BIEM coordinated a Christian medical team who came to conduct medical screening at many of the churches BIEM has helped plant. Many who came for medical treatment were unsaved people who had never been in those churches before. They received treatment, free medicines—and the Gospel, which is the cure for mankind’s greatest need. An optometrist examined eyes and fitted people with new glasses. Read more >>
In March, the Lord enabled BIEM to help a church to hold a special service for widows and widowers. About 150 of these senior citizens gathered at Temple of Salvation Baptist Church in Kiev. There they heard the Gospel, shared experiences, received gifts, and felt the love of God. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Read more >>
Once again volunteers helped load another 40 foot Container bound for Ukraine. This container had a few special items including a pulpit, and folding tables for Russia. Thank you to all who donated items! A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped box and load the container.
Testimonies from some American participants
In 2009, nine Americans joined BIEM’s Rick Barry on a ministry trip to work in children’s camps and orphanages. Following are excerpts of some of their impressions after the trip:
As always, my time spent leading and interpreting for one of the groups of American Christians ministering in children’s camps was a rich and blessed experience. None of them had been in Ukraine before, so everything was new to them: the signs, the language, the food, the culture… As I explained many details about life there, they asked many questions and learned a lot.
After a day of sightseeing and overcoming jetlag, we began our daily journeys to various camps. My fellow travelers quickly bonded with the Ukrainian camp leaders (smiles and laughter are universal language!), and in each place we forged a single group of believers working jointly to present the Gospel and fun, wholesome time to the children who attended the camps. Often we were able to spend only one day in a town before moving on to the next camp in the next town, but the couple of times that we were able to spend more than one day in an area just strengthened the bond of friendship and mutual respect.
The day that we traveled to a government-run orphanage, the director explained that it was a holiday and so relatives had come to take many of the kids away for the day. Only the worst-behaved or least-loved ones remained that day, she explained. Behavioral problems were obvious in some kids, but we played games with them, presented a Bible lesson with pictures, and had a fun craft time, which even older young teens participated in. I can’t say that anyone trusted Christ that day, but those kids heard the Gospel understood that our group had traveled a long, long way to spend that day with them!
Director of Church Planting Ministries
Going on a mission trip to the Ukraine is different than the USA. It was such a blessing to work at the camps. The children were just having fun playing games and serving God. They seem to catch on with the crafts well as the games. I enjoyed doing to crafts with them, and singing with them. They would just take one piece of candy, and they are happy. And the way the children would sing, and they were sometimes just so into what they were doing. It was a busy time, and it went fast. So nice to help others, with the Gospel of the Lord. Such a wonderful feeling to serve the Lord with others on the other side of the world.
It was also so neat to see how BIEM works with the Ukrainians helping them with their ministry, I did not realize how much BIEM does. I know now how hard missionary work is, and missionary work has a new meaning to me now. I’m so glad I got to be a part of this mission team to the Ukraine and I hope someday I can return there again!
Still growing in Christ,
I was very glad I went to help with the camps. Being a senior citizen had me a bit worried, but being the oldest was not really a problem. At the end of the day I was ready to hit the sack before our younger team members, though.
I loved the country of Ukraine. It is a beautiful place full of old-world charm, right next to a fast-paced, modern world. I saw the big contrast between the faces of the lost and the believers there. The Christians we met there showed me the body of Christ exists even if you can’t speak the same language! I found that I could talk to the people I met if I only tried! If you try, they will take an interest in you and try to communicate, too.
BIEM is doing a wonderful work there reaching out to young people. The young couple I stayed with in Ternopil spoke enough English to share how they were saved and how the Lord saved their marriage as a result. They truly served the Lord in being our hosts for 3 nights.
I would encourage others to make this trip. I was so blessed by what I saw the Lord doing in the lives of the Christians there, their tenacity in working on the unfinished church buildings, their work with the orphanages, and their desire to serve the Lord made me realize how spoiled we are here in the U.S. BIEM is truly bringing hope to people who have had no hope, and seeing that has grown me in my Christian walk. Praise to the Lord!”
