Sep 2004
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Our sons, Aaron and Jesse had unique summer opportunities.  Each attended Campus Crusade for Christ summer mission projects, Aaron in Yellowstone Park and Jesse in Hungary.  We are pleased with the impact these projects had in their lives and would like to share their letters with you:

Aaron's Yellowstone Project

I spent my summer with 32 other students from across the United States doing a Campus Crusade for Christ summer project in Yellowstone National Park.   At first I was kind of unsure about this whole summer. Originally I wanted to get a job with the Forest Service and make lots of money, but I decided to take a step of faith and join this project.  It has been very rewarding and I'm very happy about my decision.  

In Yellowston Republic, Slovakia, Germany, England, and several other places.  Being raised overseas, it was very easy and natural to build relationships and share Christís love with them.  It was awesome telling these people about how Jesus has worked in my life and his love.  My heart was definitely with these internationals.   I shared the gospel with several of these internationals that had never even heard the gospel before.   Often, there was a language barrier, but we learned that the Word of God can overcome this.  One of the Taiwanese students had the hardest time communicating and understanding English at first.  Through talking with him and helping him more and more and by sharing the Four Spiritual laws with him, he became a new believer!

I I have matured personally in my walk with God way more than I could have even expected.  Through my quiet times, praise and worship, and ministering side by side with mature Christians I have learned so much.   I have learned to step out in faith and approach someone to share the gospel with grace and truth.  I learned that prayer is so important and that I need to come to God first rather than man with my struggles.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has removed several strongholds in my life that the devil was controlling.  I have learned more about my personal relationship with the Father and his attributes.   I was privileged to be a leader in a discipleship group with a few of the other men on the project.  I led them in the study of Ephesians.

The list of what happened this summer in Yellowstone to further Godís kingdom is endless. My summer has prepared me for serious ministry and the harvest awaits us!

God bless you,

Aaron Thacher

Jesse's Hungary Project

I spent 5 weeks of my summer in Kesthely, Hungary. Let me assure you I had a worthwhile and excellent time.  Before I tell you about the accomplishments on the project I will tell you about the camp itself.

The first 3 days after my arrival was an orientation. During these days I got to know the 32 other people on the project. We listened to talks on Hungarian culture and on the spiritual barriers that existed in Hungary. After the orientation week, Hungarian campers arrived. As you may recall, the purpose of this camp was to help Hungarian students practice their English.

Each week for three weeks, new campers arrived on a Saturday and left on Friday morning.  One of my roles in the camp was to lead a SpeakOut Group. This involved playing games with the Hungarian campers and giving them time to practice their English. I also got to know them personally by going to the beach and just talking with them. I asked them questions about their belief in God and what their thoughts were on how to get to heaven.

My students were very willing to talk about God and their beliefs. Many of them believed in God, they just did not know and understand Jesusí role in entering heaven. I asked them to read the Hungarian Four Spiritual Laws booklet. The next day we discussed their thoughts on Jesus. The first week I did not see anyone come to Christ, but during the second week one young man named Lazlo prayed with me to receive Christ. In the third week I had two atheists and three Christians in my group. I did not bring any of the atheists to Christ, but I did provoke questions in their minds about God, and whether or not He existed.

For the last few days of the camp we had a debriefing time, which consisted of talks on adjusting back into life with friends and family. For the project as a whole the total number of decisions to trust Christ was 24, an awesome conclusion! For me personally, God taught me how to be confident in sharing my faith and I learned how to share my faith more capably.

Thanks so much for you gifts and your prayers. God used you and all the people on the project to further His kingdom.

Jesse Thacher