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The Word in Flesh

Dear Friends,

What happens when the Word becomes flesh and lives among us?

Ethan served as JV summer staff in Estonia this year for the second summer in a row. Last year while visiting the town of Poltsamaa he had some extra time, and seeing an outdoor basketball court he challenged a young boy he found there to a game of one-on-one. Ethan won, but felt bad when he discovered his opponent, named Marko, was only 14 years old. The boy spoke limited English, but as they talked Ethan told him about English camps and invited him to come.

The church in this town is small, only 25 people, but in spite of the few numbers, they have a heart and vision for young people. This year they partnered with Josiah Venture to do an evangelistic camp, and Ethan led our JV team. As the young people arrived, Ethan introduced himself to a tall young man, who promptly replied, “Yeah, I know you.” Ethan looked closer and then realized that this was a much larger version of the young man he had met 12 months earlier.

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“Marko!” Ethan exclaimed. “What are you doing here?” “Well, you invited me to English camp,” Marko replied with a shrug. “So, I came.”

The basketball game a year before laid the basis for an immediate connection 12 months later. By God’s provision, the JV summer team from Los Angeles also had several basketball players and fans of rap music. Relationships built quickly along these lines of common interest, and then shifted easily to spiritual things.

Early in the week Marko began to ask deep questions about God’s existence, why Jesus had to die, and what it means to put your faith in him.

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For him, the Word was becoming flesh as he saw it lived out in the lives of these young men he looked up to and respected.

On the gospel night, he and one other young man put their faith in Christ. Now this small church has the joy of caring for two new believers. The week after camp, Marko’s father invited him to accompany him to Helsinki. “No, I want to stay home and go to church,” Marko replied.

The Word had become flesh to Marko, first in the form of Ethan and the summer team, and then in the true form of Jesus Christ, who is now his Savior.

Thank you for helping us reveal his glory.

Dave Patty President, Josiah Venture

 

 

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