Archive for the ‘Camps’ Category

Summer camp: “Your time”

Posted: July 3, 2021 by Dzmitry Nachyna in Camps

There is not greater music than to hear children’s laughter at the camp ‘The Lighthouse of Hope’.

IMG_6064IMG_6958.CR2Hi everyone!!! I would like to share my impression of the amazing summer camp we were at. Our camp program was called ‘Your time’. Every day we had interesting, amusing and unusual games (such as soap competitions, water games, the zoo, life in an hour, a banana relay race, dodgeball and others) and different activities (such as crafts, the school of trials and discoveries, board games, the flying fox and catamarans). But besides that, we together with the children found the time to dream, love, act, win, forgive and reconcile with God. Good and sunny weather helped us enjoy this time as well, although there was heavy rain and wind in other parts of our country.

IMG_6840.CR2IMG_7745.CR2We were lucky to see around 85 talented, amazing and at the same time difficult and wounded children at this camp. Each of them got a bunch of emotions, freedom from the wrong mindset, made new friends and just had a good rest in this good forest place with clean air. I think I will remember not only the children who repented and a great and joyful atmosphere during the worship, when all the people in the room praise God. We all have the things we struggle with and these children are no exception. I was happy to see that many of them made a decision to go on fighting with bad things in their lives (such as their bad habits; denial to forgive their friends, parents, other people; discontent with their lives, themselves and God; inability to love; unwillingness to see their mistakes and correct them). It was such a joy to see that they could do it.

IMG_6580.CR2IMG_6620.CR2There was a guy in my group who had an adopted boy in their family. He said that they bullied their brother and wanted to get rid of him because he was a little mentally disabled, he didn’t appreciate their help, didn’t listen to them and just annoyed them. He told me that he wanted his brother to leave them as soon as possible as he couldn’t stand him. At the end of the camp after we had discussed the topics of love and forgiveness, I asked him if he was willing to give his brother another chance and he said that he wanted to give it a try.

IMG_7892.CR2IMG_5770.CR2Another girl after the emotional abuse from her aunt (to cut the long story short) said that she was ready to forgive her because she didn’t want to be like her aunt. We have so many stories like these ones. It’s awesome that God gives these children strength to do this and they go and do it.

I would also like to mention the team members who worked hard and supported each other in different moments during the camp. God used everyone 100 percent through our unity and mutual support. I am grateful that I could be the part of it.

In December: “Christmas camp for girls-graduates”

