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Making a difference in Ukraine – Reaching families for Christ in Ukraine

June 2015 | by Slava Yaroshevych

Ukraine campOur desire is to bring people (parents and kids) into a relationship with God. We realise that to do this we have to build long-term relationships and also show, through godly everyday living, what being a Christian is.

When we first had the idea for an English Summer camp, to reach the children in our town, it seemed impossible to do. But as we got started, we discovered that God was in these plans and he made it happen.

We wanted to start by building bridges with the several Christian fellowships we have in our town. Teaching English is a very good way to do this, because learning English is seen as a good way of getting better jobs.

Because we are in an ex-communist country, we have barriers which are perhaps different to what you have in the West. I give you two examples:

Trust

The culture of trust is new to us and getting people to trust us is a big thing — as we are Christians, it is even harder. To ask parents to let us have their kids for a week was a big thing, especially as we wanted to bring to them Bible teaching. How could we do this in a way that parents found acceptable?

Expense

Ukraine is a poor country and so the expense of a camp for many parents is a big barrier. The cost of the camp (approx. £50 or 65 euros) was equivalent to one week’s wage. We had to keep the costs low and yet provide a good level of care and support, and interesting activities.

The camp was called, ‘Around the World: 2014’, and each day we covered a different country. Of course Ukraine was first! But we also covered America, the British royalty and New Zealand.

Each day we had a Bible story and conversational English classe,s which were done by five native English speakers. This was the biggest draw, as no one had heard native English or met English or Americans before. All this was a new experience and showed the children that Christianity is universal.

If you come to our next camp (from Monday 22 June and Monday 29 June) and help us, you will have the opportunity to learn about us too! You will be an encouragement to us and a blessing, as we give you hospitality.

We want you to help us to reach out to Ukrainians, to answer their felt need to learn English and also the deeper, perhaps unfelt need, for salvation. Please think about partnering with us in God’s work.

Slava Yaroshevych
Head of English Language School, Lutsk

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Ukraine