All through June, we began work with our Ministry for Those with Disabilities team to get ready for camp in July. One of the nice things about summer is that we can give more time and energy to being part of the team; during the school year, we really feel the need to balance how much we are serving versus how much time we are at home spending time with the girls.
I was blessed to be able to spend more time with some of the gals on the team, just getting to know them better, and hearing about how the Lord is working in their lives. Sveta is a jewel. She is a 30-something single mom, living with her parents and her teenage daughter. She works two part-time jobs, and has been a big part of the ministry team.
At camp, she officially serves as the camp nurse – a big job in a camp for folks with disabilities – but also as unofficial ‘second-in-command’. She had Sasha have a lot of experience working together, understand the multitude of issues at hand in any given moment, and do a good job of shepherding the mainly younger single adults who make up the majority of the team.
This year, she and I teamed up to put together the crafts for our two weeks of camp. It was nice to have started early and to have time to consider different projects, go out and price materials, and just not feel a crunch to pull it off. It also meant that Sveta and I could just spend time together, which proved meaningful to both of us.
Mark worked with Sasha to negotiate some of the logistics of camp. For the most part, we have had our core group of people come to camp, mainly from our Sunday group here in Kiev. We’ve also had a group join us from the small town of Velika Dimarka not far outside of Kiev. This year, Sasha had an idea to invite some folks he’d long been wanting to reach out to, but completely new to our team.
So the first week, we had our core group and the Dimarka folks. The Dimarka folks left on Saturday, feeling like a week during prime growing season was as much as was feasible to give to camp. And on Sunday, the group of new folks arrived, all eight of who were either in wheelchairs or using walkers.
Although it made for some crazy times, it was a rich time both weeks and our core folks responded very well to the changes to the usual schedule. We held all of our plans very loosely, trying hard to to keep our eyes on the Lord and not let little things become big hindrances. The Lord really blessed.
Below are some photos from camp in general. It was a great time for everyone!