More than 800 SGA-supported churches were able to hold Summer Bible Camps for children in Ukraine thank to generous gifts from friends like you. As a result, more children are coming to Christ!
“These children must be used to engaging Sunday school lessons with lots of exciting activities, and all I have are a few worksheets and two bags of candies. Sweet treats won’t impress them much!” SGA’s storyteller, Oleksandra, writes below of her own weary and burdened heart and then of the surprise when she realized God’s graciousness in giving her everything she needed, even when she felt she had nothing to give. Never had I seen anyone be so enthusiastic about being asked questions about themselves and getting candies in return. Now, Oleksandra is thanking God for the abundant way He used her to love on many children in need of healing. Please continue to pray for these Summer Camp ministries, who continue to uniquely minister to the children to whom God leads them.
“God, I can’t. I can’t go to the camp now.” (That’s how I started my prayer the day before we were to set off to a camp organized by our church) “I know I’m responsible for teaching kids Bible lessons, but I haven’t taught any lessons since the war started. I’m not ready. It’s not the best time. My grandma is in the hospital undergoing several surgeries and recovering after a severe stroke. My husband is far away, working on a ship and being exposed to danger as the ports are hit by drones again and again. You see, I’m weary and burdened. There’s nothing I can give you. I’m coming empty-handed to you.”
“I still want to use you.” A gentle voice of God spoke to my soul. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will equip you with everything you need.”
“But I haven’t prepared any materials, I was around my grandma and then I had to go to a port city to see off my husband. I just came back. These children must be used to engaging Sunday school lessons with lots of exciting activities and all I have are a few worksheets and two bags of candies. Sweet treats won’t impress them much!”
“You can give them LOVE.”
I stopped praying but I kept meditating on these words the following day while driving to the camp. “God if you know how to use me, do it. Even though I feel like I am of no use here”.
What a surprise it was for me when I saw children I hadn’t met in our church before coming to our first Bible lesson. It turned out they were children of soldiers who had died in the war and whose wives, young widows, were invited to our camp with their sons and daughters.
Never had I seen anyone be so enthusiastic about being asked questions about themselves and getting candies in return. And how excited these children were to hear incredible stories about committed David fighting Goliath, brave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown into a fiery furnace, faithful Daniel in the lions’ den and courageous Esther who saved her people while putting her own life at risk. We talked about fears and challenges, the storms, and deserts we go through, and the loving God who’s over all circumstances in our lives. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Having lost their fathers, these children know just how real death is, and how painful is the loss. They need Jesus more than anything else this world is offering them as a comfort. I thought God wanted me to share my love with these children. But in fact, he wanted me to talk about His healing love. God used me to teach these boys and girls about the only way, truth, and life, about Jesus who conquered death and offers forgiveness and eternal life for those who believe in Him. We learned Bible verses and prayed. Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”
May this tiny seed planted in the little hearts grow into faith.
I wish that next time, I would answer to God’s calling with the words Isaiah replied to the Lord:
Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8)