I couldn’t be prouder of this team. They overcame AMAZING odds and, with God’s help, put on a camp that will still be talked about years into the future. Each one of them deserves a medal in my book – they’re all heroes. As many of you know from the last newsletter, our pastor stepped down at the beginning of August, and there were huge doubts that we would be able to put on a camp at all… especially from me. Katya and I got sick, we were all emotionally drained, and many things had to be put together at the very last minute. However, I’m now sorry that I doubted them and God. We have a wonderful team here at our church, and God is using them in incredible ways.
Ruslan, our pastor who stepped down, was always the camp director. Whenever he wasn’t at camp for some reason, he usually put me in charge to keep things running. However, this time, both Katya and I were sick, so we had to sit out the first few days of camp. Katya got better before I did, so she was able to go; however, I was delayed a few more days as I wasn’t feeling well until camp was almost over. That meant that Slavik was our camp director – and he did amazingly! The kids love and respect him. He stepped up in ways that we didn’t even expect and is now one of the key leaders in our church.
Most of our conversations about the Gospel and spiritual things happened around the campfire in the evening. The kids at camp this year were especially open to talking about Christ and their daily walk with God.
We had many different quests and games that all of the campers took part in. In this picture, Nicholas (“Mykola” in Ukrainian) is tasked to paint a picture using anything but his hands.
God blessed us two years ago with a much-needed renewal of equipment for camp. We have new tents, including a large one for evening meetings and rainy-day activities.
Olya, Slavik, and Katya were the main leaders of the camp, as David was home sick for most of the time they were there.
One of the many fond memories from this camp was a long hike to “The Rocks of Dovbush”, an old hiding place for Ukrainian patriots in many different wars. The entire trip was about 14 miles and took the entire day; however, there were amazing views and the campers are still talking about it!
Our dog, Candy, is one of the campers’ favorite parts of life in the mountains with us. She takes part in almost all of our activities, including games, dancing, waking the campers up in the morning, and protecting the camp territory.
The Carpathian Mountains, where we have our summer camps, are one of the most beautiful parts of Ukraine.
Google Maps told us to go down this “highway” to a lake while on part of our trip back from the summer camp. The road is actually much worse than it looks, and it’s a miracle that we didn’t get stuck in Slavik’s little car, a Deo Lanos. This is the point that we decided to turn around.