Ukraine Summer Camp Report
“Before camp, I could believe in God, now I can trust in him.” It is comments like this that really make camp, or indeed any mission trip, either short- or long-term, worthwhile. There is nothing greater than seeing a soul come to know the Lord and deciding to follow him in their daily lives.
Before a student can get to this point, those initial barriers between God and themselves must be broken down. Some of these barriers usually come in the form of unanswered questions, which the students are eager to have answered before they make a decision to follow Christ. However, before they can get the answers they desire, they need to build up a sense of trust with their teachers (English speaking short termers). One way in which this is carried out is by giving the students the opportunity to take part in a range of different activities, both indoor and outdoor, which encourages interaction between students and teachers. The activities also give them the chance to improve their language skills, which is one of the main goals of camp. As a direct result, the students will then begin to open up, which is vital if we as teachers are to fulfill our ultimate goal, which is to make the students think about the true meaning of life and to expose them to the reality of the Gospel.
To demonstrate the power of God’s saving grace at camp, I want to tell you the story of one student who came to camp this year. The quote at the beginning is taken from an interview with her post-camp. Similar to most of the students, Stasy (pictured on left in photo) came from a Ukrainian Orthodox family where God is primarily viewed as a mystical being, who is beyond human comprehension and any type of personal relationship. As Christians, we know that it is sometimes hard to comprehend who God is, but we know that it is possible to have a personal relationship with him. Throughout camp, Stasy found it really hard to open up and trust others, let alone God. However, with the unique family atmosphere and the loving atmosphere that existed at camp, which we can only ascribe to God himself, by the end of the 10 days these barriers had been broken down and Stasy had opened her heart to others, and more importantly to God. The transformation was so evident in her life, and the desire to walk with God and to read his Word was so real.
This story is only one of many that demonstrate how God is clearly moving throughout this city of Kiev and the country of Ukraine. It is because of stories like this that many of us keep returning to Ukraine and continue to serve God in our local context as we know that he has the power to change lives. It is my desire that others might experience this feeling and want to serve him.
--David Cathcart, OMS UK short-term missionary to Ukraine, summer 2013
Is God calling you to be a worker, either on the front lines or in a support role? View all of the opportunities how God may use you to be a missionary. You can even register to serve in Ukraine next summer for an English camp. Contact Brent Morrell at 317.888.3333, ext. 391 or email@example.com for more information.