‘This war worries not only the people of the Ukraine but, I believe, the whole world’, observed Roman Bevz of the Chernigov region. ‘It was even announced on the news that we should be ready to evacuate. Many families have lost their fathers, husbands or sons. People live in fear of the unknown’.
Yet Mr Bevz was thanking Richard Norton, UK director of Siloam Christian Ministries, for supporting Bible camps in the Ukraine. Gifts from generous donors have enabled these camps to touch the lives of children and their families with spiritual and practical comfort.
One 12-year-old girl came as a refugee from east Ukraine. It was her first time at a Christian camp. She said, ‘What you do is important, because through these camps children learn how to open their hearts to Jesus. Please do not stop running camps, because this world needs what you are doing’.
Then there is Taya, a former camper, who served on the staff for a couple of years. Last year she went to work in Russia. Mr Bevz said, ‘Taya sent a message to me that she wants to sponsor a child at camp. Her reason is because when she came to the camp, she felt the love and acceptance, she saw how we treated one another. Now Taya wants to help another child to feel the same experience that she had.
‘God’s people have seen camps as a respite during times of crisis before’, Richard Norton said, adding, ‘Several generations of Eastern European people are experiencing this, as our dedicated Ukrainian co-workers minister to their varied needs’ (Editor’s note: Also see Troubled nation: gospel opportunity and Reaching families for Christ in Ukraine).