Posted: December 31, 2020 by Dzmitry Nachyna in Camps

“Dreams come true when a strong desire turns them into concrete actions… ” – a quote from the great author of books about success Napoleon Hill, which in the life of Christians has no value if it doesn”t have the most important component of success – PRAYER. Dreams and desires/action/PRAYER – this is the formula of good luck for every Christian in the beginning of every deed. We wanted, looked for opportunities, PRAYED – and our wish came true! From December 25 to 27, on the grounds of the beautiful place Green Ranch of the Minsk district, we had a wonderful opportunity to spend the Christmas holiday in the company of girls-graduates of two orphanages – Rudensk and Belynichi. There were right much of difficulties in organizing this camp – not all the girls understood how to come, someone had a problem with work, we had to go to another city personally to bring girls over to camp and make an application by place of study, and someone simply did not have money to buy a ticket.But God miraculously led, and what seemed simply impossible-became a reality – we gathered in one place with one goal – to spend this holiday weekend together. Our main goal was to show the girls all the importance and great value of the holiday of the birth of Jesus Christ. To show His love and care for them, to create a family atmosphere, to talk and listen to each of the girls, to be together and just have a delicious meal. On the first day of arrival at the recreation center, the girls settled down in their rooms, got acquainted with each other, talked and waited for the evening. We helped them to get ready, do their hair and put on beautiful dresses. In the evening we had a festive program dedicated to the Birthday of Jesus – communication, Christmas songs and the theme of the evening – the Birth of Jesus. Not all the girls knew the details of the story of Jesus’s birth , but everyone listened with great interest the fact that Jesus was born so that everyone would have salvation and that He is available to the ordinary people – really became surprising news for some of them. At the end of the evening, we once again congratulated each of the girls personally and gave them some gifts. The next day of our mini-camp was no less interesting – it was about taking care of yourself and your body, beautiful hairstyles, and as a super bonus – a horse walk and a photo shoot with horses.What could be better?The girls were happy. Their eyes were shining! Even the most shy and closed could barely hold their emotions after riding and communicating with the horses. We returned to the base freezing, but pleased and happy. Over a warm tea with sweets, there came up a lot of topics for conversation – the girls were very open and we managed to communicate with each of them personally. Same day in the evening there was an important and difficult topic for every girl who came, in which there were many difficult questions – Why did my parents leave me? How to forgive them? What is God’s plan for my life? What is life like with God? How to take the first step on the path to repentance? The result of this evening was tears of perception and joy, acceptance of yourself and your life situation, forgiveness of your parents and prayers of repentance. We rejoiced, cried and prayed together with the girls. God was with us and among us. During these incomplete 3 days, there were many different interesting conversations and moments. We felt that those girls to whom we came when they were still pupils of orphanages, really matured. They didn’t need to be soothed, they were calm. We didn’t have to puch on them for communication – they were seeking for it themselves. Talking about God was not a burden – they willingly asked questions and kept up the conversation. A very simple, but personally valuable moment for me had touched my heart. Alina, a graduate of the Belynichi boarding school brought each of the team members a chocolate bar. A simple, inexpensive chocolate bar. When she gave it to me, she said: “I want to make it pleasant for you, too, because you always take care of us…” Nothing unusual, but this chocolate bar has a special value for me – Alina thought and bought it with her small salary of a street cleaner and wanted to please us. Thank God for the fact that He acts in the hearts of girls, even through such seemingly insignificant situations. It was a special place, a special time in the lives of the girls and each of us. I believe it wasn’t just another cool camp. It was a time when we prayed a lot, communicated a lot and the meaning and the importance of Christmas was achieved. The Lord was there to protect us from accidents, He sent us the desire to go and serve the girls, gave us the right words and actions. Thank God for everything!

Greetings everyone! We have conducted a camp for the orphans from June 10 to June 20, 2019 in Belinichy orphanage. Glory to God! We would like to share joyous stories and estimonies from this camp.The official statistics of Belarus tells us that only 2% to 5% of children that graduate from the government orphanages get educated, have a family and become good citizens. When we work with these children in the orphanages we are able to change this statistics. When we work in the orphanages we teach children Biblical truths, we teach them how to take care of themselves and others, we help them to develop their abilities and gifts, we teach them how to properly build relationships. Together with God we are changing the statistics: in the orphanages that we work, later on 20-30% of orphans become good citizens. Glory to God!

When we planned the camp, we decided to split all children into two groups – younger and older, so we would have age appropriate activities for each group in which children would be able to participate and which would be most interesting for the children. But the theme of camp was the same for both groups – “The Purpose driven Life”. As the result of many years of our work in the orphanages we have discovered that orphans in the orphanages very often have very damaged will, very damaged will to live and very damaged desire to achieve anything. We believe that this is the results of many traumatic experiences in their lives and the lack of love and care.

At the camp we have conducted interesting and exciting games that help children to be united into one family. In those games everyone was able to see his strong and weak sides and not be afraid to be judged by others but to accept himself the way he is. In addition we had access to the swimming pool and were able to train children to swim. A teenager named Roma (he is 17 years old) could not hold down his emotions by every evening before sleep he thanked God that Lord Himself had teached him how to swim through one of our volunteers – Gregory. The reason is it was Roma’s dream to learn how to swim. During the camp many children have learned how to swim and had lots of joyous emotions while playing in the swimming pool.

Also we had different craft lessons at our camp. Children were able to create crafts with their hands and choose a type of craft that was most interesting for them. Later on some choose to make some crafts as a hobby.

