Joy 4 Ukraine Camp 2021

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.


Psalm 100:1-5

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
 Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

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.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

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.

Anya at camp 2018

If you’re looking to help you can contact me at ukrainepastor@gmail.com 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,

Pastor Scott

VBS Camp Boy’s House 2021

I cannot tell you how much my heart rejoiced when I knew we would be able to do a VBS day camp at the Boy’s House Orphanage this year. Wearing masks, doing the whole camp outside with the possiblity of thunderstorms all week, were tiny hurdles compared to our great and faithful God. We were blessed with an incredible week together pouring out God’s love on these young boys with special needs.

The kids enjoyed learning Bible stories each day, from God rescues one (the lost sheep) on day one, to a crowd (Jesus calms the storm) on day 2, to a city (Jonah and Nineveh) on day 3, to a nation (Israel’s Exodus) on day 4, to the whole world (John 3:16) on day 5. Along with the Bible stories the kids enjoyed lots of worship songs, crafts and games.

It was a huge blessing to have a team from Spiritual Orphans Network come and join us to help out at camp. We had Pastor David Breidenbach and his wife Angela who lead Spiritual Orphans Network, along with Pastor DMC from Latvia, and Anna-Maria from the Lutheran church in Novogradavka in Southern Ukraine who just finished Bible College in the US. The joy and energy they brought to camp made a huge impact on all the boys. It was great to see their heart for ministry.

We also had an opportunity to visit the Cerebral Palsy Center and do a concert for the kids. Pastor DMC is a musicianary in Latvia, the kids really enjoyed listening to his songs, and we enjoyed doing many of our camp songs as well.

Following our camp I had the opportunity to go with Spiritual Orphans Network to do a camp in southern Ukraine and I’m very excited to share with you more about that in my next blog post. For now, I do ask for you prayers for our July camp, which will be July 23-30. And pray for the team from Spiritual Orphans Network who are now helping at camps in Albania. Thank you for all your prayers for Lena and me, and Joy 4 Ukraine. God’s blessings to you.

For more info on how to support Joy 4 Ukriane click this link. https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/

Spring Update!

These last few months have been keeping Lena and I busy as we’ve been out visiting many of our campers. We had fun during Holy Week with Dasha and Valya.

We also had many other opportunities for home visits, celebrations, plus our online worship.

As many of you know we had visited the US in March in order to speak at different churches across the country. We started in California, made our way to New Mexico, Iowa and Illinois. It was a joy to share about what God has been doing in Ukraine.

We even got to do a radio program in New Mexico.

If you would like to listen to that interview you can check that out below.

We are so thankful for all the opportunities I had to speak at different churches and for all the people who hosted us during our month in the US. We are very thankful for all the family and friends we got to see on this trip, here are just a few of the good times we had.

I’m so grateful that I had the opporunity to visit my grandpa one last time before he passed away. We had a wonderful time together talking about Ukraine, the 49ers and Giants among other things. I’m thankful we had a few opportunities to read Scripture and pray together. Thank you so much to all who prayed for me and my family during the time of his passing. We are so blessed to have had him in our lives.

We have a few prayer requests for some of the exciting ministry ahead this summer. Please be praying for our upcoming VBS at the Boy’s House Orphanage in early June. We are excited to have David and Angela Breidenbach from Spiritual Orphans Network along with two others coming to help out in Bila Tserkva. Then I’ll be heading down with them to a village in southern Ukraine to do an English Bible camp. Then we have our camp for children with special needs in July. Please pray that Covid cases would continue to go down and that God would keep the doors open for us to have amazing camps this summer where kids and families will hear the gospel and know Christ’s love.

Thank you so much again for all your prayers. If you would like to support Joy 4 Ukraine and our ministries this summer you can give online by selecting SON Associate Ministry – Ukraine Scott Yount under the specify funds option on the Spiritual Orphans Network giving page at the following link. 

https://SONetwork.org/give/

Or you may make a check out to Spiritual Orphans Network with Joy 4 Ukraine in the memo and send it to 

Spiritual Orphans Network

8210 Louisiana Blvd NE, Suite B

Albuquerque, NM 87113

Night To Shine 2021

Bogdan celebrating Night to Shine 2021

One of my favorite Bible passages is Romans 8:38-39  38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just as Paul assured us nothing in this world or the next could separate us from the love of God, I knew nothing this year could throw at us would stop us from showering God’s love on people with special needs. Night to Shine was going to happen even if it had to look very different than last year.

Our virtual Night to Shine of 2021 was an amazing opportunity to let all our special guests know how much they are loved by our creator. We had an amazing group of volunteers, who helped us write encouraging personal messages on all our crowns, and put together an awesome backpack full of party favors for every guest.

