ASBEST, RUSSIA (August 21, 2013) — After a long delay and many obstacles, Love of Christ City Church finally was able to purchase land here for a Christian sports camp, a project sponsored in part by the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Bureaucratic opposition and high land prices had hindered efforts to find land. Changes in local and regional administration eventually cleared the path for the purchase.
Less than 20 years ago few Christian camps existed in Russia, but churches across the country have increasingly used sports camps as a way to reach out to young people.
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and the International Athletics Association of Athletics Federation World Championship in Moscow have sparked interest in camps and sports outreach. Teenagers have been so excited about such opportunities that some traveled for nine hours to attend previous sports camps run by the church in Asbest.
Special offerings taken during the summer of 2011 at Covenant camps amounted to $43,000 and benefited the Asbest project. The offerings provided scholarships for campers, purchased equipment, and trained Russian staff.
Recipients of the scholarships have included people who have received treatment at one of three rehabilitation centers Love of Christ operates, as well as children living on the street.
Pilgrim Pines camp director David Cairns and Covenant missionary Leonid Regheta have trained staff in Russia, and some camping leaders have traveled to the United States for further training.
“There are numerous opportunities to help in the new camp,” says Regheta. “Lots of labor work is required to restore and rebuild buildings, install floors and ceilings, replace and repair windows.”
Anyone interested in helping improve the site should email Regheta.