On Wednesday I would visit my friend Markku for the second time in two weeks. Together we wanted to go to the streets and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people. Before leaving to Riihimäki (the place where Markku lives) I quickly visited Prisma (small shopping center in Forssa) and started a conversation with three girls who were sitting at the Pizza buffet. I asked them if they understood some English and had some time to talk with me. After they said “yes” I told them that I would ask a (maybe) hard but important question, “what do you think about God”? One of the girls told me that she didn’t believe in God but went to a confirmation camp organised by the Lutheran church (rippikoulu). I asked “why did you do that if you don’t believe in God”. She told that she just wanted to find a boyfriend. It was quite a surprise to me even as I know that most Lutherans are nominal Christians (according to my wife most youngsters in Finland still go for a confirmation camp partly for peer pressure and wanting to be with friends and partly, because after the confirmation they get many gifts and presents). I told her that if she was serious she could ask God to reveal himself to her and He, who knows the hearts would show Himself to her.
This is how Jake, a youth ministry scholar describes this Christian camp:
| The camp experience in Finland is remarkably similar to Christian summer camp in the United States. Young people are away from home for a week, stay together in gendered housing, and participate in a variety of activities in an outdoor, recreational setting. The camp day is structured in a way that facilitates the rhythm of daily Christian living: devotionals, grace before meals (often sung), worship, Bible study, and recreational fellowship. The camp we visited was about an hour north of the capital city of Helsinki, and it offered a beautiful setting featuring a small lake, forested hillsides, and large open playing fields. It looked and felt like we could have been anywhere in the upper Midwest.
Kayaking on the Lake in Finland
At three thirty I met Markku @ Riihimäki and together we went on the street and spoke with several people about our living God. Many people believe there is something but don’t know what, so we asked them if they have any pain or sickness that we could pray for. So when they’re healed they experience that there is a God.. Markku has been deeply involved in New Age and can now testify about how Jesus showed him that He’s the only way! It was very nice to go on the streets with Markku and share the gospel side by side to the people we met.
Before I took a train back home Markku and me strengthened each others faith, brother to brother. What a nice encounter it had been. We didn’t found people with pain or sicknesses but we surely shared some good news of Jesus Christ and that’s what it’s all about! I went in the train and asked a 50-year old guy, Ronny (not his real name) what does he think about God. Ronny was surprised that I asked such a personal question. He told me that he lived with his parents and had just had an argument with them. He said: “I just wanted to call to the priest and then you came to talk about God. You surely must be send by God because I don’t need the call with the priest any more.”. What a nice compliment Ronny gave to me, thank you Jesus! 🙂