We had 75 special guests this year, and Lena and I enjoyed delivering those gifts to the Cerebral Palsy Center, the Boy’s House orphanage and the school for the hearing impaired. Plus we delivered quite a few personally to people’s homes as well as mailed some to people who lived in other regions of Ukraine.

To make our event even more special, we asked many kids to send us videos of them showing their talent. We gathered our volunteers to record some camp sing along songs and made a fun video for all the kids to watch alongside the Official Night to Shine video from the Tim Tebow Foundation which included a virtual red carpet and speciall messages from Carrie Underwood, Charles Barkley, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Pacquiao, Thomas Rett, Bethany Hamiliton, Shawn Johnson and so many more.

Enjoy our Night to Shine Video

On the evening of Friday February 12th, the kids dressed up, put on their crowns, and watched both videos and celebrated from home. Afterward, many joined us in a big online group chat, and it was a blast seeing everyone dressed up and hearing the kids share what they liked most, and compliment and encourage all those who showed their talents. Every kid was named a King or Queen of the ball, because that’s how God sees them each and every day. Take a look at all our royalty!

This was an amazing event and I am so thankful to God for blessing this event. I want to thank all our volunteers, especially Pastor Kostya and Church of Christ for sponsoring the event, and of course the Tim Tebow Foundation for leading the charge on this global event to have Valentine’s day not just be a celebration of love, but a celebration of God’s love for people with special needs. We cannot wait for next year, where we hope to have the biggest Night to Shine prom yet!! If you would like to support Joy 4 Ukraine to help us do ministries like Night to Shine, summer camps and so much more, please visit here for more information.

https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/

Lena and I will be speaking at quite a few congregations in the US during the month of March, we hope to see many of you.

God bless,

Scott

Joy 4 Ukraine this Christmas!

As many of you know, my heart is to bring the joy of the Gospel into the lives of orphans and children with special needs in Ukraine. One of my favorite ways to bring joy around Christmas is through home visits as Father Frost alongside Snegurochka (the Snowmaiden).

On a beautiful snowy day we enjoyed bringing gifts to the homes of some kids who are treasures to us, and even greater treasures our Lord. As I look ahead to Night to Shine and many more opportunities to bring joy into the lives of children with special needs, I’m excited to announce our new organization, under which we’ll get to do some amazing ministry in the years to come. Check out our new logo!

Many thanks to Rachel Brokenshire for the design!

At the heart of the Reformation is the good news that we are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith. At Christmas time this good news brings us great joy and I’m excited to share that joy with the people of Ukraine. Even during this time of coronavirus, we have been blessed to do some small groups, youth get togethers, online worship services, skype calls with the orphanges and more.

If you would like to support Joy 4 Ukraine in bringing joy to the lives of orphans and children with special needs, find out how here. https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/

God bless and Merry Christmas!

Big NEWS!

I am excited to share some news about a new chapter in our ministry in Ukraine. God brought me to Ukraine, this is where my heart is, and where I look forward to serving for years to come. This month is my last month working as a chaplain for God’s Hidden Treasures. It has been an amazing six and half years and God has accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. I’m so thankful to Nita who introduced me to Ukraine, a country that’s now forever in my heart and to the GHT staff who have been a wonderful office family for me. I know God has more amazing things in store for us in Ukraine.

I will be continuing to work as a missionary in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, bringing joy into the lives of children with special needs. I’m excited to continue to share the hope of Jesus Christ through camps, Night to Shine, orpahage visits, working with the school for deaf children, worship services, youth group and so much more.

To make all this possible, I’m partnering with the Spiritual Orphans Network. We are now an official associate ministry with their organization. Spiritual Orphans Network was formerly the East European Missions Network and I know many of you have been familiar with their work and the fantastic missionaries and local ministries they support that are doing God’s work across the globe. Their heart to connect spiritual orphans to the global family of Christ through building relationships and missionary outreach truly aligns with how I’ve felt God calling me to serve the people of Ukraine.

I look forward to bringing joy into the lives of children, youth and their families for years to come. I’m excited to share more with you about the work I’ll be doing and the new organization we’re forming here in Bila Tserkva. Look for another big news post about that coming soon. For now, as we make this transition in our lives to working with Spiritual Orphans Network, I ask for your prayers. If you would also prayerfully consider supporting us at this time of transition during this difficult year for the whole globe, we would be beyond grateful. To those who have been supporting us, we are so thankful for all you do and hope you will continue to do so.

