Sunday, July 06, 2008

update #5 -- Zaporozhe!

Hello from Zaporozhe, Ukraine! Or maybe I should say “Howdy, ya’ll!”
This past week we have been preparing for this week’s day camp/VBS. It has been a week of building relationships with the kids here, by playing basketball or other games with them, and just trying to talk to them. The VBS theme for this week is Tumbleweed Gulch…sound familiar? I know, it makes me laugh (last summer on YIM my team helped with 2 Tumbleweed Gulch VBS’s).

The kids…
There have been maybe 8-10 different kids here throughout the week as we have been here. Some of them include 7 year old Vladik, Rustan, Roma, Katya, and Nastiya. Vladik is my little buddy, it seems. After a couple days of playing basketball or hot potato or just kicking around a soccer ball with the kids, I brought out my camera, and then allowed him to take photos as well. Now he keeps asking if he can watch the video Rustan made of playing basketball, or make a little video (“choot-choot” means little bit), so I let him. I think he’s also picked up saying the word “Okay”. :)

Last Sunday morning we met most of the kids. Andriy asked us if we would teach the Sunday school lesson this morning, and if it could be connect to his sermon on Hebrews 11, “Heroes of the Faith”. We did a lesson on Samuel anointing David, and involved a number of the children to represent David’s older brothers. Tiffany (another volunteer) and I donned paper beards and acted as Samuel and Jesse, and we all worked on paper props.

More connections…
Today (Ukrainian) teams from Kiev and Vinnytsia arrived to help with the camp, and there is another American team arriving soon. We met a local teen named Max who took us sightseeing in the Oak Grove park, and I think he will be helping with the camp as well. Ree, an NNU student, has joined our team as well, bringing us to a total of 5 (in addition to Vica, Tiffany, Nadine and I).

Sound familiar?...
Tumbleweed Gulch is a cowboy-themed VBS (it was the Nazarene curriculum last summer), so we have made cutouts of cacti, wagon wheels, animals, and cowboy boots. The neighborhood kids have also helped us decorate, which has been neat to work alongside them. We created a town backdrop out of cardboard—consisting of a hotel, general store, jail, and bank—that we got at a nearby warehouse. It was quite the adventure bringing the cardboard back to the church on TOP of Andriy’s car!

Today we discussed the daily schedule for the camp, practiced the song motions for tomorrow’s song (“God’s Love Changes Everything”, but I don’t know how to say that in Russian), and walked to the playground/schoolyard where the games will be held.

Prayer Requests….
*Pastor Andriy and the workers for the camp
*The children in the neighborhood, that they would come and that God would be working in their lives and draw them closer to Himself
*That we as a team would be well rested and that God would fill us with His love, so that we can share Him with the kids

Thanks for all your prayers, and I look forward to seeing what this week holds!

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