God continues to do more than we could ever hope or imagine. Last year we did our first camp for young adults with special needs in Ukraine. Ascension Lutheran Church in Waterloo, IA paid for and shipped all the materials for this camp. I thought wow, we at God’s Hidden Treasures are so blessed by them. And then this year, they sponsored the camp, helped provide all the materials, and sent four volunteers to help. What an even greater blessing, these four helpers shared the love of Christ with all of our campers this week.
Pastor Len Brokenshire, his daughter Rachel, Ellie Karr and Jared Ridder. These four helped with our worship songs, Bible studies, crafts, skits, games and more. It was great seeing them pour out love on all the campers. They joined with our team of Ukrainian volunteers to help form and international super-team!!
I can’t say enough about this team and how God used them in amazing ways. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than seeing these volunteers, many of whom were former campers of ours, give back to help people with disabilities in Ukraine.
Their effort and ideas made this camp better. Because of them we had a post office box where kids were writing each other encouraging notes every day. It was their idea to have a secret friend day at camp. The kids were so excited about trying to guess who their secret friend was. Most of them had no clue, because our campers were like gift giving ninjas.
Here you can see all the hugs when people found out who their secret friends were! Every team member, Ukrainian and American brought something special to this camp. But having us all united together in prayer, worship and service was a glimpse of heaven, where all nations will come together to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
The smiles on the faces of our campers were priceless. Our message to them was that they are all treasures to God, a treasure that God was willing to purchase at any price, even that of his son Jesus Christ. Take a look at these beautiful treasures.
The smile on Yura’s face as he was being pushed by Pastor Len in a game of duck, duck goose is one I’ll never forget. Perhaps the only image that was seared into my mind more than these smiles, was watching them sing with all their heart every night as we sang camp songs and praise songs in Ukrainian and Russian and English.
There were so many amazing highlights from this camp, as well as our camp with the Sending Place and our VBS with Impact this summer. However, there was one quote that one our volunteers Slava, shared with Pastor Len that really speaks to all of us. Slava helped volunteer at last year’s camp as well, and he said that when he first saw these kids, he just began crying, and he felt God say to him, “What good are your tears, how will those help anybody, you need to do something.”
Slava, (here in the hat) was always the first one up and ready to help anytime chairs or a table needed to be moved, or the kids needed to be taken from one place to another. His actions were that of a servant and his quote speaks to every one of us, that we can look at the needs of this world, the problems across the globe and have our hearts break and fill with compassion, but ultimately we need to do something about it.
In James 2:15-16 says “if a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
Jesus Christ, saw us dead in our sin, alone and separated from God, and his heart broke, and he went into action, coming into this world, he lived his life as a servant, giving his own life so that we could be reconciled with God, and have eternal life. Our faith in Christ and this gift we have received calls us into action. And I’m thankful to all these volunteers who came, who put their faith into action, and for all the churches who have helped support God’s ministry here in Ukraine. And I would encourage all of you to think, what is God calling me to do.