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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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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.

PANCAKES!!!

PANCAKES!!!

Day 10: Children VBS Camp – Day 1

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We kicked off the second half of our time here in Ukraine with the Youth Leaders running a Bible camp for children in the surrounding community! As you all read yesterday, we spent last night setting up decorations and preparing for the week. 

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This morning after breakfast and team prayer, the children started to roll in! We had over 80 children show up! The camp is blessed to have two amazing opening assembly leaders, Flora and Mark! Their chemistry and teamwork captivated the children as everyone learned about the creation story and origin of sin. Split into 12 small groups, the children then visited four exciting stations. These stations are Craft, Sport, Singing, and Mission (where the children get to learn about other children around the world and the unique struggles they deal with). 

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We ended off today’s camp with a Broadway level theater presentation performed by Vasya, Oksana, Kristina, Vitalik, and Sergey. The children were so entranced! Their attention didn’t stray for a single second during the performance!

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Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for Day 2.  We will be learning about the ramifications of sin, but how we all have hope in Jesus Christ. Pray for the children to understand the true cost of sin and how the only path to heaven is through God’s one and only Son. Pray for the leaders to have energy throughout this week and that they’ll be able to connect with the children on a deep level. 

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Look…

Look…

…Up.

…Up.

Day 9: Precious Sundays

My time being here is precious.

One of the greatest gifts from going on short-term missions is the opportunity to worship with the local congregation. Every time we are here at the local church, I am reminded of what worship will be like on the other side of eternity. It is an experience of distinctive cultural flavour that points to the one God who speaks to all culture and people group. Even though our languages are different, we worship the God who call us to be his people. These diverse worship experiences are something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Today I was able to bring a short greeting and message to our Ukraine brothers and sisters, speaking about the next generation through the Psalms. As the worship unfolds, I notice several of the songs was from the 90s. They were worship songs that I had first learned when I was a youth in my youth group. Never would I have imagined that many decades later I would be singing these songs in Ukraine.

This is part of the joy of being on STM. It opens our eyes to how precious our Sunday worship is, whether we are at home, or abroad, especially abroad.

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Day 9: VBS Preparation at the Campsite

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After church, we came back to the House of Mercy to prepare our luggage and head to the camp. We had some rest and we discussed about how to prepare the teen leaders. Then when the bus came, we put all the bags in the back and headed to the camp. At camp we set up some foundations for a ziggurat poster using some wood boards, wood bars and screws. After that, we had some dinner which was barbeque and a soup that was very tasty and everybody loved it. We then had a meeting with the teen leaders explaining the logistics of the camp and some inspiration messages. Then we split into our camp stations and prepared the camp grounds for the VBS tomorrow. Overall this day went very well and I enjoyed preparing and spending time with one another. I feel very prepared for the kids and sharing God’s word to them through the concept of the “Incredible Race.”

Before

Before

After

After

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