stories from camp 5 – lifting Kolya

We’ve already started school here – at least some of us have – and we are still reflecting on the amazing two weeks we had at camp.

The last night, during the evening service, we were just enjoying a last evening together. The weather had turned cold – not completely unusual for here – so we canceled our plans for the campfire and improvised indoors.

There’s one camper who hadn’t been able to participate very much in the various activities because of his physical disabilities, but Kolya has come to camp each year, and he and his mother seem to really enjoy the time at camp.  Kolya cannot speak in the ordinary way, and few other than his mother can understand what he does say.  His limbs will not do anything he wants them to do, and he has to be lifted in and out of his chair.  He cannot do anything for himself, not even eat.

Artur (yellow shirt) hugging Kolya

Kolya is not limited intellectually, and has finished high school.  As he watches and listens, he’ll grin or frown, following closely whatever is going on.  Pastor Sasha knows Kolya really well and I guess had just wanted to do something a little special.

Ilya giving Kolya a hug

So that last night, during that evening time, he and another young man lifted Kolya out of his chair (mom ok’d it), and carried him around so that the other campers could give him hugs.

Kolya’s face was plastered with the biggest smile, and it was a real delight for the other campers.  Lifting Kolya lifted us all.

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