I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to go to Ukraine through BIEM and my local church (Calvary Baptist in Plainfield). My favorite part of being in Ukraine was working with the children at the various camps and orphanages. It was incredible to see how you can share God’s Word and the love of Jesus Christ with a child who doesn’t even speak the same language as you. I loved playing games, doing crafts, and participating in song times with the kids. They even taught us how to sing some songs in Russian! It was also great getting to minister alongside Ukrainian believers at each place that we went to. I continue to pray that God will use His Word to impact the lives of the Ukrainian people.
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” – Psalm 96:3
First of all, I thank God every day for the experience that I shared with my family and friends. Living in America, we take so much for granted. My prayers are that other teens or young adults get to see how the rest of the world lives, and how other standards of living are humbling compared to living in America.
I grew a fondness for the Ukrainian food, and since being back I’ve visited a small Russian market and continue to practice what little Russian I can speak. I surely thank God for having the Barrys and BIEM cross our paths. This has been a lifelong blessing, and I do pray quite often for the development of the churches started in the Ukraine, and for so many people (families) who put us up and fed us while we were there. I hope that my family is just one speck out many participating in the Great Commission. Our prayers and love go to the Ukrainian people and BIEM.
Testimonies from National Leaders
Peace be to you, coworkers of the BIEM mission. By the Lord’s grace, we are alive and preserved. Praise God for it!
I’d like to describe the Christian children’s camp that we held. By the grace of Jesus Christ, the camp went blessedly, although it was not long, just three days. We didn’t expect many children, but the first day we had 58 kids, and 62 came on the second day, with the same number on the third day. Half of them were from non-Christian homes where no one knows the Lord. And of course it was difficult when a child knows practically nothing about God or about Christ. But it was joyful for us that the Lord answered our prayers when we prayed about this camp. One couple in particular helped us to conduct the camp. They have dedicated themselves to the Lord for children’s ministry. They are from the city of Brest and their names are Vasily and Ludmila. In a marvelous way, they were able to make the Gospel understandable to children and also the story of Daniel.
The camp was held partly at the church building and partly out in nature: the Bible lessons were indoors, and the games were in the woods. God used this camp to show our church that He loves us very much. He has provided you [BIEM], in order that you could help us with nourishment; He gave marvelous weather even though on each day He sent some rain. And even at one end of the village there was rain, while at the same time there was no rain where the children were. He provided us with teachers. The women from our church took active roles in preparing and conducting the camp. God gave repentance to one little boy, Sasha, who expressed his desire to serve the Lord. We see the fruits of the suffering of Jesus, who came to seek and to save the perishing. Of course, all this was possible only because the Lord prompted the hearts of people toward sacrifice there in America where you are. Despite the crisis, there are people who sacrifice for the work of God.
May the Lord abundantly bless all those who helped us in this. We could not have held this alone. Praise God, that He has given wisdom to our representatives not to hinder us. May the Lord bless them and their families. We are thankful to all of you. God’s blessings to you.
St. Petersburg, Russia
The goal of the camp was to reach new children from the city of Otradnoye and we accomplished it with God’s help. There were 11 new children and most of them were interested and excited to come back to the church and day center in the fall. We had a good start this school year with 14 children in Sunday School. Arseniy and I have visited several of our supporters during the summer and told them about the camp and needs. One of our themes was creation and we went with children to the zoo in Saint-Petersburg and McDonald’s afterwards.
Oleg & Katherina Vladyko
From the bottom of our hearts we thank the Lord for your desire to help in Ukrainian ministry and that you remember us, and our church, and our children’s ministry. We are glad to receive more flannel graph pictures. Now we can use the flannel board more fully during our Sunday school and summer camps.
Praise the Lord for all His bountiful goods and mercy, which He is showing to our local church. With God’s help, we held camp from June 22 to 26, near the new church building. God generously blessed us with nice, warm weather. We had a good, friendly team of youth leaders (7 people). Each of them was responsible for his own part: two men led Bible lessons; two led camp games and sports; a guitar player with his helper taught songs, and one other man was responsible for craft time.
