Always Be Prepared

It appeared that the kitchen workers at a summer camp in Moldova were facing a food shortage. Despite the careful planning of the mission director, as the days passed, there were fewer and fewer hotdogs on hand to feed the 300 campers. The missionary team overseeing the camp had a problem on their hands.

The English camp was held at an old pioneer camp built by the Communists when Moldova was still part of the former Soviet Union. These were times when Moldovan families went to relax and escape the summertime heat. The Communists used the camp as an opportunity to indoctrinate people about the glories of Communism. Their mantra was: Are you prepared? Always be prepared! (Meaning: Be prepared to serve the motherland!)

Today, churches work together to operate camps as a place where families can relax, study God’s Word, and take lessons in English as a Second Language. Most of the kitchen and hospitality staffs are local Moldovans and most of them are not Christians. So when the missionary camp manager confronted the kitchen staff about the missing meat, he was careful with his approach. He understood that stealing is a fairly normal occurrence in Moldovan culture. It seemed the staff was cutting back on the meat to use it for their own purposes.

Instead of directly confronting the workers, he asked if they knew anything about why the meat was in short supply. They told him, “We’ll look into it”. Mysteriously, the next morning there were enough hot dogs for lunch. The staff respected the manager for how he addressed the situation and did not shame them.
One of the kitchen workers became curious about what the campers were studying. She asked a camp counselor about the book they were reading from. The counselor quickly pulled out her Russian and Romanian Bibles, shared the Gospel, and led the woman to the Lord on the spot!

Always be prepared! That may have been the cry of the Communists, but as followers of Christ we are called to always be prepared to give an answer for our faith.


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