Monday, October 21, 2013

Missions Context - Kids Camps in India

When I think of kids ministry in India, I don't think of summer camps, but Madhav Rao does. Madhav and I were part of the same young adult fellowship about twenty years ago and recently reconnected via some mutual friends. Since we first met, he's gotten married, had 5 children, worked as a mechanical engineer and recently accepted to start a transition into full time missions as the director of camps for Life Change Ministries. You know that we've had great success with kids camps and our students. Almost any student can contribute in a significant way to kids camps and it's fun to hear about LCMI's vision for these camps, which include day camps, overnight camps and camps for disabled kids.

If you know about global cultures, you will know that India is home to more than 400M children (more than the entire population of the US), one third of the world's poorest children live in India and India has the largest population of street children in the world - 18M. Of course, these stats don't even take into consideration economic systems, population density or the caste system, all important elements of Indian culture, and elements that should inform how the Gospel gets contextualized there.

Maybe you have only ever imagined camps in the context of Western culture - me too. This is a fascinating case study in contextualization and is a great opportunity to learn about tweaking a very American Christian product into another vastly different culture.

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