God is good! He has demonstrated that time and time again, and I’m so thankful we were able to gather for camp this summer in person, to hear about God’s amazing love. Sharing the joy of the Lord to youth with special needs and their parents is one of the greatest privileges in my life and I’m so thankful God gave us the opportunity to do it again this year.
We began every day at camp with breakfast together followed by our morning worship. We have a lot of fun praising God together.
After worship our campers would go to crafts. We had some awesome crafts this year that our youth thouroughly enjoyed.
While the kids were doing crafts I was leading the mom’s Bible study with Kostya. We talked about salvation, God’s love, forgiveness, forgiving others, prayer, and many other topics. We heard some very powerful testimonies of how God has worked on the hearts of our moms as they’ve learned about forgiveness and forgiving others at our camps.
After the moms’ Bible study we would have the youth Bible study while the moms did crafts. Every day the kids heard a Bible story, and then acted it out in the evening for their moms and the other campers. We have some amazingly talented actors at camp. Of course, we followed our yearly tradition of opening skits with our very own MGM lions, Sasha and Andrei. You can watch some of our skits below.
Every afternoon we would play games with our youth while the moms had tea time.
Of course every year our favorite game is the all out water war! You can check out that video here!
After dinner we had our evening worship, message and prayer time.
Also in the evening we would have our campers share their talent and play some crazy games!
Maybe my favorite photos from the week are my collection of Andrei facepalms, where he was just so embarassed with how his mom Ira was having too much fun with the games and talent shows.
Our last day of camp was very special. Campers found out who their secret friends were. We had a whole camp tea time in the afternoon with some delicious donuts. And even though our bonfire was cancelled because of strong winds, our last evening was truly touching. Each youth heard how special they were in God’s eyes and were told of their great value, and how God would send His own Son to rescue them. Our volunteers gave a short speech for every camper and tell how unique and wonderful they are. There were lots of hugs and lots of tears.
As always, our hope is to bring the joy of the Lord into the lives of our campers and their families. There was lots of joy at this camp, and God worked powerfully showing that He truly is our good shepherd and worthy of a joyful noise.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
I would like to give an enormous thank you to Ascension Lutheran Church in Waterloo for sponsoring the camp again this year. Also, I want to thank all those who prayed for our camp and for good weather and good health for everyone, we were so grateful to have both.
We have a few prayer requests. Please be praying for Lena and our family. Her grandfather Anatoliy passed away this month. Lena’s father Sergei traveled to the occupied territory to be with Lena’s grandparents at the end of July. He is still there, so please pray for safe travels for him and wisdom for Lena’s grandmother Vera on whether she’ll stay in the occupied territory or move to be with family.
Sadly, the mother of one of our campers from the east of Ukraine passed away last week. Please keep Anya in your prayers, she’ll be living with her grandmother. Her mother Tetyana had attended camp with Anya in 2018. We were all very shocked and saddened to hear the news, please pray for comfort for Anya and her grandma and for God’s provision for them.
If you’re looking to help you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. And as always, to learn more about how to support Joy 4 Ukraine and our camps and other ministries you can visit https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/
Thank you and God bless,