Pastor Alexander was responsible for the camp program, and his wife oversaw food preparation. In the five days of camp we had 32 kids. The children heard lessons on the Bible topic “Knowledge about Christ” divided into five sections: “I am the Good Shepherd”, “I am the Bread of Life”; “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; “I am the Light of this world”; “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
Every day the kids memorized Bible verses. They were divided into two teams. While the first team had a Bible lesson, the second one learned Christian songs, and vice versa. Every day the kids created interesting and difficult handicrafts: bracelets, cards, napkins, boxes which they were able to take home and present to their parents. Of course, we had a lot of different games and races, which we held on the soccer field. We fed the kids twice a day: They ate sandwiches with sausage, cheese, cream, cookies, fruits and soda.
On the third day of camp we held a special evening service, where we presented the story about Noah and the Flood using posters, and we also talked about the salvation provided by Christ on the Cross, about His death for our sins, and about His resurrection. We showed them the depravity of sin and cleansing work of Christ’s blood through Calvary’s Cross. At the end we gave an altar call, and five kids opened their hearts to Jesus. Praise the Lord!
On the last day we invited church members and parents for the closing meeting. The kids and the leaders’ team participated by performing skits, singing songs, reciting Bible verses they had learned, and lastly they received prizes for their activity. Camp ended with a thanksgiving song: “Every day planes are flying out; every day trains are rolling out, but I am abiding with Jesus forever, forever, forever.”
We’re sure that camp left a good, bright spot in these kids’ hearts and souls. We believe the seed that was sown will bear fruit. May God abundantly bless you all, workers of BIEM, in your future service.
Pastor Alexander Kravchuk
Goncharovsk & Desna, Ukraine
Dear friends, summer has passed so quickly, and we held the last summer camp for kids from Goncharovsk and Desna. Camp always means an unforgettable time for both saved and unsaved young people. The camp was at the same location as we’ve held it before. It was in tents, and we had thirty-two people ages 14-21.
In camp we were separated from civilization, and that was a big plus, because nothing interfered with us in developing relationships with the young people. We have a rubber boat, and the boys also did some fishing. Last year we had before-lunch discussions on various Christian topics, but this year we decided not do that and to concentrate our energy on the evening service. So we were surprised that many kids asked us to have the discussions anyway, and so we did. In the evenings we had devotions, where we sang songs. It was a special thing to preach in the open air near the fire. It was really an extraordinary time. It passed so quickly, and we all felt sad because we had to go. We cooked food over the fire. The kids helped in all the work and in the kitchen also. I want to say more about what did we did in this camp, but I also want to tell you about how God touched the hearts of some kids and about the kinds of barriers that stood in their way to the Lord.
I had an interesting talk with one guy, Artom, at about two o’ clock in the morning. I was about to go bed, and Artom stopped me because he wanted to talk. It seemed like he was troubled by something. He asked if we could talk, and I said yes. We walked out of camp, and he began with some questions. He was interested in life with God and in ways that God would help his family. It’s interesting that this guy had always been interested in God and in the Bible, but his friends’ opinions were more important to him. He had been embarrassed and hid his interest in the Lord and in the Bible. But that night he wasn’t ashamed; he openly talked about questions he was interested in, even when his buddies joined us. He shared his impressions, and about what drove him toward spiritual things. He shared the story of his friend whose mother wore a cross on her neck and said that it would prevent that boy from becoming a believer like we are. And he said that he understood that everybody was urging him not to become a believer. I know that boy’s parents; they’ve asked me to talk to him many times. They think that our fellowship has a positive influence on him. Some horrible things took place in Artom’s life recently. He hung out with bad friends. He drank a lot and had even tried to commit suicide before camp. He locked himself in the bathroom at a party and cut his veins. His friends figured out what was happening and called for his father, who broke down the door and found his sons with cut veins. And many other strange things happened to him. I understood that he was caught in a spiritual war for his soul.
