And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
~2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
Camping experiences for me were always positive experiences. There you must live and practice your Christian faith twenty-four hours a day. And that deeply impacts the other campers.
Around the world, Open Doors sponsors camps—especially for discipleship training for young people. Twenty-three-year-old Roton is one of those youths who attended a camp in Bangladesh in early 2011 for young believers from Muslim background (MBB). He said, “To attend this camp, I traveled for seven hours. I walked thirteen kilometers before getting on the bus. It was exhausting, but I wanted to know more about Jesus.”
In a brief encounter with Open Doors during the camp, Roton shared that he felt pressure when he was just a new follower of Christ. “Many times, my Muslim friends would ask me why my family and I became Christians. They wanted to know how much [money] we got for converting. They asked me if the people who converted me stepped on the Koran or ate pork. I lost all my Muslim friends; everyone hated me and my family.”
Roton’s father was the first believer in the family, and boldly shared his faith with others. He read from the Koran, searching for portions that mentioned Jesus. Later on, however, his eye sight deteriorated to the point of blindness. So, he asked young Roton to read to him every day some passages from the Koran that specifically talked about Jesus.
“I just followed what I was told to do. In the beginning, I was reading for my father. But after few days, I realized that I was becoming more curious to find the truth myself. Because of the witness of the Koran, I found myself believing Jesus as the Holy one, the Messiah. I became a Christian soon after; I gave my life fully to Jesus,” Roton testified.
Discrimination soon followed Roton’s new found faith. His religion teacher mistreated him. When the school principal learned of his conversion, he was watched and compelled to recite Muslim prayers. People questioned him about Jesus Christ, but all that Roton knew about Christ he learned from the Koranic passages he read for his father. It was time to learn more. Instead of succumbing to the religious pressure he experienced, Roton—with encouragement from his father—set out on a journey to learn more about his Lord and Savior.
“I am so happy to be in this MBB youth camp. It’s my first. I saw that I am not alone! Many work together for Christ. In this camp, I discovered Jesus in the Old Testament. I will read the Old Testament more—together with the New Testament—so that I am prepared to answer questions people ask me. Someday, I want to study in a Bible school, so that I can help others who are on the same road as I am.”
RESPONSE: Today I will pass on to others all that I have learned and experienced in my relationship with Jesus.
PRAYER: Pray for young believers around the world who are in the process of developing their knowledge and discipleship in following Jesus. Pray too for camp leaders and trainers.