As of the first of December, please send your support for us to Spiritual Orphans Network instead of God’s Hidden Treasures. You can give online by selecting SON Associate Ministry – Ukraine Scott Yount under the specify funds option on the Spiritual Orphans Network giving page at the following link. 

https://SONetwork.org/give/

Or you may make a check out to Spiritual Orphans Network with Scott Ukraine in the memo and send it to 

Spiritual Orphans Network

8210 Louisiana Blvd NE, Suite B

Albuquerque, NM 87113

Learn more about SON at SONetwork.org/learn

In 1 Peter chapter 1, Peter writes Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Our hope is to bring inexpressible joy into the lives of youth with special needs in Ukraine. This kind of joy comes through faith in Christ and the good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. For now, we are looking to bring that joy as we are planning a virtual Night to Shine prom for children with special needs with the Tim Tebow Foundation, and as we do smaller youth group gatherings, and home visits during this time of Covid. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

God bless,

Pastor Scott and Lena

Making a difference!

At camp we played an acting game, where two players would pass an invisible orange back and forth to each other that would get bigger every time, until it was just too big to carry. Andre has been coming to our camps for 16 years, we’ve seen him grow up before our eyes, and yet he still amazes me time after time. His acting when the orange was just so big, that it flattened him, was Oscar worthy.

In our Bible study as I was explaining to the moms this game that we play with their children, showing them a video of Andre’s acting, it really hit me just how much that invisible orange, is like God’s gift of grace to us.

We were talking about the Apostle Paul, who even after he met the Lord Jesus on the Road to the Damascus, was forgiven and received God’s call to preach the Gospel to the gentiles; and even after he was arrested for preaching that gospel on many ocasions, received beatings and lashings, he still considered himself the chief of sinners. As he grew in his faith, he grew in his understanding of just how sinful he was, and how much bigger is God’s gift of grace.

Yes as Christians, grace is like that orange, every day we realize this amazing free gift of salvation from God, that we did not earn or deserve, but have simply received by grace through faith, is a little bigger, until that love of God overwhelms us.

Andre and Scott

Of course it is our hope that all our campers understand how deep, how high and how wide is the love of our amazing God. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share that love with the people of Ukraine.

Praise the Lord! We are blessed to be back to doing home wheelchair deliveries. Since the beginning of the pandemic family members were coming to pick up wheelchairs and walkers from our office, but now we have resumed our in home ministry taking all the precautions we can. I had the chance to deliver some wheelchairs and walkers with Valeriy and Ruslan. In this home a woman had been given a wheelchair that was not even close to being the right size for her.

Thankfully, Ruslan was able to fit a new wheelchair for her perfectly, as Valeriy took time to get to know her and her family needs. I’m thankful to be able to work with our team as every person who receives a mobility aid hears of Christ’s love for them.

Sasha with me and Lena at our GHT camp

If you would like to support Pastor Scott as a missionary in Ukraine, you can write a check to God’s Hidden Treasures with Pastor Scott written in the memo and send it to

God’s Hidden Treasures
Nita Hanson
Attention- Vicki
3321 SW 39th St.
Ocala, FL 34474

A Decade of Ministry!

Ukraine played a huge role in this last decade of my life.  In fact I spent more of the decade in Ukraine than anywhere else!  I have been so blessed to be a part of the ministry of God’s Hidden Treasures, I wanted to share my favorite Ukrainian photo from each year of this decade!

2010

2010

In 2010, I made my second trip to Ukraine. I was serving my vicarage at Ascenscion Lutheran Church  in Waterloo, Iowa.  Here I’m having some fun with Yaroslav Kulagin.  I’ve been blessed to see Yarik grow up to become a strong Christian and awesome soccer player!  After volunteering at this summer camp, I knew I wanted to see these children again!

2011

2011

In this photo I’m kneeling with Alina, Masha and Anya.  Three awesome girls who bring so much joy to our camps.  They would become my Ukrainian family!

2012

2012

Roma has been a blessing in my life.  He has an amazing smile, and is a very patriotic Ukrainian.  He asks that we pray for the Ukrainian president every evening at camp!

2013

2013 Andrei

This photo is priceless.  Andrei has been to every one of our camps.  The whole decade he has dominated me at arm wrestling.  Maybe I’ll have more success in the next decade.

2014

2014 vashavanka

This was a special year of camp.  This was my first camp as a full time missionary in Ukraine, the first camp after the war in Ukraine began, we had no American teams this summer, but God worked powerfully through a team of Ukrainian camp counselors!  This photo was taken on my 30th birthday!

