Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj
To say that this was the youth camp with the most diverse selection of Google Generation I have been ever part of in 24 years of preaching in youth camps, is an understatement!
In the Sishya Team youth camp organised by Bro. Ashok Vedanayagam and team in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai, there were 300 plus young people from Chennai and beyond (Bangalore, Delhi, Madurai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Jharkhand, etc.). School students, college students, IT Professionals, families associated with the Sishya Team, school teachers, college professors, etc. were there. The Lord graciously blessed each of the three main messages I preached.
In message one, I gave the youth seven reasons why they must not procrastinate their salvation and total commitment to Christ (All starting with the letter, S). The young people responded to the altar call, raising hands, standing up and kneeling down and praying. They could not come forward because of the lack of space.
In the second main message, I brought a challenge for sexual purity from I Thessalonians 4, the Bible chapter with the most personal call for sexual purity. After this message the young people committed their hair to heels and everything in between to the Lord, 100%.
In the main message 3, delivered on the last day, of the four-day camp, 15 August 2022, I talked about Witnessing Whys and Ways. I outlined six ways to witness for Jesus. At the end of this message, 20 youth joined me on stage indicating their decision to ‘become Corn (of Wheat)’ rather than to spend their times ‘watching porn’ or in Phone addiction in the one life they have.
I also shared in two workshops spread over two days (Aug. 13-14). One workshop was on finding God’s Will. The other was on Career Choice Clues. Sections of the audience attended these out of their free-will. I started off with a Kahoot Quiz in both session to get warmed up. My daughter, Datasha, helped me with the technicalities. My son, Dale, who was flown to the Camp, from Delhi by Annan Ashok, shot videos of the workshop. My wife closed in prayer. I answered live questions after the workshop (‘Does it mean we must give up on our dreams if ‘Close Doors’ is one way of finding God’s Will?’ – this was one question which I answered).
I also counselled a group of 8 students from 8 different colleges on how to do youth ministry in their college talking about how I did ministry in the college I was in, Allahabad Agri Institute, where I did B. Tech. 1993-97. These youth had committed for ministry involvement after Ashok annan challenged them.
My wife and I joined others when we prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the campers after Annan Ashok spoke on the Holy Spirit.
The Lord mightily used the others several others in this camp: Annan Ashok, Bro. Sreedhan Manoharan (VP of an International Tractor Firm), Dr. Vijay-Dr.Ann (Assam Missionary Doctors), Swaroop (Sishya Team Staff) Andy (formerly with YFC), Bro. Sankar Ramachandran (UP), Sis. Samuela (Life Focus Society), Sis. Cynthi (Ashok annan’s sister-in-law). It was my humbling honor to be part of this wow team.
The campers had interesting activities they could get involved in during the camp. One of was sand-castle building. I was privileged to be one of the judges of this event!
I had a one on one interaction with one of the campers who told me this: ‘Every camp, I make a decision. I fail shortly after that. So this camp I do not want to make any commitment.’ I explained to him how he could sustain his camp decisions. He was soon praying the sinner’s prayer with me!
Thank you for praying. You prayed and I could feel the impact even as I ministered in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai.
I received warm words of encouragement and appreciation from the youth part of the camp and from Ashok annan. One 17-year old wrote to me via Instagram after the camp this: Praise God uncle! This is…… Heard all your messages at Sishya Camp. It was so inspiring, motivating and life-changing. Keep changing impure souls, uncle. You did a very great job, uncle. God bless you, uncle.’ Tears welled-up in my eyes. All glory to God.
The camp brought a blessing into the lives of my kids who attended several sessions where I was not the speaker. When we wanted to leave after my final session was done, my daughter insisted we stay back till the end. Such was the impact. My prayer is this: the fire in the altar of their hearts will keep burning till the last day (Lev. 6:12). The messages I shared were recorded. We will release as and when our volunteers will edit them on our Youtube channel under ‘Duke Jeyaraj’