Camp Report from Wednesday

I think that my body is finally getting used to the time difference - I almost slept in this morning past our 8:15 team meeting!  This would have have added embarrassment to my debt - but thankfully the Lord woke me in time to save face. 

Today we had another great day at camp, focusing today's theme on the Word of God and its unique characteristics as a book of tremendous value and reliability.  We focused on passages that spoke of all Scripture being breathed by God through human authors, of its enduring nature and its eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life.  We talked through some historical information concerning the time span that it was written over, the number of different authors, languages, and even locations that it was written - yet it is a continuous and single themed book.  Our small group time this afternoon really opened up nicely today.  The guys are allowing themselves to engage in our discussions...two of the more difficult boys showed interest today and engaged in the discussion of all that was seen and taught during the morning session.  It was a delight to see them engage with thoughtful responses and engage the Word of God to shape their thinking.  They appear to be taking root in the Lord and will hopefully grow more and more.  Today seemed to be a day of spiritual insight and growth for these guys as we had a chance to see that they really understood and agreed with the Word as it has been taught so far, and had more opportunity to explain some things further.  They had watched the Jesus film the evening before, and I think this had some impact on their hearts.  It was very encouraging to see their interactiveness today.

After lunch, we practiced a few skits, and prepared to go to an orphanage about 30 minutes away.  Greg has been to this one before, but it was the first time being in this place to share the gospel and minister to the kids as an outreach.  What an exciting thing to be a part of a new outreach.  The desire is that this place will become one of the  regularly visited orphanages on the roster for winter outreach and ongoing care.  We arrived, setup the sets, and immediately went to work with the couple of skits and puppet show.  The national team is very enthusiastic and holds the kiddos attention very well.  We played interactive games with them, held a craft time where they made bookmarks in the shape of a cross.  Then the puppets led an upbeat celebratory worship song, and we went outside to play for a while.  Outside we played on the merry-go-round, swings, and played duck duck goose with those that wanted to.  The kids were so sweet and really happy during the time we had with them.  It was a rural looking kind of place - old falling apart farmhouses come to mind with vines growing all over them and debris littering the roofs and gutters.  Mostly dirt surroundings with some grass and flowers - very much a scene from the 50's soviet style you might envision.  We will be returning tomorrow to spend a few more hours with them, but I am not sure of the agenda.

We had time on the bus ride to learn today's memory verse on the bus ride to and from the orphanage - in Russian.  This was great, it was a short verse - Ps 119:105, and took only a little practice to get the words right, then much repetition.  I found out that my soft L’s are atrocious, it is a very difficult thing to even hear correctly, much less emulate.  It seemed to me that I was saying exactly the same way Sveta said it, but she did not think so.  Bummer.  Well anyway, learned the verse and then had a chance to say it during the recital portion of the evening session.  The kids are always so excited when we attempt to say things in Russian, especially as something as long as a memory verse.  It was fun to participate in the session this way with them. 

Relationships continue to grow and take shape, it is great to be of some influence and provide some fatherly affection to these guys and girls.  One girl made a friendship bracelet and then came and tied it on my arm.  Another remembered a discussion about taking a picture together, which we promptly took care of.  She wrapped her arms around me immediately and gave a big hug as the camera snapped.  Some of the older ones are more engaging, and I feel like a part of the family with the drama team now through all the performances and rehearsals.  It is great that the cross causes all of these cultural barriers and hesitancies to be broken down so quickly - we really are unified in thought and purpose. 

I'm sure I will have more to write after tomorrow.  I would take a couple of these kids home in a heartbeat.  Aleshia and Nastia come to mind immediately and a couple of the little guys would easily make that list.  We cannot adopt them all, not that adoption is bad or that we will not continue to listen to God’s voice concerning that option - but it is great to be working inside through outreach and discipleship like this to try and make an impact on a portion of the 99% that will not get adopted. 

I am missing my family at home greatly.  I think about you and show your pictures off almost everyday to someone new.  They love looking through the pictures and seeing the people and the surrounding scenery.  They are not fond of the deer cleaning pictures....I have had to move them to another directory so that I quit offending others...they are not impressed with it like I am!  Anyway, I love you and miss you all very much.  I look forward to seeing you again soon, telling you all about my trip, and just being home with you.  I love you more than my words can express.  I hope your doing alright honey, you have been a champion of the cause by holding down the fort.  I appreciate all your doing and pray that all is going well for you.  Thanks to all our friends who are praying for me, and them, and helping out - you are a blessing to us and we are grateful.  Love to all, pray for the spiritual life and physical well being of these children as they hear the gospel and feel the love of God through people who care. 

Scenes from orphanage outreach...we are headed back there on Thursday afternoon..













A few of the sights from around Zaperozhiah





















2 comments:

  1. Are girl is in the Zaperozhiah region, in Vilnyanska. The kids just returned from summer hosting yesterday, but I don't know if they are being sent off campus for camp or not. If you are in Vilnyanska would you look for our girl please? I will send you a picture on FB.

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  2. Honey, here is the picture that Melissa refers to, if you get a chance to see it: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2280615336311&set=p.2280615336311&type=1&theater Please let us know if you were able to meet her!

    So glad to know that the team is gelling and that you are knit together in service. Praying that you time there produces great fruit ! Love you baby, Amy

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