i am...

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
i'm the Director of Camp Wapiti and i have the best job in the universe. yes, the whole universe.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Youth Group at my church is getting prepared for a huge event. It's called Soviet Persecution. During this game we try to re-create post WW1 Russia, complete with communist government, economic system, and military enforcing the will of the Premier.

It's a game that our Youth Group has played for years. The students have come to really love the event as a whole. Kids get to take on menial jobs on either a farm or factory, have the chance to be recruited into the army or the KGB, and they also get to see what a persecuted church looks like.

The main goal for us playing this game is to show what happens to the Christian Church in a place where Christians are seen as "enemies" or people that "don't follow the norm". The reality is that here in Canada if you want to be a Christian, that's fine. And if you want to be a Jew, that's fine too. There is a freedom that comes with living in this country, as well as a tolerance for differing world-views. However in other areas of the world, people are persecuted for the very things that they believe. I don't want to turn this into a "soap-box" on the evils of intolerance in various parts of the world, but it does happen.

Anywho, during the game, an underground church begins to form. And as the game goes on, the communist government becomes more and more intolerant of Christians and the "evils" that they bring against the society. Those that are Christian in the game get to experience persecution - and with some of the people that come out and help us with this activity - real fear as well. Those that aren't Christian get to witness what happens when an entire segment of people that they work and live alongside of become outlaws because of religious beliefs.

The game ends with the arrest and execution of the leader of the underground church (acted out with cap guns and an overly dramatic death scene). To finish off we'll have the chance to talk to the students about their experience, and to communicate to them the simple (and yet the toughest thing I've ever had to learn) truth that is what Jenn and I devote ourselves to everyday. That life with Jesus is way better than anything without him. See, we don't just do Youth Group, we try to connect students with a real experience of a real God that really loves them.

So, about 10 days from now, we'll hang banners with the faces of Stalin and Lenin, we'll create a market with chips and pop that kids can buy with their fake daily wages. There'll even be a criminal element (the Russian Mafia) going around stealing money from innocent kids trying to "make ends meet" all in the middle of an attempt to explain to these students that God loves them, and wants to be the very biggest part of their lives.

Pray for us as we work with the hope of the church - as they become the hope of the world.


Desiree said...

What a great opportunity and lesson for these kids. Hope it all goes well.

GP Jenn said...

I hope I can play. I don't know what I will be able to do then with the little one. This game is going to be great.

Bettyanne said...

yikes I deleted!
Anyways it sounds great!wish I could play.
I'm proud of you Jeremy!
love Mudder xoxoxoxo