Sweet Stories: Berries

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Growing up, how did you get pocket money? Here at the House of Mercy, the youngest of the youngest children (4-5 years old) REALLY wanted some pocket money. Mama Anya had an amazing idea! Let’s get them to pick some blackberries in the back yard! If the children are able to fill a full cup, the HoM will ‘purchase’ the juicy berries for 5 hryvnia (1 CAD = 20 UAH. 5 UAH can get you a large handful of candy or a bottle of pop). Everyday during the summer, the children are diligent in finding more berries, and the staff at the HoM have been eating berries after, before, and during every meal! Some of the teens even learned how to make jam with the fruits! The children get to learn about the value of money and the staff get tasty treats every day.

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Day 12: Children VBS camp – Day 3

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We woke up to another hot day with the temperature reaching 35c again for the second day in a row. The leaders were well rested, but it was obviously that the heat did a number on everyone yesterday. It’s encouraging to see the leaders continually dive out of the shade to play with the children. As we continued our adventure around the world, we learned that God made everyone look and act differently but because of God’s love, we are to love everyone!

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Once again, the drama was a highlight! We were a little worried as one of the actors, Vitalik, had his driver’s exam today and told us he might not make it, but not only did he pass his exam with flying colours, he made it in time to get pranked on set! Praise the Lord!

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We wrapped up the day with CRAFTMANIA! Half the children got to make cute little animal containers, while the other half made yarn turtles! 

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Please continue to pray for cooler weather! Also, please pray for the teen leaders as tomorrow they will be sharing their testimonies with all the children as we talk about how Jesus is the reason why we are saved and can have eternal life. 

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Sweet Story: Volleyball

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Do you ever wonder what we do in the evening? We play volleyball every night! There’s a built-in beach court and everyone, including the staff, comes to the campsite to play a couple games after dinner. Usually we have three teams competing following King’s Court rule, and it’s always overly competitive. We wish we could say that the Canada team wins lots of games and represents our home country well, but we don’t. Calvin and Hanne (our Norway Friend, please refer to previous posts or flip back to 2012 for a photo) are our star players, with me (Daniel C) usually being the reason why our team is losing. Maybe the mission committee should have a prerequisite of all future STM members be volleyball players………. ;D

We are all very thankful we have this time to play and bond with both the staff and teen leaders. The days here are packed, but playing volleyball is something we look forward to every evening as we get to laugh, sweat, and cheer as a family of God. There is no better way to spend an evening here at Gyta Camp than this.

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Day 11: Children VBS camp — Day 2

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Today was another scorcher with temperature up at 33-36c. As we move toward each stations, we can sense the heat draining the energy out of the kids. The game station is definitely the toughest as they are out in the football field. We are continually impressed by how these young adults are taking up the leadership of the camp and making it their own. I was delighted as I watch the drama team here, they brought so much energy and their own take on the VBS drama. The result is Oscar-worthy!

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We ended the camp day with team cheers, and all the groups did an awesome job at their presentation!

Our prayer request is for cooler weather this week! Pray that God will provide us cover in this hot weather.



Day 11: Pool Time

After the second day of VBS camp, we decided to go swimming to cool off and relax. Me, two team members and half of the teen leaders went into a van and headed to a lake. This lake is popular and there were other people going for a swim. It was on of those lakes where there are cliffs bordering the lake so most of us could jump in. There was even a cliff jump that was around 40 feet high but we did not go there since it looked a bit dangerous. However, we still had fun jumping off 15 feet high cliffs and doing some swimming races. The experience was fun and the water was actually cold even with the hot 30 degree weather. After around 30 minutes of water fun we headed back to the van and had a restful ride back to the camp.