At the summer camp we had the privilege of playing out key scenes from the Bible in fun and creative reenactments. As well as playing games and learning new skills, the children were also told about God's love for them. We were blessed to have such a talented and creative team, which comprised members of the UK group as well as the local Ukrainians from Vasylkivka Baptist Church. I was amazed and impressed by the rapport they established both with each other and with the children.
As I look back on the trip, I am very grateful to so many people. Several people gave sacrificially in order to ensure that we could purchase all the equipment we needed to make the camp a success. Thanks to the generous donations that we received, we were able to bless every child (all 134 of them!) with a free gift bag, full of goodies, such as cotton t-shirts, pens, pencils, toys and sweets. Most of the children who came to the camp were from extremely poor families. In many cases, the children were orphans or were living with parents suffering from various addictions. Therefore, it was a blessing for us to be able not only to give these children the gift of a few days of good fun, but also to remind them that God loves them and has a special plan for each one of them.
Moreover, we are keen to ensure that the summer camp should not just be a "one-off" event. Thanks to the camp, the children have been brought into contact with the young people from the local Baptist church, so we hope that these relationships will continue to develop and that we will be able to keep in contact with them and their parents. We also hope to be able to organise a similar camp in July 2018, so that we can see them all again next year!
Here are a few photos which give a snapshot of the camp...
As a Northumbrian I was please that even Northumberland was represented at the summer camp in Vasylkivka! Here the flag hangs proudly alongside the Ukrainain.