One girl from Chernigiv (her name is Olga) was in our camp. She was impressed by what she saw and heard about God in our camp and also in Vitek’s camp, where she had been before. I invited her in order to give her a chance to grow and understand the Gospel. She prayed with great pleasure, and I remember one time I was late for a lunch and asked some kids if they had prayed. They said yes, so I asked one guy to pray with me, and Olga joined us. When I drove the kids home, I saw sadness on Olga’s face, and I thought maybe the time at camp had bothered her. But when I asked her what was wrong, she wept and said that she didn’t want to leave. She said that never in her life had she felt so good as here, and she wanted to go to church in Chernigiv.
Also, we have a lot of fruitful fellowships with various youth. It seems the atmosphere in camp disposed kids to talk about the Lord and gave us opportunities to share with them about His truth, which made us to rejoice. What could make a Christian happier than an opportunity to share Gospel with others?
Pray with us:
- For Artom and his spiritual strengthening.
- For Olga, that she will attend church.
- For all the kids who attended camp and for their repentance.
Borova village, Fastiv region, Ukraine
We are very thankful to BIEM for the financial support provided to hold a children’s camp in a picturesque place near the lake in the forest of Didivshchyna village, in Fastiv region.
We know your work, and we pray for you and in particular for the BIEM missionaries who minister in Muslim countries. May God richly bless all your workers and your ministry, and may the Kingdom of Christ be spread on the earth.
On behalf of Good News Independent Baptist Church,
O. F. Vasylenko
Chervona Sloboda, Ukraine
Blessed be the Lord our God, who has given us victory in Jesus Christ!
In recent times the public school in Chervona Sloboda has been closed to our church. We had no opportunity to conduct a ministry among the school children. Any idea or project touching on spiritual education was rejected by the school’s principal. The situation seemed impossible to change, and the hostile attitude of the principal provoked negative emotions in our hearts. Sometimes we felt that perhaps we needed to fight that situation (for example, by writing a letter to the authorities), but God gave us wisdom to pray for this situation and for the principal. This year, a new principal has come to the school. We were glad, knowing that everything would change.
It so happened this year that the camp dates for the school and for our church were identical. In light of that situation, we proposed to conduct camp together, and the principal agreed. We started making preparations: we bought sports equipment, craft items, and different things for prizes. We were allowed to lead the whole program. This way, we had an opportunity to speak a lot about the Lord. There were moments when the teachers regarded us with distrust, but everything went well. The camp took place at the school yard, and it was a good testimony for parents and for teachers, who from time to time attended our lessons to check out what we are teaching.
The great event for the school and for camp was the Americans’ visit to assist with camp. The principal and teachers thoroughly enjoyed it. They had never talked to Americans face to face; they left the best impressions. The principal said that he never thought that Americans were such simple and friendly people. And most impressive was when I explained that many Americans spend their vacations at camps in Russia and Ukraine or in other countries. Instead of going to rest in Miami, they go to serve, and not only that, but many of them save their money and offer it for ministry. Young people work on weekends to collect money for a trip to Ukraine. The principal and teachers were shocked at what we said, and we thanked God for this opportunity to witness to them. The school liked the game “The Maze,” and we presented it to them to keep. We also donated to them 500 grivnas ($58) to make repairs on the school roof. The principal and all the teachers expressed their gratitude. They thanked us for caring about the spiritual education of kids, because nobody does that nowadays. Because of this camp, we established relationships with the school leaders, and we hope to continue working together.
We thank the Lord also that He turned our enemies into our friends. Thank you, brothers and sisters from the U.S., for your self-sacrificing spirit and for help in holding this camp. Thank you and God bless you.
Sea of Azov, Ukraine
On the coast of the Sea of Azov there was a camp in which children were praising their Creator and enjoyed an improvement in their physical health.
On the way home from the camp, I rode in a bus with a group of kids ages 8-10. Just as I got in, I heard someone say, “Let’s sing!” The other children immediately broke into song. The words of that song were these: “This is the time to come to the Lord. This is the time to find the Lord, because without him everything is vanity.” Watching the joy and zeal of their singing filled my heart with joy. In the ten days that those kids spent in camp on the Azov Sea coast, they became united into one team.
