Aug 31, 2007

What Happens in Zdolbuniv Stays in Zdolbuniv...say that five times fast!

I just finished my week of follow-up in Zdolbuniv, Ukraine, where we did our first English camp. Zdolbuniv is a small town with not much to do besides walk around with friends, go to Rivne (the closet bigger town), or walk around with friends. However it didn't seem to matter that there was nothing exciting going on in Zdolbuniv because all that mattered were the great people I came to experience life with on a deeper level.

This is Lina, the girl I stayed with, and Ira at a concert celebrating Rivne's birthday. We had such a great time!

I stayed at Lina's house with her mom Lilia. They are two of the most gracious, loving, and genuine people I have ever met. I felt so cared for and wanted. There was not one moment of my time there that I was left wanting.

I had such a plan for what was going to happen at my follow-up visit. I planned on meeting with campers who didn't go to the church, following up with those that made decisions at camp, and being an outreach tool to connect the church with the youth in the community. It's amazing how God can take your plans and throw them in the crapper. :-)

Katia, Lina, and Ira making tea

My time was not spent with non-church campers or reaching out to the community, but rather it was spent building and deepening relationships not only with Lina and Lilia but also with some of the other youth leaders at the church. I had such a sweet time with this handful of teenagers; we went to a concert, watched futbol, prayed together, talked about idioms and American slang, and just had great conversations about camp, God, ministry, and our lives. It was beautiful! I got to show them how much I truly care about them, and they definitely showed me how much I mean to them. I got to experience another side of ministry I have not had before...something other than English camps, something deeper. I would not have had the visit go any other way. My heart hurt so much to leave.

Vanya and I. Now he calls me his American wife...yep, maybe we should have another talk.


Alice In Poland said...

Well done, my sister. Well done! Now hurry back! Hurry,hurry back. Did I say hurry? :)

Brooke said...

I like your shirt in this picture. I'm going to need to take it when you get back.

BritBoat said...

Agatha said...

I don't think you know me, and i actually dont know who you are too!
But we have the same passion!!
I'm Agatha Bergman, from Holland..
I typed 'Zdolbuniv' in at google, and so i came at your blog:)
I was in Zdolbuniv also two times and think you're really right! The people are so great!
I was there with a group of our church to repare an orphans'home in a village near Zdolbuniv:)
It's really great! This year i'll go also!!
How long did you stay in Ukraine, and do you go often?
I'm sorry for my bad English > I'm never good in other languages:S
God bless you!!!
sister in Christ > agatha