|   Posted: March 15, 2024

Meet some teenagers in Compassion’s program who were transformed by Christ’s love during a powerful Easter camp their church organizes.

At Easter Camp, Teens Experience Christ’s Power

Meet some teenagers in Compassion’s program who were transformed by Christ’s love during a powerful Easter camp their church organizes.

Story & Photos by Alejandra Zuniga
Teens worship and experience God's power

Easter camp isn't an experience that stays at camp. The young people of Tierra de Cosecha child development center often return home transformed through life lessons that strengthen their spiritual lives.

Compassion's local church partner in this community organizes activities for young people during Holy Week, which is one of the most widely celebrated occasions in El Salvador. Activities include an Easter camp for the teenagers, a special Bible school for children and sharing the Word of God with the community.

We commemorate with thankfulness Jesus’ sacrifice in having saved us," says Brenda, who has been the Compassion center director for 12 years. "In these activities, we raise awareness in our children to be better persons and committed Christians in him. Each of the activities makes them grow spiritually and connects them with the Holy Spirit.

The afternoon before Resurrection Sunday, the young people gather at church to reflect on the gift of salvation. They participate in workshops, enjoy craft activities (like painting T-shirts in designs inspired by the resurrection) and prepare Bible school lessons for the children. In these lessons, they share the story of Jesus' sacrifice and victory.

Steeb and Rubidia decorate T-shirts at camp
Steeb and Rubidia decorate T-shirts at camp.

Steeb, 17, says he drew closer to the Lord in the company of the other young people at the camp.

"When I was painting my T-shirt, I was doing so with hope because the cross in red represents the blood of my Savior, and the cross is empty because he is alive," Steeb says. “He rose from the dead."

Steeb's friend Rubidia, 18, is the only Christian in her family. She's faced difficult situations because of her faith but was able to find peace around the campfire at camp.

"My favorite time is the campfire," Rubidia says. "There, I had the opportunity to symbolically write some sins on a paper and then burn them in the fire. This act helps me to be free of personal bad attitudes. Also, I am thankful for him [Jesus], because if he didn't give his life for us, we wouldn't have a second opportunity to live and depend on him."

Maria and Rubidia light torches at the campfire
Maria and Rubidia light torches at the campfire.

At 12 years old, Maria decided to attend an Easter camp with her brother José. With a face full of joy, she describes how one of the most important days in her life happened at that camp. The young people have devotional and worship time in front of a campfire at night — and at the end of the evening, Maria and her brother were among five teenagers who stepped forward to receive Christ as their Savior.

"I remember that I was so concentrated on the worship, then after listening to the story of Jesus' sacrifice, I reflected on his love, and then I felt in my heart that I needed to receive him as my Savior," says Maria.

Now that Maria and her brother have accepted Jesus as their Savior, they share about Jesus' love and salvation with their parents.

Easter camp has become a time of spiritual transformation for these young people. And as their own lives are transformed, they impact others by leading the Sunday resurrection service, teaching Bible school for the children and sharing about Jesus' love with those around them. Their experiences at camp also help them navigate the challenges of living in poverty.

Jesus' resurrection gives me life," says Steeb. "The faith that I have in him makes my life easier because if he died for me, he can do anything for me. This gives me the certainty that when something bad happens, he will be by my side helping me.

This child development center is not alone in sharing the gospel during the Easter season. All over El Salvador, Compassion's church partners celebrate Holy Week to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Helping children and families reflect on their own lives allows them to understand the importance of believing in a living God who loves them, left the cross empty and is always next to them.

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