Only just after their arriving at the camp did a couple of kids become a little unsociable. But this was related to small children only. The teenagers never showed any sadness or homesickness. The sea, the Bible studies, the preparation for the evening service, the sport competitions all step by step united the kids into one friendly group.
I want to stress that before camp the organizers had two main goals: health improvement and introducing the kids to God’s Word. We’ll stop on each of them. The buildings that we lived in were 50 to 100 meters from sea. The kids played different games on the sand. And the most important, they constantly breathed fresh sea air, whether at the beach or in camp. This is very important, because most of the kids from our group were are in the Chernobyl zone. At the Sea of Azov, the beach sand contains many healthy biological elements such as calcium, iodine, bromine, which have medical quality, and more than that we had good meals. Grain cereals every day are so important for vitality, along with soups, meat, vegetables and dairy products. We can surely say that the healthful meals and rest at the sea were excellent for all who were with us. Lungs were cleared, and the whole body received good benefits both inside and outside. Praise the Lord for such a good possibility to improve our health.
But besides physical benefits, the kids received spiritual nourishment as well. During the first half of each day, they attended Bible studies. Each group had six of them. All during camp we studied the book of Daniel. Every day we considered particular examples, and the children learned that in trusting their lives to God they need not be afraid, that He provides the only real sense of life.
One interesting fact of that camp is that the evening services were prepared by kids. Of course, the sermons were preached by ministers, but main responsibility was on the young people. The children sensed their importance and prepared with a strong zeal. They sang songs, prepared skits, memorized verses and read God’s Word. Some of them got nervous and made some mistakes, but that didn’t matter. Kids worshiped the Lord with smiles on their faces.
The final days of camp were especially beautiful. Everyone knew each other. We felt as though all of us, in spite of our number being close to 100 people, were one big Christian friendly family, and we didn’t want to go home.
Praise the Lord, during this time the kids’ hearts opened to their Creator. It is very important to sow the seeds of God’s Word in children’s hearts from a very young age. The kids always prayed before meals, and every day they learned something new about God and sang glory to Him. For those kids who are from Christian homes this was quite normal, but some kids had never seen nor experienced such a life before. Perhaps this camp will change not only the children’s lives, but also the lives of their parents, who don’t know God. Praise be to the Father in Heaven for this camp, and thanks to all who helped to make it.
Peace to all of you, God’s coworkers! Each opportunity to work with you is a great blessing.
Summer isn’t over yet, and some churches are just now preparing to start summer camp, but we have already gone through these blessed moments. On one hand, camp is an especially festive event in the life of a church, but on the other it brings many qualms and cares. For the kids, it’s always a time of joy with special moments of active fun; for us as organizers it brings concern about the success of leading and feelings of responsibility for the kids.
This year we had a chance to hold two camps with one week of break in between. We held day camp in Ternopil, and a week later we held a regular camp in the Carpathian Mountains. But these two camps were connected with each other. The same team of leaders conducted the camp. Most kids who were in the day camp went to the Carpathians.
As I am speaking of these camps, it’s hard to say which one was more important or better or more effective. Both camps were important, good and effective – they just were different. Different goals were set before them.
Day camp took place from June 8 to 13. Before it, we had prayed about the opportunity of expanding the children’s ministry. It has turned out that recently the children’s ministry had become the same small group of kids. That is, we had the same kids; there were no new children, and that means no new contacts with adults (their parents). Also, we prayed that we would have an interesting camp and take the Gospel to these kids. During our preparation time we considered different questions: How best to contact new children? Which program to choose, to make basic truths from the Gospel easier to understand? Who will be the leader? Which schedule will be more effective? Where should we hold the meetings? When?
First of all, we gathered the team of leaders. It really was a team. Every time we gathered, I rejoiced in the young Christians who are take care of responsibilities and delegated the duties of organization among them. Each of them showed initiative. What was clear for me even before camp is that God has blessed us with good leaders.
