Why Camps Are So Important

Two Marwari women, a mother in purple and her teenage daughter, share a moment of worship outside their home, as the daughter leads in song.
Youth Camp

Why Camps Are So Important

In most third-world countries, camps are not for kids, even though they are called “Youth Camps.” The term is relative to the culture. In America, youth is defined as ages twelve to eighteen or nineteen, but in developing cultures, youth is typically considered to be ages twelve to thirty and, specifically, ages fifteen to thirty.

Camps are important for several reasons.

First, in most countries, Christians are a minority—a tiny minority—and a camp provides young people of dating (courting) age with the opportunity to meet other Christians and build strong, life-long friendships and possible marriage unions. Even though marriages are often arranged, a young man or lady certainly has the right to express to their father the possibility of marriage with someone they are attracted to. These are called “Love Marriages” as opposed to “Arranged Marriages.”

Second, young people are usually encouraged to bring unsaved friends with them. Being separated from family and religion for a week, these youth are exposed to what it means to be a Christian and understand its importance. Hearing sermons, reading daily devotions, meeting Christian leaders, and mingling with Christian youth profoundly impacts their lives and consideration of Christianity.

Third, it is a useful tool in planting churches. Last year, a “young” lady, around the age of forty and married with a teenage daughter, was invited to attend. She had received a witness from one of our pastors and wanted to know more, but when she was told she had a scholarship to attend our camp, far from her desert village and high in the mountains of the Punjab, she gladly accepted the offer. That week, she found Christ, and in doing so, turned from Hinduism to follow Him. (She is from the Marwari Tribe referred to in our cover story.) Several weeks after returning home, she called our Director, Pastor Shaukat Siddique, and asked if he would come and preach at the church in her house. He agreed and learned that after returning home, she had led her family to Christ and then started evangelizing among the village ladies. Having done so, she gathered them in her home almost daily to teach them what she had learned at camp.

When Nolin and I visited her in December, along with the three pastors from Anchor Baptist in Columbus, Ohio, we were shocked to see the walled courtyard in front of her house, literally packed with her new converts. Knowing visitors from America were coming, they had brought their husbands. Now, we have a pastor conducting weekly services for them in her house. And all this is because of a Youth Camp.

Incidentally, the teenage daughter of this lady asked if she could enroll in our Bible Institute and was told to come home with us. She left home that day, traveled back to Lahore, and enrolled.

Final Frontiers typically helps fund camps in Pakistan, India, and Kenya and would love to add more. You can donate to “Camps” online any time of the year here, but it is in the spring and fall that we like to bring this opportunity to your attention since those are the common camp times globally.


  • Jon Nelms

    The Rev. Jon Nelms is the founder of Final Frontiers. Called to missions at the age of eleven, he has been winning souls since he was twelve. Jon was a street preacher, pastor, church planter, and missionary before founding Final Frontiers in 1986 at the age of 30.

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