2015

2015 Marta

Marta is the sweetest!  I’m so glad she has come to our camp, I wish Marta and her family lived closer, so I could see them more, but I’m always happy to see her at camp!  She has so much talent, I love hearing her sing and read poems.

2016

2016 team

One of my favorite years of camp.  Having my Iowa family come and meet my Ukrainian family, oh and by the way, first camp with my future wife Lena!

2017

2017 Wedding

Only one thing can top a camp photo, and that is a wedding photo!  I’m so lucky to have Lena as my amazing wife.  I didn’t think anything could top our parties at camp, but a Ukrainian wedding took it to a new level.  Endless food, dancing, games, gypsies kidnapping my bride, all kinds of craziness, and having my family come to Ukraine made it even better, could any party top this?

2018

2018 night to shine bogdan 2

In terms of energy, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel a party top Night to Shine, the prom for children with special needs we did with the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2018.  It was an amazing night, where each guest received the VIP treatment and named the King or Queen of the ball.

2019

2019 camp photo

What an amazing way to finish off the decade, this was the first year we were able to invite children from the deaf community.  Another new way God’s Hidden Treasures has grown as I now get to visit these kids at the school for the deaf every week.

God has blessed me beyond measure this decade.  So many camps, VBS at the Boy’s orphanage, a new wife and a wonderful new Ukrainian family.  I can’t wait to see what God will bring in 2020 and beyond!  Thanks for reading.  If you would like to support my ministry in Ukraine in the decade to come you can visit this link.

https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/

Thank you and God bless,

Scott

Night To Shine!

On Friday February 9th, God’s Hidden Treasures hosted Night To Shine a prom for people with special needs sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.  This is a worldwide movement celebrating God’s love for people with special needs with over 90,000 guests honored in 16 countries.  We were so privileged to bring this celebration to Ukraine and it was a fantastic night of joy, dancing, food, singing, and so much more.  The best part, was at the end of the night, every guest was named the king or queen of the ball and given a special crown or tiara.

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The night began with hair and makeup.  Lillia from our office did an amazing job organizing different hair stylists from around the city to come and do free makeovers for all our female guests.  One of our guests Masha Klipach spent the whole time in the makeup chair sharing that it had been her dream to have her hair and makeup done for a red carpet event.  It brought smiles to all the volunteers.  Following hair and makeup everyone took a limo ride to the cafe where our event was held.

 

 

At our location there was a red carpet, with fans and paparazzi waiting for the arrival of our guests.  Every guest was partnered with a buddy for the night.  We had  amazing volunteers who helped make the night extra special.  Each guest went down the red carpet to cheers and applause.  From there we opened with prayer and kicked off our night of festivities.  There was a big dance floor, and a huge buffet table that the guests were free to visit all night long!  Throughout the night of dancing, we would take some breaks where many of our guests shared their talent by singing songs, reciting poems or even playing an instrument.

DSC_3654DSC_3698DSC_3722

 

The celebration climaxed with the crowning ceremony.  Romans 8 tells us we are God’s children, and because we are His children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.  It was my privilege to announce that they were all kings and queens of the prom because that is how God sees each and every one of them.  As they received their crowns, confetti dropped from above which capped off a night none of these guests will forget.

I am amazed at how God worked through this event.  His love for all people shined. That love was made known to every person who walked through those doors.  New friends were made, old friends were reunited.  An event like this would not have been possible without a lot of help.  God’s Hidden Treasures staff put in countless hours organizing and preparing for this prom.  We had a volunteer chef with a huge group of kitchen volunteers from local churches who helped make all the food.  We had volunteers helping kids in and out of the limos and in and out of the event hall. We had over 75 volunteers who signed up to be buddies for our guests.  These were some of our former campers, who also help with our summer camps, others were volunteers from local churches as well as volunteers from the Red Cross Ukraine.  In all, we had over 120 volunteers.  For them, I am so grateful.

There is so much more to say about this event.  I look forward to sharing more stories from the kids and volunteers themselves.  Please check out our Facebook page to see even more of the photos!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.792455427610046.1073741830.390016157853977&type=1&l=70b87188d6

Night to Shine is Coming!!

God's Hidden Treasures Church of Hope Social Media Post

Hey everyone, this Friday we will host Night to Shine, a prom for people with special needs.    All the preparations are coming together, and the excitement is through the roof.  I’ve been listening to our guests for months talk about what suits and dresses they’re going to where, what colors they are picking.  They are ready for Night to Shine.  We are so excited to work with the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring this event to Ukraine.

Please, be praying for all of our honored guests, as well as all the volunteers who will make this night possible.  I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through this event, to demonstrate His love for people with special needs.

 

 

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures