As this year closes, we would like to share Struja, our youth group at Malešnica with you. Last January, about 15 kids showed up and had their first taste of youth group. It was a great experience of growth, fun, and laughter for the students and for the leaders. It has been going strong since then. Dan has been heading it up and Bonnie started on the leadership team but has chosen to be a volunteer for the current school year. Struja currently consists of:
- two girls groups for girls ages 11-14 and 15-17 meeting three Saturdays per month
- a boys group (shorter Bible Study and activities) for ages 15-17 meeting twice a month
- a boys Bible Study (focused on how to study the Bible) for ages 13-17 meeting once per month
- a large group meeting for ages 11-17 once per month.
Our purpose is to draw the students toward God (personal growth), toward community (life of the church), and toward the world (evangelism). With three leaders and a handful of volunteers, it can be tough to pull this off, but things are moving along well.
This youth group is extremely important for the students. Here, the school system consumes nearly every available bit of free time the students have. Struja gives each student a chance, once a week, to receive spiritual input and to meet with other Christian students. At school, our students are often the only believer or one of two or three believers in their school. The time that they have with youth group is a huge encouragement to them and an opportunity to invite some of their friends to a place where they can be introduced to the Gospel in a way that speaks to their hearts. Through our Bible Study groups we encourage the students to develop a lifelong habit of Bible Study and to teach them the value of staying in God’s word.
I have been challenged in my thinking lately by reading about David and Solomon and the temple David desired to build, but was told to leave to Solomon. For youth group, I consider our task to be one of equipping these students, by any means possible, to be ready to build the church that God places in their hands one day. As youth leaders, we will have a significant impact on how these students are equipped as temple builders. Please praise God for the 20 temple builders we have, ask him to guide us as we equip them for life, and ask him to draw them ever deeper into an understanding of what it means to follow Jesus Christ.