For the past several years, volunteers from Hope Now have been coming to Shpola orphanage to spend a few days with the children, to get to know them and to bring God’s word to them. These visits have become very special to the orphans and to the volunteers alike. The leaders began to dream about how awesome it would be, to take the children outside of their everyday environment and bring them to Kompas Park, a top-notch Christian camp facility. Then they started talking about this idea together and it was clear that they all had the same desire. Of course, it is easier to reach a destination with others than by yourself. So, the planning the camp of our dreams began. The main idea was to bring 64 children from Shpola Orphanage to Kompas Park, even though it is pretty far away. However, transportation wasn’t the biggest challenge.
The Directors of Hope Now Ministries, Kompas Park and Shpola Orphanage met together to discuss a variety of problematic issues, while the volunteer team prayed they were all on the same track. Many people donated funds to make the transportation possible and also paid for every orphan to come to camp. It’s amazing that even more people were praying for this event to successfully take place, and now praise God – you will see this dream has come true.
Here they are… the first week of summer! Mini-vans & busses filled with orphans are arriving at Kompas Park! The children anticipate a fun and wonderful week at camp. The team leaders are looking forward to becoming good friends with the children and telling them about their Heavenly Father, the one who cares about their lives and wants to give them happiness that lives forever.
Each day of camp brought the orphans joy as they had so many opportunities to develop their skills in crafts, sports and of course during river time. Sometimes fussy city children think the river seems a bit dirty, but for the kids from Shpola it was the best part of the camp! Even though the water was not that warm, all the kids wanted to go in. They reminded us that you don’t have to spend money on expensive toys, when there are wonderful things in nature that bring joy, for no charge at all.
All in all, it was a wonderful week and obviously many campers as well as leaders were crying on the last day – but that only proves that everyone had a great time.
Now the children have gone back to their homes for summer holidays. Some of them are going to stay with their relatives, some with friends or neighbors and some are going to be placed in shelters provided by the government. Even though all of the children are now scattered around Ukraine, we pray that they each have those warm memories of God’s love, that they learned about that first week of summer.