The main goal of the camp was the spiritual one – to tell children about God and help them to know Him personally as The Father and to learn how to build a relationship with Him. Therefore every day we had Biblical lessons (for the younger children in the morning and for the older children in the evening). In addition to the Biblical lessons we had theatrical plays to demonstrate what we are trying to say to help children better understand what we are saying to them.  After one of the lessons the boy named Vanya came to me and said that for the first time in his life he is feeling what it is to be loved because this love was expressed toward him by us not just in words but also in deeds, he said: “When you forgive you do not remember anymore. I was being disobedient but you were hugging me and telling me the good words”.

As the camp was going on the older kids started to gathering together in groups for prayer and we saw in them huge hunger for God and His word. At the evening lessons the children started to come with Bibles and notebooks so they would be able to write down what was important to them from what we said.

Another story from the camp: one of the older boys named Gena had developed a rash and nothing was helping to heal him. Then he asked for a prayer and together we prayed for his healing. Early next morning he was already witnessing about his miraculous healing! This healing have become a real prove of God’s miraculous power to everyone in the camp!

Another powerful story of the camp was active participating in Biblical lessons by the government teachers of the orp

hanage! Before this camp the government teachers were opposing The Gospel of Jesus Christ. But at this camp God so touched their hearts that they started to participate in the Bible lessons! They started to testify that they understood what we were saying and that their thinking, their understanding of the world is starting to change! They started to open their hearts to God! They started to sing songs of praise with us and repeat with us the words of prayers! In this camp we saw that the harvest is ready and you with us, everyone of us is a working on this field. More than 40 children consciously made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and prayed with a prayer of repentance!

Our thanksgiving to The Lord for His Presence in every day, His Reality and salvation of these kids! And also our thanksgiving to everyone who took part in this camp to make it happen so The God’s Kingdom was able to increase with these new precious souls!!!

 

June began with finishing the story about Daniel and getting acquainted with the story of Jonah who spent three days inside a huge fish. Thus, the children finished the review of Old Testament books. We hope, they will keep the word they heard throughout the school year in their hearts and God will continue working in the lives of these children!
The most vivid and memorable event of this summer became the camp that brought a lot of victories, blessings and positive emotions!
I would like to thank everyone who prayed for the summer camp in Belarus. We had the camp for 86 orphans in the Belynichi orphanage from 20 to 29 June. The program of the camp aimed at helping the children develop the necessary qualities of their character that they need in everyday life. Our camp was called “One Step Closer”. During this time, we tried to teach the children and show by our personal example how to get closer to peace, joy, faithfulness, forgiveness and love. We talked with the children about freedom and how to live right in this freedom (the freedom from sin, fear and addiction). The good news about the Greatest example of bright and happy life sounded throughout all the lessons of morality. We spoke about God and His Word, showed sketches that revealed the theme of the day. Most children at our camp had mental disabilities; some of them were born with Down syndrome.
In God’s Word Jesus said that He came to the lost sheep. This extract opened to me in a special way in practice. During the Bible lessons, we saw that the children listened to us and prayed with great craving and faith grew in their hearts despite the hardships in their lives. Many children came to us and asked to teach them to pray. The children asked God mainly about their health and a new family. One boy Roma by name told us that he slept badly and suffered from constant tiredness. Not long ago Roma returned from the hospital where they tried to help him using medicine and he became better only for a short time. He asked us: “Can Jesus help me and give a good sleep? You told us in the Bible lesson that he healed blind Bartimaeus!” We prayed together and asked God to give Roma peace and a calm sleep. Next morning he ran to us and shouted: “I slept! I slept! Thanks God!”
When I shared Roma’s story I also remembered Katya who was left at hospital where she got her name and surname. She is the girl with a wounded heart, she dreams of finding her parents and telling them that she forgives them… The stories of the children with unchildish past shocked the team and did not leave us indifferent. We saw pain even in the children’s eyes, not to mention their behavior dictated by the pain and rejection. Some of them failed to commit suicide for several times. Despair and bitterness are the companions of the left children that is why it was so important to bring them the message of love and acceptance of our Heavenly Father. I am glad that every day we taught the children to get over themselves and their bad habits and be able to change together for the better. Vadim is the boy with Down syndrome who cannot say anything but just “ba-ba” or “bi-bi”, loved listening to the Bible stories so much that he came and listened to us every evening during last days and prayed together with us before going to bed (although he did it in his own way).
We are especially grateful to God because we dreamt that these children would have influential adults who would help them in their lives! When the headmaster came to the camp, he thanked the volunteers for their work because the children do not always have the opportunity to go to camps. He paid attention to our professionalism and noticed that the children changed for the better. We also had a great blessing in repentance of 25 children! The Word of God must be preached everywhere! We are grateful to you for the opportunity to serve the children in the places where nobody teaches them that God is love and those who accept Him, accept salvation from Him!

