Chantel Dewar, MDiv Graduate Student
In September of 2020, I began thinking about the idea of taking a team to St. George, Utah. Besides having a connection through my brother-in-law who is the assistant pastor, I had a desire to minister to Westside Baptist church and help them out with their Sports Camp. In February of 2021, we had a finalized team and began having weekly meetings to discuss details and to pray for the trip.
I think the biggest prayer request that was answered for me was our team. The group dynamics were better than I could have imagined, and, over the course of the week, the five of us became like family. We saw God working in great ways during our week there. We were able to develop relationships with the kids, as well as with other workers from the church. It is amazing what a group of believers who have never met can accomplish when they come together for the same purpose. We saw kids grow throughout the week and become more confident in their abilities in sports. Most importantly, we were able to see the gospel go out to about sixty kids. Most of these kids come from Mormon homes and would never go to a Bible-believing, gospel-preaching church. So, sports camp is a unique opportunity to reach these kids and their parents with the truth of the Gospel.
The day that had the most impact on me was Wednesday. Pastor Greg Wright brought our team out for breakfast and answered any questions we had about the Mormon church. He explained to us that the only hope they hold to involves being married and having a lot of kids, and, if you are a woman, you are totally dependent on your husband to get you to a higher realm of heaven. It was then that I was left in awe of how much God loves us. He doesn’t make our salvation dependent on any human. He loves us so much that He gives us salvation when we believe on His name and accept Him as our Savior. I was struck with how simple the gospel really is and was brought to tears thinking about how much God loves us and gives us so much grace when we don’t deserve it. It left me with a new burden to share that simple message with those who are caught up in the lies that works will save them and that their salvation is dependent on other, equally imperfect people. I shared this thought with the team that morning during our team devotions, and we took prayer requests. There were specific things that we prayed for that morning that we saw answered that evening at sports camp.
Because my undergrad degree is in Cinema Production, I was recruited to help with the video/photography team. I developed a less-than-stellar attitude because I wanted to be working with the kids, not just documenting the camp. I shared this struggle with the team and asked them to pray that I would have a better attitude about the role I had been put in. That evening, due to work circumstances, one of the other workers was not able to make it, and I was pulled in to help with the kids. I was amazed at how the Lord worked that out.
I already mentioned the beauty of the Gospel. However, I want to emphasize one part of Sports Camp that was really imprinted on my heart: presenting the Gospel to children. Evangelist Rob Watkins was the speaker that week. He uses Gospel Effects and ventriloquism to present the Gospel message to children. I sat in many of his presentations and tried to imagine being one of those kids hearing the gospel for the first time. I was amazed at how precious it is to share the Gospel with children. I think of what Jesus said in Luke 18:16-17 “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” How many times do we underestimate the understanding of children? The Lord has made the Gospel so that it can be understood by children, and we are to go to Christ as little children would go to their father.
Our team prayed for the kids and their parents every day. We prayed that God would make their hearts open to His Word and that we would remember that we cannot save them but that it is God who brings them to Himself. We prayed that we would show them Christ’s love and compassion. We prayed that the seed would be planted in their hearts and that the Lord would send other believers into their lives to water those seeds. We prayed that we would love them like Christ does. If we are not doing what we are doing with the love of Christ and for God’s glory, we are doing nothing. I believe that we all grew in our faith that week. We were able to see God working in other people’s lives and in our own. We were taught a great lesson about the love of Christ and the awesome hope we have in Him.
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
If you have a story of how God has used you this summer in ministry or evangelism, please leave a comment or consider writing a post of your own at www.bjucgo.com/submissions
*If RSS feed is not working for you, please add it to your app or software manually by adding this url:
The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.