“I am very happy and enjoyed it a lot. I have got many new friends and we learn together and have fun together. I have learned how to share gospel to my friends… Now I am feeling a bit sad because the camp has ended and I have to go back.”
Shima, attendee at a youth camp in northern Bangladesh
Every year, Open Doors local partners in Bangladesh organise a Youth Camp for young people. As with any camp or festival, people look forward to it for months, and it’s become a fixture in many people’s diaries.
For the past two years, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, it was impossible for the Youth Camp to run. But like out summer camps and festivals, this year, our local partners decided that it was time to meet again. Over the 28th – 29th of September 2021, the camp went ahead with a limited number of people attending.
Around 340 people from 34 different types and styles of churches gathered under one roof. Among them, there were Christians from Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds.
“This is one of the best opportunities for the youth to be acquainted with people from different background beliefs. They can build relationship with each other and encourage one another,” said a local partner.
For some of these young people, it was their first time participating in an overnight programme, where they get to enjoy the evening with their friends. It was a very exciting time for most of them.
“This is my first experience participating a youth camp where I travelled long distances, stayed out of my home and met many new people. My parents do not know about my faith in Jesus yet. The teachers here are very good and very friendly. They care for us very much. The environment is amazing – learning together, playing together, eating together, sleeping together. I am very happy and thankful for allowing me to join the camp.” said Mariam, a participant of the youth camp.
“I am very happy for the opportunity to be here. This is the first time ever I have participated this kind of event. I have learned lots of things about the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ. The teachings were excellent and very useful for my life. Now, I know how to reach out to my friends and tell them about Jesus Christ. It was very joyful,” said Moushumi, another one of the participants.
Image: The team who run the camps
“This was my first experience to participate in a youth camp. This was a wonderful experience for me to spend time together with hundreds of young people – doing Bible study, attending session, doing teamwork activities and enjoy each other’s company. I have learned the importance of reaching out my friends and I will invite my non-believing friends to come to Christ,” said Liton, another attendee.
“I have learned how to reach my non-believing friends and how to disciple them. I have learned that making disciples is very important and it should start from my home. I love everything here. I would like to come again in future. I am thankful for the invitation and the opportunity to participate in the camp,” said Shahin, a Christian from a Muslim background.
The Youth Camp was a huge success even though it was much smaller this year compared to the last few years. The participants are even more excited to come back again next year! Praise God for what he is doing in the lives of young people in Bangladesh.
As we start looking forward to Christmas, could you send hope to young Christians facing persecution?
1. Write a message of hope to a few different young people and let them know that you’re praying for them.
2. Lose something from your Christmas list, and ask for a donation to Open Doors instead…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.