Respite in the midst of war - Unprecedented numbers of youngsters
Almost every church we are working with, from Kharkiv in the East to Zaporizhzhia in the South and Ternopil in the West, are asking us to pray for their summer camps for children and youngsters, and for the fruit of the gospel to come from these. This is a regular feature of church outreach in Ukraine, but this year in particular churches are seeing many more youngsters signing up for the camps, including many from displaced families who have left their homes in the war zones. In some places, they hold day camps around the church premises, but some take parties down to the beautiful Carpathian mountains in the south-west of the country.
Constant threat of danger
In Kharkiv, the Osnova church is holding its first camp for youngsters, funded by the generosity of EMF supporters, and expecting over 100 children. If an air raid siren sounds, they will have to take all the children into their basement for safety. Anton Myrhorodsky, one of the leaders of the church says, "The most important thing is that in this difficult time we pay attention to children, spend time with them, communicate with them, conduct entertainment, sports events, master classes. Children love to share their experiences. The camp is made so that as much as possible to give attention and love to children and thus introduce them to Jesus Christ and how He cares and loves them."
In Zaporizhzhia, they have so many air raid sirens, typically 10 each day, that they simply can't take shelter each time. (Most of the time the missile is aimed at another region, and only if they hear explosions do they take shelter). Nonetheless, the Baburka Baptist church is looking forward to over a hundred youngsters joining them in August for their day camps.
Joy in the place of tragedy
Borodyanka will for ever be a remembered for the atrocities and tragedy of war. But in the very place synonymous with sadness, the Irpin Bible Church held a summer camp in July for over 100 youngsters. You can see the enjoyment on the faces of the youngsters in the pictures below. But imagine the joy in heaven if some were to respond in faith to the message of the gospel they heard each day.