2009 - Vol. 31
Youth group from Vasai, India
of the Spirit Among Young People in India
report by Brian Shell
I was deeply encouraged to see how is God at work among young people
in India today. I got a first-hand glimpse when I visited India for two
weeks last April. The Sword of the Spirit communities in India organized
their first-ever regional camp for young people. I was part of a Kairos
mission team, composed of two women and three men from Ireland. Six YWAM
mission workers from Delhi also joined us for the two week mission.
During the first week we helped run a camp for young people in Khandala
which was hosted by the Krist Kiran Parivar Community from Pune. For the
first time ever, youth from all four Sword of the Spirit communities in
India came together for a time of teaching and fellowship. Nearly 100 young
people gathered from Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Vasai for the four days.
Community youth playing under
a waterfall after a long trek
“The Sword of the Spirit youth camp held in Khandala was truly a time
of grace for all those involved” explained Nicholas D'Cruz from Pune, one
of the main organizers of the camp. “This was the first time there was
a coming together of all the communities in India, and through all the
differences it was heartening to see the bonding and building of relationships
between the youth.”
Our team led a number of sessions with the Indian youth during the camp,
covering topics ranging from God's love to radical discipleship to being
men and women on mission and culminating in a prayer session for the infilling
of the Holy Spirit. There was a tremendous response from the youth when
they were prayed with to receive the Holy Spirit. During the prayer session
“the youth were challenged to 'cross the line' and give their lives over
to God, and about 80 young men and women responded to the call and committed
themselves to live as radical disciples,” Nicholas recalled.
When asked how some of the sessions affected him, Raoul Fernandes, from
Mumbai, reflected, “I was reading the scripture and 1 Corinthians 12 jumped
out at me about all being members of one body, but it didn't make sense.
Then Jen gave her testimony and used the same passage, encouraging us to
give more of ourselves to community and service; from then on I knew that
I had to dedicate myself to this. It has changed my whole perspective.
For me the camp was a stepping stone for growing spiritually.” Raoul only
joined the community in Mumbai a couple months before the camp and is now
active in the community’ youth group planning an outreach for the end of
this year to help people from his neighbourhood meet the Lord.
The camp was a significant time spiritually for the youth in India,
but almost as significant were the relationships built across the communities
there and a connection with the Sword of the Spirit internationally.
Keith Silveira, a masters student in Pune, told the team that “meeting
you was a real encouragement to many of us as we realized that youth all
over the world are committing themselves to Christ and are facing many
of the same struggles as us.”
“It was a time of grace, fun, adventure and a realization of my commitment
towards all my brothers and sisters,” added Priyanka Roche from Mumbai.
“I realized that we are each called to be disciples of Christ and to live
like him. There was strong sense of belonging to each other and of fellowship
It truly was a time of special grace from God within this season of
grace that we are experiencing in the Sword of the Spirit.
Kairos Mission Team from Ireland
perform a song for the camp
From left: Sarah Quinn,
Brian Shell, Dave Quintana, Claire Robinson,
and Tadhg Lynch
Shell is an affiliate of the Servants
of the Word. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
On fire for God
since I grew up in the community with my family, I had attended a number
of retreats and youth camps (most of them were grudgingly attended), but
none were quite like this one... I mean at this camp God shook me up. I
had a very personal experience. It was like he called me by name and asked
me in front of the whole assembly if I was willingly to commit myself to
the sessions were surprisingly relevant to me. The highlight for
me would have to be the prayer session to ask God to fill us with his Holy
Spirit. It was the most awesome experience. And for not just me. Ever since
the camp our entire youth group in Mumbai has become surprisingly united.
We are all on fire for God. We're now planing an outreach at the end of
this year to get more people from our neighborhood to meet the Lord. Lets
see what the Lord has in store for us. (It's super exciting!) Please keep
us in your prayers.
Sword of the Spirit Youth Camp in Khandala was truly a time of grace for
all those involved. It was undertaken as part of the Joint Mission Trip
conducted by the SOS and YWAM teams from Ireland and one could sense from
the outset that something great was going to happen. And indeed, the Spirit
of the Lord did some marvelous things among the youth during these days
and has continued since then.
was the first time there was a coming together of all the communities in
India and through all the differences, it was heartening to see the bonding
and building of relationships between the youth. The youth were challenged
to 'cross the line' and give their lives over to God and many responded
to the call and have chosen to live their lives as 'radical' disciples
the sessions led by the Sword of the Spirit and YWAM teams, and their testimonies,
the youth here have been strengthened in their faith and have become enthusiastic
for the Lord and that enthusiasm is leading them to share their faith with
each other and help each other grow in Christ.
this experience has challenged me to keep Christ at the center of all my
decisions and actions, as well as to deepen my relationship with him, and
to answer his call to go out and serve others.
camp has brought about an amazing transformation among the youth here and
we pray that the good work He has started will be brought to completion
and that the name of Jesus be lifted higher! Praise the Lord!
really touched me during the camp was listening to Jake Yap, [one of the
speakers who is from Manila, Philippines], talking about the woman mentioned
in the Gospel who had come to anoint Jesus. When she met Jesus, she broke
her alabaster jar and emptied the very expensive perfumed ointment on Jesus.
this story made me realize that I hadn’t really broken my alabaster jar
and emptied out all the contents yet. Fortunately, this camp was, by Gods
grace, one more step along the way.
other key thing I heard during the camp was the Lord's call to be radical
disciples for him. A lot of us follow Jesus, as nominal Christians, and
basically feel we are living good lives. But, I know that Jesus is calling
us to take the next step in the relationship and move from knowing ‘about’
him, to knowing him personally by developing an ongoing relationship with
camp was a good opportunity for youth from the different communities in
India to meet each other and to meet the team members who came from Ireland.
Meeting you’ll was an a real encouragement to many of us as we got to know
that youth all over the world are committing themselves to Christ, and
are having to deal with many of the same struggles and temptations. Besides,
we also realized that following Jesus can be a lot of fun too.