Winter camp “The secret inside”

Posted: January 15, 2018 by Dobr9k in Camps

Winter camp “The secret inside” was held in Belynichie boarding school from the 24th December to 1st January.
I was one of the leaders in a younger group with Down syndrome children. There were 6 of them. Only two children were able to speak a little and understand a bit better than the rest of the kids what was going on. Every child like that lives in his own world that we can’t understand.
Some people consider these kids just to be disabled who are unable to live normally, unable to understand anything, unable to do anything. Bud God sees these kids differently.He sees them special and unique. And I know why. Everyone of them has his own personality, his own dreams, likes and hobbies.
You may wonder, what can they do? What do they understand? But every kid in my group was unique: somebody liked dogs, somebody was good at constructing, somebody liked dolls, somebody enjoyed organizing things in the wardrobe, somebody just was looking through the window.
There are different ways to express love. When words can’t be understood, then just a touch or a sincere smile can make a difference for these kids. Quite a lot of time we spent just playing different games and talking to their school mentors (the last one was as important as just spending time with kids).
Children in my group were not able to do all activities that were prepared for the whole camp due to the health issues, but if they happened to do something, they were so eager to do that.
Every day started with morning exercises which were fun and older kids with Down Syndrome enjoyed it a lot. We had team time after breakfast and then, closer to lunch time, everybody would go to a different activity of the day: craft class, sport club or a movie. My little team enjoyed the craft class most of all.
We had a new activity in the camp that is called – team building time. It included games and tasks aiming to build up the team’s spirit, to develop trust and respect among kids. It was organized for every age group.
We do use these activities in our camps, but it was the first time we used them for kids who have mental and physical disabilities. To our surprise, kids enjoyed it a lot, and to be honest, they showed more patience in some activities where even adults gave up.
Our evening meetings in a hall were a special time for children and us. We sang songs, watched photo presentations of each past day of the camp, leaders showed different little plays, and the most important thing was the theme of the day. All topics were understandable for children: love towards people, mercy, good deeds, humility, gratitude. Sometimes it was difficult to keep children’s attention during the meeting, however, it was great to see that there were kids who were really interested and were listening attentively.
I had a very special conversation with a girl, who’s graduating this year. Her name is Alina. At first, she seemed a very closed and shy girl, but I was wrong. She’s a good soul, always looking forward to us coming, always ready to give the last she has and she’s a very creative girl as well. I’ve known her for several years already, but it was the first time we had a conversation like that. Alina has a mother, a grannie and 2 sisters, who live in another town not too far away. Alina is not angry at them that she lives in this orphanage. She call her relatives to check on her grandma because she’s an old lady who needs help.It was great to hear Alina’s thoughts about her future family, her education and maturing, about relationships with boys. A very special topic was her relationship with God. She tries to pray every day. She prays for teachers, for her family, friends. She believes that everything happens for a reason, that God is changing people, that one day she will be changed completely.
Every day of our camp was filled with God’s presence. We didn’t have any accidents or emergency, no problems with kids. Administration and teachers were quite open and helped us a lot.
Personally, this camp was a blessing! Our leaders team, opened
hearts of kids and teachers, the weather and other moments which we usually do not notice or take for granted, it all made special Christmas atmosphere.
I believe that God’s word made its work! Even if it’s only one child who accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. I rejoice and thank our Heavenly Father for it!