church and youth group. She once had no desire to serve in church; now she attends every choir rehearsal and faithfully serves on our orphan ministry team.

Sofia attended Foundations of Faith, a class for anyone wanting to become a member of our church. She completed this course and was baptized, along with six other participants. In the days leading up to the baptism, I could see excitement and seriousness building in Sofia. I believe she felt the weight of this decision, knowing it is a great blessing and responsibility to be part of the church of Christ. Please pray for this beautiful young woman to grow in grace and the power of Jesus Christ.

*Not her real name