Camp fire night - say goodbye to Children from Eastern Ukraine

Yesterday morning we woke up in the Camp quite tired as we missed our Eastern Ukraine children very much that we went to Say goodbye at the train station.

They are living a hard life in Eastern Ukraine where near the conflict between Russia and Ukraine where fighting is still going on every day. People suffered family broken. They face gun battle and bombing in a daily basis. 

I wish there were more time for us to be with these children.  One more day at Camp means one less day at the war zone: Donetsk area.
Even there is a cease fire agreement but the local people are saying the fighting is still going on. 
Image if you are in such condition, how will you live each day.
After the camp, we missed them very much. We along with a group of Ukraine leaders drove to the train station at 430am to say our goodbye to them and gave them a big hug.
It was a touching picture.  Little kids carrying their backpack, dragging a big luggage compare to their size in one hand, the other hand carrying a 6 litre giant water bottle and their bag of food for their 40 hours journey. Trying to drag their luggage up and down the train stairways (no escalator). This was only the first train station. Then three more trains to go. 

We rushed over to help them to carry some of their luggage. They reluctantly to let us to help. To them they expected themselves to do all that anyway.  That was the way how they come here.

After much walking distance turns and up and down stairways, we arrived at the platform. Sadly the old train is there already waiting. Next thing is to get everyone up the steep train car ladder.
The steps are narrow, steep and quite high.  Children had much difficulty getting on the train
At the platform we give them more hugs. Some of the children were holding onto their leaders and did not want to let know until their adult supervisor need to hurry them get onto the train before the train move out.
Trains do not wait for people.  If you are late you will miss the train.  After much struggle we got all children along with their luggage onto the train.

Now we must leave the train to avoid we got stuck in the moving train. At the platform, we were all standing waving goodbye to these children (likewise from them). They push their faces towards the fogged up dusty windows to try to get a clearer look at us and they are waving goodbye.

Someone started to sing our Camp songs.  Within a few seconds the whole platform is filled with our English and Ukrainian camp songs with actions.
Many people stopped and looked at us. "tired, no sleep, some in their PJs, some wrapped themselves in blankets" But we all here to give these children a bit of much needed love. Much needed hope.
After the songs, we just kept waving at the children. It was still dark outside. We turned our cell phone and the flashlight to wave at the children. Then children turned on their flashlight they got from the camp and wave at us from the inside of the train car. Then a few tea lights were turn on. 

We pray that these children will continue to have hope and love in Jesus. Some of them just received Jesus in the camp. 
We gave out heart shape with our hands. They returned blowing kisses to us.  Before we know it, the train started to move. Our waving intensified and we were running after the train to try to get a few more glimpses of these children.....ran ran ran. We ran hard.
We did not out run the train. Standing there near the end of the platform, we can only look at the tail lights of the training went further and smaller until it disappeared.

Then we return to the camp to get some sleep.
We woke up yesterday morning quiet at the camp. Then get some breakfast going and much needed coffee and tea.
Clean up and tidy up the camp. Returned to House of Mercy children centre for lunch then settle for the night
Said goodbye to one couple from Norway.
This morning we went to church to hear they said our camp song in Ukrainian.
Back to the centre for lunch. Then said a harder goodbye to all the staff and leaders and helpers those who spent 1.5 week full time with us. 
Then we headed to Budapest with our Team Norway.

May God bless them in Ukraine.
Please pray for travel safety.

Please pray for our health.

Please pray for our Team Norway and local leaders and helpers.

 

 After the last day of camp, we have a camp fire to conclude our stay at Mercy Camp.  

After the last day of camp, we have a camp fire to conclude our stay at Mercy Camp.  

 The camp fire is a nice time to share what we have learned, sing songs, have food, snacks and drinks.  

The camp fire is a nice time to share what we have learned, sing songs, have food, snacks and drinks.  

 We as a Team sang a song about in Jesus, we are one family.  

We as a Team sang a song about in Jesus, we are one family.  

 We missed out 20 Eastern Ukraine children a lot.  We went to the train station to say goodbye and gave them a big hug.  Very tough to get up at 4am. I almost missed the bus. 

We missed out 20 Eastern Ukraine children a lot.  We went to the train station to say goodbye and gave them a big hug.  Very tough to get up at 4am. I almost missed the bus. 

 With much struggles and effort, we finally managed to get everything up to the train.  

With much struggles and effort, we finally managed to get everything up to the train.  

 We stayed at the platform. Sang Camp songs with actions. And sending our love to these children before their long 40 hours journey.  

We stayed at the platform. Sang Camp songs with actions. And sending our love to these children before their long 40 hours journey.  

 It was a touching time for all of us. We want to go back to the train to be with the children. The children want to come down from the train to give us a hug but we can not as we don't know when the train will close the doors and depart. 

It was a touching time for all of us. We want to go back to the train to be with the children. The children want to come down from the train to give us a hug but we can not as we don't know when the train will close the doors and depart. 

 Follow Him

Follow Him

 Up and down many flights of stairs to drag their luggage to the platform is not an easy task.  

Up and down many flights of stairs to drag their luggage to the platform is not an easy task.  

 Run run run...but we can not out run a train. Finally, we can only watch the train picked up the speed and fading away in front of us.  

Run run run...but we can not out run a train. Finally, we can only watch the train picked up the speed and fading away in front of us.  

 After the train left the platform, our noisy big group of people suddenly turned very quiet as we walk back to the mini bus. No one say a word. But I think we were all thinking about these children. What will their lives be in the future as they are returning to the war torn area. We pray that God will take care of them. Every one of them. Jesus gives us Hope and Courage.  

After the train left the platform, our noisy big group of people suddenly turned very quiet as we walk back to the mini bus. No one say a word. But I think we were all thinking about these children. What will their lives be in the future as they are returning to the war torn area. We pray that God will take care of them. Every one of them. Jesus gives us Hope and Courage.  

 Silently we pray for these children. God bless you all.  

Silently we pray for these children. God bless you all.  

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. James 4:14

 Morning is breaking through the clouds...a new ray of Hope.  

Morning is breaking through the clouds...a new ray of Hope.  

 Camp is quiet without the children  

Camp is quiet without the children  

 After much clean up, we finally have to say goodbye to this Wonderful Camp. May God bless this place continue to be a blessing for many people. Hope we can come back again. We will treasure all the wondering memories.  

After much clean up, we finally have to say goodbye to this Wonderful Camp. May God bless this place continue to be a blessing for many people. Hope we can come back again. We will treasure all the wondering memories.  

 Waving a warm greeting to all our friends in Canada. Wish you will come and visit Ukraine.  

Waving a warm greeting to all our friends in Canada. Wish you will come and visit Ukraine.  

 We sang one of the Camp song Jesus loves me in Ukrainian at the worship service. 

We sang one of the Camp song Jesus loves me in Ukrainian at the worship service. 

 Catching up with one of the young men recovered from a very bad accident. Now he is serving a lot in the Roma ministry.  

Catching up with one of the young men recovered from a very bad accident. Now he is serving a lot in the Roma ministry.  

 Please continue to pray for all our Roma young leaders.  

Please continue to pray for all our Roma young leaders.  

 Each of our leader has a story of their own .... 

Each of our leader has a story of their own .... 

 New kids at HOM

New kids at HOM

 A short coffee break with some of our leaders at a local shop on Sat. after the camp

A short coffee break with some of our leaders at a local shop on Sat. after the camp

 Very hard to say goodbye to all our friends in Ukraine.  

Very hard to say goodbye to all our friends in Ukraine.  

More special sharing to come about our Ukraine trip.....stay tune.