2014 06 Special needs ministry at Sumy Grace Camp

The ministry to people with Special Needs at Grace Camp has come to a close for another year. At the last campfire, one mom expressed her thoughts: “Thank you for the warmth you have shown our children. You have cared for them, shared with them, and interacted with them. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to us.” One of the campers (in a wheelchair) spoke also: “How God has blessed us this week. The opportunity to be outside, to enjoy good fellowship, good activities and to have a change of routine. Thank you. imageOf course, with every ministry there are challenges and opportunities. One of the challenges was that who & what their abilities would be were not exactly known until they arrived. The number of people coming was known, but not much beyond that. The team had prepared a program for chapels and other activities that were more geared towards kids. The reality was that there were more adults than kids this time. So the team did a quick revamp of the program to accommodate the range of ages and abilities. One of the opportunities that God gave to all here was to build relationships with those who came. Time spent around campfires in the evenings, sitting on the front porches of the cabins or in the midst of activities. The ministry team did a fantastic job of just being there, helping where needed, sharing a laugh, a smile and a conversation, sharing the love and truth of Christ in word and deed. God gave the ministry team (the majority being from Sumy) the opportunity to connect with individuals and build relationships which can be continued on into the fall. The majority of those who attended are not believers – the camp ministry was a new experience for them. Many are religious in their background and some in their activities, but a relationship with Christ as as the Bible teaches was something new. So the ministry was a low key, bridge building evangelistic outreach. The attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to be out in the fresh air and get some exercise. One morning during free time almost a dozen people made “bucket brigade”. They moved a large pile of recently split logs into the storage shed for the winters supply of firewood to heat the conference center. The maintenance man was very appreciative of the help, and the group had a great time doing it. A huge surprise for our family was that one of our neighbours – a fellow who lives a few floors above where we lived in Sumy, was at this camp. I came walking out of a door and there was Sasha walking by. He was as shocked as I was! He is in his mid 20’s, and suffers from scoliosis. During the week the couple who are living in the apartment (they are the program directors for Sumy Grace Church’s summer ministries) made a good connection with him. Pray for Sasha & Alisa, that they might be able to build a relationship with Sasha and to be a witness to him for Christ. In the midst of the turmoil that is taking place here in Ukraine, God is at work changing lives. Thank you for being part of what God is doing here in Ukraine. Here are photos from the 2014 Special Needs ministry at Grace Camp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *