Young evangelists are answering the call
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
Many years ago, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke spoke of a vision the Lord had given him of young people preaching the Gospel on the streets of Europe. That vision has taken another step forward with the introduction of Fire Camps – retreats for young people aged 17 – 35 who feel called to evangelism. The first Fire Camp last year in Horn, Austria, was a tremendous success. And this year, there are four of these special retreats, the first of which recently happened in Burbach, Germany.
What God is doing in the hearts and minds of these young people will have an impact for years to come. Already, many who were at the first Fire Camp last year have grabbed hold of their calling, becoming active evangelists at home and abroad. Lukas Repert and Janina Häcker joined 50 attendees and 20 leaders in Burbach, and shared their experiences with us.
Germany, April 2022
Fire Camp Burbach
For me, the best thing about the Fire Camp was the relationship-building. Matt McCluskey, CfaN’s European Outreach Director, set up the camp to purposefully build a godly family atmosphere, and that was something deeply meaningful and impactful for all of us. We had a true Pentecost family atmosphere. This is a major reason why we keep the Fire Camps to a fairly small number, making it possible to get to know everyone and to build bonds of trust and love. For many, this was a time of healing from past wounds, and we saw the Lord do a deep work in our hearts.
At the start of the week, we went through a systematic exploration of topics that would create unity and put us on the same page. These included subjects like how to hear God’s voice and our identity as children of God. These laid the foundation, and then we dug into evangelism and the Gospel.
What was the daily program like?
The days were packed with activity. We started each day before breakfast, praying and hearing God’s voice. Then we had a 3-hour session in the morning, handling practical topics like, “What is the Gospel?” and “The call of an evangelist”. After lunch was another 3-hour session, and after supper, it was time for a “Jesus party” – just spending time with God, ministering to one another, worshipping and praying.
Of special importance were the impartation meetings where the Holy Spirit was the focus. Some who come from more conservative church backgrounds were skeptical about the move of the Holy Spirit at first. But that changed very quickly as people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. One young man approached the leadership to share his misgivings about Holy Spirit baptism, but on the second night, the Lord nudged me to pray for him, and the moment I lay my hands on his head, the power of the Lord hit him so strongly that he fell to the floor. He spent the whole evening weeping, laughing, praying, being drenched in the Holy Spirit. He testified that this was such a breakthrough for him, and he could not get enough of the presence of the Lord from then on.
Taking it to the streets
The culmination of the program was two full days of evangelistic outreaches, held on the streets of Cologne and Giessen. Some of this was one-to-one evangelism, using the “Jesus at the Door” cards. That’s a very effective system that is easy to use and brings results. We even saw people come to salvation despite us not speaking their language. Just by giving them the card in their own language, and letting them read it, we were able to lead people to Jesus.
We also had some street outreaches where we preached to crowds using a small sound system, for which we had permits. Around 200 people gave their lives to Jesus through these initiatives. And on those evenings, we got together again to share testimonies and give thanks to the Lord.
Every person had the same reaction – that this was life-changing, and they will never be the same again. Many of those who attended want to go further as evangelists and have now applied for the CfaN Evangelism Bootcamp program.
Lukas Repert (leadership team)
Defining the role of evangelists
The Gospel is not good news unless we preach it, unless we proclaim it. This is exactly what the one-week Fire Camp in Burbach was about. It was about defining the gift and role of evangelists for today, bringing it to life and equipping us as evangelists for Europe. For five days, we were taught in depth in various areas. In addition to the training, there were practical times when we could deal with topics God put on our hearts, and also practice how to convey the Gospel briefly, succinctly and vividly. We were allowed to implement this over two days of outreaches in Cologne and Giessen. For me, it was a time when I was being equipped to grow in my talents. I re-experienced God's heart for those who don't know Him and the urgency to tell them about the only way to eternal life – Jesus.
The Gospel is powerful. It will never come back empty, and it changes lives. The Holy Spirit works when we give Him the space and are ready to go out on the water with Him, to step out of our comfort zone, to dare something new. And that's exactly why I want to encourage you, too, to preach this good news with what you have and are, to be courageous and to trust that God will move hearts.
Janina Häcker (attendee)
Fire Camps in Europe
29 May – 6 June
14 – 24 June
8 – 18 August
Fire Camp is for anyone aged 17 – 35 who has a heart for the lost and a desire to share the Gospel. Don’t miss this opportunity! Places are limited.