Into the Gap
Jun 10, 2021 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
COVID-19 has left behind a lot of holes.
The countries of Europe are making significant progress toward vaccinating their people and lowering restrictions. However, for most of the region, Americans are still not free to come and visit. Before the pandemic, Josiah Venture mobilized close to 1000 short-term workers each year from North America to serve in evangelistic camps. For the second summer in a row, COVID-19 restrictions have prevented these precious co-laborers from joining our team.
Courageous young Europeans are stepping into this gap. In spite of difficult conditions, 34 of them have committed their entire summer to reach the lost and strengthen youth groups across the region. Although most of their churches have not been able to meet in person, these young leaders have still raised their financial support and stepped out in faith on behalf of the next generation.
Klemen trusted Christ when he was 14 years old. His classmate, Blake, was learning how to share his faith from his parents (who are JV missionaries) and put it into practice by leading his buddy to Jesus. Now, Klemen is studying to be a teacher in his native Slovenia, but is spending the summer as a JV intern in Albania, passing on the good news of salvation to young people who have never heard.
Pauli was the only member of the youth group in his small church in Gyor, Hungary. That didn’t stop him from inviting his friend Szabi to a JV English camp where Szabi put his faith in Jesus. Now, just four years later, their youth group is full of young people that have trusted Christ. Both Pauli and Szabi are serving as summer interns in Hungary, helping our team lead eight evangelistic camps.
After many months of meeting online, and distance learning, young people are in desperate need of personal care and face to face relationships. Youth leaders are weary, and some ministries need an entire restart after the long lockdown.
More importantly, a bigger gap is on our Father’s heart. COVID-19 is not the most serious problem facing our world, and the vaccine is not our most potent solution. The reality that thousands of young people are separated from God because of the destructive power of sin is what breaks the Father’s heart—and ours as well. Knowing that Jesus put himself into that gap by sacrificing his own life gives us a message of hope we long to share with every young person we meet.
Thank you for making that possible through your gifts and prayers.
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