When Dan shouts ‘vacă’ everyone lie on back with feet in air!

Great to see new faces at the camp today. Just yesterday we were reflecting on the stronghold that Orthodoxy is within this area, and so to see more families coming and engaging even in just a very small way is so uplifting.

Once we had played the normal selection of fresh games we began by making them all slaves and forcing them to make bricks… And they had to be good quality… Although Pharoah Steve became very generous.

The slaves cried out and we heard and demonstrated the first 9 plagues… Remembered by playing the classic game of Plague Coming…a bit like captain’s coming… But with Nile, frogs, cows and storm being among the instructions.

We had a good time of singing then we encouraged the children to write or draw their favourite things. These were placed on the ground and the cross made from handprints was put above then to show that Jesus should be more important…

Jesus is more important

Such a great camp and every member of the team is brilliant… The pastor and his wife and family, The family we are staying with, with their the daughters, and Sami, Cornelia and their children,  brother and his children. The whole team came over to ‘our place’ and or hosts fed the large group with much left over. Such a great family.

Games and chat followed this until the teams came out. One thing to be thankful for: on Ukrainian TV there is 15 minutes of adverts during half time!

The rest of the team are fascinated to see the look on our faces in the morning… We are teaching about freedom – how can we not be joyful?

PS Ekua ‘pill in bottle’ won a game this evening!

 

 

We cry out

Katie

Today was another great day. All the children who came yesterday came back today and we had 3 new faces!

The theme today was how do we cry out to God and how we  listen to him. The children seemed to really understand and engage in the sessions especially when making string telephones and taking the opportunity to make a personal response! Our relationships with the children are growing and communication barriers are being broken, even with some them trying to speak English to me.

This evening all members of the joint mission team  had the opportunity to go to a Ukrainian Castle! We then shared a meal together at pizza restaurant. The scenery, food and company were all amazing! I feel blessed to be a part of a brilliant mission team who are passionate about sharing the word of God.

We are prepared for another busy, exciting day tomorrow when we will look at how God is a ‘Great Big God!’

Please continue to pray that we can continue to build relationships with the children and that we are able to rest well in the evenings and be prepared for the next coming days.

Steve

Today was a great day. The sun wasn’t in “destroy” mode, so we managed to survive all the games.

I made a new friend today, called Misa. He was new to the whole group, but after all the activities, specifically asked Tanya to translate that he “will come back tomorrow”.

We also played Russian Pool, which consists of MASSIVE BALLS and tiny pockets, and had the most amazing home-made drink, which consisted of mint, lemon (need I say more?).

The castle (Khotyn Fortress) was quite thought-provoking, mainly due to the horrors downstairs!! It consisted of extreme torture devices that must have been used to either interrogate prisoners or for some twisted form of “entertainment”.

It made us wonder if Christians were ever persecuted in devices like these…. 🙁

And how would we face such extreme torture? Our prayers go to those crying out to God today as they are tortured.

Important, Valuable, Precious, Unique

Ekua

Our theme of the day was that you are precious, important, valuable and unique. The first day of children’s camp was very successfully centered around this theme. I enjoyed the games we played and the children took to the activities very well.

I’m really enjoying being in this team. God has brought together people with amazing skills who each bring something completely different to the table. I am so thankful that we all get along as this would be a very lonely experience for me.

Dan

At times today I felt like I had never worked with children before. From the moment we arrived at the church, the children were excited but equally cautious. I could definitely relate.

The language barrier presented a significant challenge but our team members from Romania and Ukraine were fantastic. We have had such an amazing welcome and support from the family we are living with, it has been uplifted. Tania, the oldest of the daughters, has been a particular source of help, support and laughs.

Although it took some time today, I feel like relationships are building between the team, the Romanian/Ukrainian and the children are growing. It was lovely, albeit wet, to play a game of drip drip drench in the afternoon and be drenched by several children. I took it as a sign that they like me… I hope…

We finished the day with a game of football in the local park. Mick, Simon, Steve and I played alongside a group of young lads, with Mick and I opposing Simon and Steve. I think the boys were dubious of us initially, we were able to have some positive interactions (in broken English) with them. It was also pleasing to score a goal, with my left foot I might add, which seemed to impress the  locals. We hope to see them again later in the week for another game.

I’m feeling more ready for tomorrow. Please pray for energy and enthusiasm to continue.

Finding our feet

What a long day. Left this morning at 8.20 (6:20am UK time which it still felt like!) for the first of three services. Ekua, Mick and Dan gave great testimonies, Simon spoke and everyone else sang well. Sami also spoke at each church. These were churches where he and Cornelia worshipped at for 4 years – they left 17 years ago.

After the first two services (over before CBC started) we had a great fellowship lunch.

Final service was at 3 then another fellowship meal, with massive layered cake (see below)

We got home and pizza arrived soon after! My we ate well today.

Then 4 hours of prep to get ready for the morning. But we think we are ready to introduce the life of Moses – from birth to murder! Thinking of how we are all significant and that each person continues to be valued and loved even when they make mistakes. Really grateful to Tanya and Damaris for their help in preparation and translation.

Tomorrow I will get others in the team to blog and share their feelings and thoughts.

Tired but a great team.

PS we love the outside baptistries

 

Day 1 – so good to be a part of God’s family

When you don’t know what to expect you know you will have surprises.

First surprise was that Steve was waiting for us at the correct airport and the correct terminal.

Upon arriving in Kiev the first thing we noticed was the smell of garlic (not really) but we were keen to see the phones in the hands of the Ukrainians. Once social media had been checked the phone I could see, as I peered over his shoulder said 2-0 with just a few minutes to go.

A short wait in Kiev airport then we were back in the air with UIA on our way to Chernovtsy.

Upon landing we got our next surprise as the terminal looked and seemed like a village hall. No one was going in to the building though… why we thought.

Then came our luggage, climb onto the truck and retrieve your own!

We met Sami and travelled the short journey to Molnytsa.

The final surprise was our arrival at the place where we will stay. ‘This is an answer to prayer’ someone commented. No, none  of us had prayed for fine accomodation, this is simply a blessing from God given by a great family.

It’s now past midnight and we have an early start as we travel 40km to the place where Sami and Cornelia lived 15 years ago, then to two other churches. Simon may be preaching at some of these (in addition to Sami) and others will be sharing testimony.

God is good

Ukraine Mission with Teliu Partner Church, 7-16 July 2018

This Saturday, 7th July, a team from Cosham Baptist Church (UK), and Teliu Baptist Church (Romania) will be going on a joint mission trip to Ukraine.

The 6 from UK are Simon Ford, Mick Hamorak, Ekua Mills-Robertson, Steve Jacob and Katie & Dan Barnes

Some of the team were asked to give their hopes and fears:

Ekua
• We effectively communicate the gospel to the children that they can pass the message on to their family and friends
• We connect as a partnership between the two churches and are able to work together well

• The children enjoy themselves while doing the activities but understand what God is telling them through each activity
• Not being able to speak Romanian very well will prevent us from understand what the children want to learn from us
• That the children will feel patronised and therefore rebel

Katie
• I am worried about my chronic fatigue and really hoping that I do not become too tired and I can manage it with the travelling
• I hope to be able to form relationships with the children and people we come into contact with quickly
• Even though I am excited to be going to Ukraine it is ‘out of my comfort zone’ so I hope for peace as we continue to prep and when out there
• Hope that I am able to speak clearly and speak what God wants me to speak

Dan
• Worried about the getting enough sleep and having enough energy to give everything to the kids camp
• Hope to be able to use my skills and talents effectively for the team
• Hope to be able to rely on God and spend time listening to him in prayer, with the team and alone