A group from Calvary Baptist Church in Plainfield, Indiana, gave us a big help for the vacation camp. They arrived two days before it. We had a chance to worship together. The day before camp, the whole group went out distributing invitations, and they handled the whole first day of camp. Two weeks earlier, another group from the USA also helped us in distributing invitations to this camp. In all, we handed out about 2000 invitations. Due to a bad experience we had in distributing invitations, we worried whether anyone would come.
On the first day we had about 30 kids, and by the end of camp we had 70 kids. The camp territory was the sports field in one of the central parks of Ternopil. One day it rained, and we gathered in the gymnasium of the nearest school. The last day we spent in the same place where we usually hold our children’s meetings and Sunday services; our desire was to show the kids the place where they could come for meetings.
Praise the Lord, the goal of this camp was reached: we met dozens of new kids and told them the Gospel. Several kids prayed the prayer of repentance on the last day. 15 kids went with us to the Carpathians, and some of them repented in that camp.
The camp in the Carpathians was from June 21 to 27. It was another opportunity we maximally used for witnessing to kids about God’s love to them. It was the first regular camp we led by ourselves. Earlier we combined our group with some other camp. I went to this camp as an organizer and director, but we have a good team of leaders who sacrificially served the kids; it was another blessing, because in this camp leaders served even better than in Ternopil.
The goals we set for this camp were to lead kids to repentance, to teach them to live with God using God’s word, to teach them to pray and to fellowship with other believers. The camp’s name was “Compass.” Speaking in kids’ language we said we were traveling to the city of a king. Every day we had Morning Prayer, Bible time, interesting time, and even the camp games were focused on teaching the kids in orienting to life, to reach the heavenly country.
Volodya and Ulyana were program coordinators and chief leaders. Last year they learned leadership in another camp. Earlier we sent some youth from our church to be leaders in children’s camps with children from our church; there they received experience. It was the first time in life that leaders in kids’ camp were Vika (older girls’ leader), Olya (younger girl’s leader), Andrew (younger boys’ leader), also Katya (student, leader of teenage girls) and Andrew (teenage boys’ leader). Also we have leaders responsible for sports, music and interesting time. In all, we had 45 kids in camp who were divided into five groups according to their ages. The youngest were nine years old; that was the smallest group. Most youth were teenagers. These were special kids from God; they had real-life questions. They seriously listened to sermons. Every evening we had a closing service. During one of those services 17 kids repented (mostly teenagers)! More than that, after this camp, about five kids began to attend our services. Before, they didn’t attend without a reason.
Praise the Lord, He showed us in this camp that we need to continue actively working with kids and especially with teenagers.
Give thanks to Lord with us for His blessings in leading these camps.
Pray with us for the kids who repented.
There was a camp on the church property in the village of Bilogorodka from June 29 until July 3. It was a wonderful time blessed by Lord. The goal of that camp was to evangelize with the Gospel. For five days, kids heard a series of classes on topic “Daniel, Strong in the Lord.” Every day they learned new truths about the Lord, played games, made crafts according to a class topic, praised Lord in songs. Also three times a day the kids had nice food cooked by our [Christian] sisters. During that time seventy kids ages 5 till 15 attended our camp. There were kids from that village and those who came to the country for vacation time. I remember one boy about nine years old who was taught by TV because his parents were always at work. He didn’t have any ideas about God. And when he heard classes he had such questions:
- Does God have ESP?
- Does He see me even through the roof?
- I want to see the Lord, too.
It was a great joy talk to him about Jesus Christ and what He’d done for him. At the end of camp, the kids received presents for memory and were invited to Sunday school. We as a team thank the Lord for the time we spent with kids and pray that He will give fruit from the seeds that were sowed.
We thank you a lot for help in this camp.
From July 6 through 14, we held the “Good News” Christian camp. It was held on an uninhabited island [in the Volga River] near the village of Kriushi. We very joyfully gather in this location! We lived in tents. Our chefs cooked very tasty breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners over the fire. We everyone had arrived on the island, the governor of the island, Philip Mikhailovich came. He established order in the camp. Everyone was divided into various groups according to age.
