The following is a report from one of our indigenous missionaries in Ukraine who cares for orphans. If you are interested in supporting her ministry, please contact me.
It's been more than a week since our first camp in the village orphanage was finished.
A few days after camp was over I felt I wanted to go there again and make another camp. God shows me how much spiritual contribution these children need. They need my time, need friends who visit them, talk and play with them.
This was the first time in my life when it was my responsibility to organise, set up things and coordinate the camp. It's not easy for sure.
But the best thing about it is to be used completely for serving those children in His Name.
The huge blessing for our team was freedom to share Gospel with the children (there were 60 children) and with the staff of the orphanage(around 30 people) and freedom to pray with the children and teach them Bible verses.
The principal and his assistant were very favourable to us.
The camp expenses were fully covered by our church and by a few individuals. This is also a big blessing that Ukrainian people give money to this ministry. I think for Ukrainians it's not usual.
The theme of our camp was "True Friendship with God".
Every day we took a new Bible story: on Monday - Adam and Eve and their friendship with the Creator and disobedience, on Tuesday-True friendship David and Jonathan, on Wednesday-Friendship and jealousy between Jacob and Esau, on Thursday-Fear and distrust in God (story about Jonah), on Friday-a summary.
Children were excited to hear so many interesting Bible stories completely new for them. They enjoyed learning Bible verses and getting scores for that. They were told that on Friday they would have a chance to go to the "fair market" and buy all they want with their scores. Things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, toys, stationary, candies, T-shirts.
Also what children enjoyed doing for most is playing general camp games. In those games everybody was involved and the game lasted for about one hour. We had a few games with water, which they liked very much since it was hot almost all camp.
On night programs they liked our skits and group fellowships (the time when the leader and his children share the impressions of the day and talk about God).
Also they liked morning exercises to the music "Every move I make in you, Jesus".
We had much interesting stuff for them to keep them busy, excited and involved.
Most of these children in the camp were with some light mental disabilities - slow to understand, focus, learn by heart.
Despite all that they they could feel and realise our good attitude to them and sincere care.
Our team spent 5 days and 4 nights in the children's dorm along with the children. We had 11 people in the team and every other day we had new people coming to help. Every evening we had a new special guest from the city who spoke on topics of friendship with God and with people.
Children didn't believe us when they heard that we would stay with them for 5 days and would sleep with them in their rooms and next door to them.
Nobody ever did that.
We learned some stories about some children from their teachers and governesses.
We learned so much information from these children and their life that we couldn't get during the whole year of our visits to them on Saturdays.
God let us know so that we could keep these children in our prayers and be willing to serve them even more.
One boy named V was raped by his father when he was little. He and his other 2 brothers and one sister also study together in this boarding school. He is very cute and nice. V was one of the greatest helpers for our team in the camp. He knew where to get things for us, to find ways for us to do some things. He was fast to learn and showed us how to serve others.
One girl named N cannot speak. Her mom wanted to hide the fact that she was pregnant, that's why she tied her belly to look slimmer. In such a way she blocked some nerves of her not yet born-baby. And when she gave birth to N, she realised what a damage she brought to her child. N could not speak.
These two stories were the most terrifying for me.
It shows they need us.
On the last day of the camp the principal thanked us and invited us again.
This camp happened because of God's will and direction. The Gospel was shared freely and children had open hearts to receive it. On Thursday night 7 teenagers professed Jesus as their Savior and many children prayed. We don't know how deep they got the Gospel but we believe they want God to be their friend.
We had a great time in the camp learning from God ourselves how to love practically not by words but mostly by acts.
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.