For the last 14 years, we have conducted summer camps for children in Ukraine. In 2004, we bought an old camp in Crimea, Ukraine and revitalised it so that we would have a place for orphans to come for Bible camps. The idea was good but we were never able to involve local churches except for one or two around the camp. In 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea, we were forced to move out of that area. In many ways, God used the situation to put us back on track with the vision He’s given us: that is, empowering the local church to have a vision for and take ownership of outreach in their communities. Here are 2 of the many testimonies from our partner churches:
“There are poor families who could not leave their homes during the conflict with Russia in the East and still live there. They are discouraged and afraid and spend their days hiding in their basements. These are the people we serve. Our desire is that the children return to their homes overwhelmed with love, share what they’ve experienced, and want to connect with our local church. We expect many new people to know Christ as their Saviour for the first time. It is difficult to believe that the war is so close; however, God placed us here and has given us the privilege to serve on the frontline.”
Pastor Anton Gorbatenko, Global Action graduate, Class of 2013, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
“Summer Bible Camps gave us the opportunity to continue our fellowship in the practical realm. Global Action has continued to invest in our ministry to help us become better disciple makers. Because children are good soil, we first become their friends and afterward, many come to Christ. But it doesn’t stop there. We continue to develop relationships with them after the camp is over. This summer, we will minister to 50 children.”
Pastor Olexander Babich, Global Action graduate, Class of 2010, Chernyahivka Village, Ukraine
As a result…
By partnering with the local churches of the pastors that we’ve trained over the last 10 years, we have been able to reach many times the number of needy children in the Ukraine than we have in the past, through Christians in their own communities. Not only is this more effective, but also at a fraction of the cost to send a child to camp far away from where they live. While marginalised children are being served, local leadership is developing a vision to reach the lost and hurting as well. The impact goes far beyond the changed lives of the orphans, victims of the war, families that live in poverty, those with special needs, and many more.
In the summer of 2015, we will partner with 21 churches in 19 cities; ministering to more than 1,500 children.
There are 3 ways you can partner with us to help our brothers and sisters in Ukraine:
1) Pray that God will touch the lives of both the children and the adults that work with them.
2) Make a financial gift.
3) Join a team that will live and work with the nationals in one of the camps.