Each group had to come up with a name and a logo for itself. Our groups named themselves, “Pearls,” “Lighthouses,” and “Young Captains.” The subtitle for our camp was “Island of Treasures,” since the theme of our camp was to find treasure in Jesus Christ, to find salvation, and also to understand that each of them was a treasure to God!
Each day had its own theme: “The Bible—the Best Guide,” “Satan—Your Enemy,” “Flee from Sin,” “Christ died for Sinner and Rose from the Dead,” “Salvation: the Gift of God,” “God Prepared a Home in Heaven for His Children.” Each morning the children woke to the sound of our Christian orchestra, then washed and gathered for very interesting morning calisthenics, which were led by two young instructors. They invited sportsmen from various levels and directions! It was very interesting! A special platform was built, and those who led the gymnastics stood up there as they made announcements.
After the calisthenics, the whole camp gathered for the flag raising. At the flag raising, the governor of the camp greeted everyone and we sang our camp song, “The High Mast,” announced the theme and details of the day, and then everyone went to morning prayer groups. The cooks prepared delicious hot cereals for breakfast, then all the children went to clean up the territory—cleanliness in the camp is an honorable thing! J This year the praise in the camp was simply amazing! And the children simply would run to the meeting place. The songs were very interesting well suited to our weather, since it rained the first several days of our camp. The songs were about showers, storms, and the hurricane.
We had simply remarkable Bible lessons, which were presented by the “Schooner” team, consisting of a captain, boatswain, and sailor. Before the beginning of a lesson they acted out a skit having to do with the lesson, and the whole camp attentively watched these events! They found treasure and hid it on the island. Over the course of many days we searched for jewels and many times were convinced that the most precious thing of all is that each of us as individuals are special in God’s sight. “You are a treasure to God!” At the end of camp, they all found treasures—key rings and badges with Christian sayings and Bible verses in memory of this camp…
The days in camp were also unusual. For instance: “Opera Day”—before lunch each person in camp was supposed to sing any request or desire J; “Day of the Skuperdyaya” [can’t find a translation for this] – on this day the teachers were lamenting (lamenting about time, lamenting about their voices, and their attention; the fire keepers were lamenting for firewood; the cooks were lamenting for meals. Everyone had a big appetite and wanted to eat; so the children had to persuade chefs to cancel “Day of skuperdyaya” at least during lunch.
For “Patient Day” an announcement was made that an infection had entered the camp and that we would need to examine everyone there so they would contract it. For this we played the “Medical Exam” game. The result was simply shocking: every person in the camp was found terminally ill! The conclusion was that everyone had been infected by sin, and only the Lord Jesus Christ could cure them.
“The Day of Trust” – It was necessary to teach them to trust God and each other. At breakfast were supposed to feed each other with spoons—and that was fun to watch!
“Family Day” – We gave them an assignment: each group had to form a family, to give it a name, to divide up the role and to present their family at supper… We had families named Sailors, Smiths, Seagulls….
There was also craft time, at which all the kids divided up by areas of interest. The oldest teens walked along the island and created a wonderful little house in the top of a large, old tree, and the younger ones fashioned a miniature layout of the island everything on it. It turned out to be pretty interesting.
At the evening service each group prepared songs, verses, and a skit. Also in this camp we had an extremely unusual amount of Bible verses memorized. These verses became the focus of skits, riddles, puzzles… Quite thought-provoking!
Each evening we had combined prayer. Sometimes we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together.
Praise God, in this camp about 25 people made salvations decisions. May God not allow anyone to forget the what they learned in this camp…
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND PARTICIPATION!!!
Pastor Mikhail Trofimov
News From Rock of Salvation Church, March 2008
We had a privilege in our Rock of Salvation church to have our first ordination in March of this year. Two our good friends and brothers in Christ were ordained for the ministry. A. R. was ordained as an evangelist and went to a country of Muslim background a few weeks ago. Igor Fomichova was ordained for the pastor of Rock of Salvation Church in Desna. Read more >>
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