Arrival in Ukraine and Settling into camp...

Arrival at Camp...

Most of the rest of our travels were fairly uneventful.  Istanbul airport is an interesting place to visit.  The street bazaar store was fairly interesting with all kinds of trinkets and things for tourists to collect.  My favorite part of the store was the turkish delight displays.  For each variety, a silver sample tray was set out for tasting.  Yes, I tried most all of them and found that I like the ones with nuts and sesame seeds the best.  We ate a traditional looking Turkish meal.  The food bar all looked so good, but I ended up with a variety of salads, grape leaves, and a lamb dish with what is best described as a lightly creamed spinach.  It was pretty good, nice for airport food so I imagine the cuisine in the city would be even better.

I did meet a gentleman from Turkey on the flight from JFK.  He is a secularist and prefers not to think much about the afterlife, concluding that it doesn't really exist and our lives vanish once we die our physical death.  We had a great conversation about Christianity and why we were heading to Ukraine.  He is interested in the humanitarian development and peace efforts, but not the things of God.  We talked of course about who God is and the gospel of Christ reconciling man to God - which is the greatest peace effort and humanitarian act ever done.  He listened, and interacted with questions about all sorts of things and each time, though, we brought it back to him personally - which made him fairly uncomfortable.  I didn't press him, but let him ask and would replay as best I could.  He was not convinced or awakened to new life while I was with him, but has now heard the gospel and has had a seed sown in his heart.  If you are a child of God reading through this account,  pray a quick prayer for Rashian right now - you know what to do.

Once we arrived in Simferopol, we made our way through immigration and found that the checked baggage had not rerouted to our destination like we were told it would.  We waited and filed a claim, later to discover that it was sent to our original destination in Kiev and would be shipped to Moscow, then onto Simferopol for delivery.  This is not a critical problem, as it mainly contains about 50 Russian translated children’s Bibles.  These are important, but there are some on hand here now and these will just add to the supply.  All clothing and required items were part of the carry-on there is no problem with the wait.

Upon arrival into Camp, the children were just finishing up a movie.  Most of the campers came from all over Ukraine and Belarus today.  Latvian campers will be in late tonight.  We were introduced briefly to the kiddos (ages 11 - 15 or 16) and staffers.  Some were so excited to see us and glad we made the journey to be with them.  Tonight we gathered as a team (just us 4 Americans) to thank God for the provision of getting us all here safely and preparing our hearts and theirs for all that he wishes to accomplish this week.  It is now 11:30 pm and I am told that I must get some sleep since tomorrow will be a busy day.  First on the agenda, I was given the role of Jesus in the lesson drama for tomorrow.  We will be up at 8:00 for staff meeting, prayer, and daily agenda planning, off to breakfast at 9am...then to camp activities.  Lesson, drama, small group review of the days lesson.  Lunch will follow and then recreation before heading back to gather around the day's memory verse and teaching on what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  This will be followed by small group time with children and staff alike to reinforce all that God is teaching them (and us) through His word.  Then dinner, I guess, and who knows what after that.  This is the plan, it will be interesting to see how the day unfolds in reality.

Here are a few pictures of our time in Istanbul, and my room for the week.  Very accommodating and really much more than I need.  Very nice to have my own room though for private study and prayer.


  1. I am so jealous of the food! Glad you go through safe. Hoping your return flights get worked out OK. Love ya honey!



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