The last day of camp. There is a range of emotions among the team…excitement about the day’s events, joy that the Lord gave us strength to make it to the last day, and sadness that we have to say goodbye to the kids and people of this church that we have come to love very much.
Today’s program was shorter as we had to pack up and make the hour drive to Zaporozhe to catch our train back to Kiev. The morning programs went well and the Lord blessed us with a breeze that gave some relief from the heat. After lunch we had a time of showing our appreciation to the many people that made this camp possible. The cooks, church leaders, the Ukrainian team, translators, Scott and Oksana Sobie, and Will and Phyllis Hunsucker all had a huge part in making this camp happen. After hurriedly packing up all our stuff we said many tearful goodbyes to the kids and young people. I had two little girls hanging on me with tears running down their faces saying, “Don’t go, please, please, please, don’t go!” It was so sad and I was crying as well. I think we all left a little part of our hearts behind with these children. Lord willing, we would love to come back next year.
Believe it or not we still had more goodbyes to be said. =( We arrived back at the Sobie house to do our last minute packing, take showers, and eat our last meal with them (which once again, was amazing!). We then let the Sobie kids open some gifts that the team brought for them from America. It was so fun to watch their expressions as they opened them. It was like Christmas in August! Afterwards we all piled into the vans and away we went to the Zaporozhe train station. The whole Sobie family came to the station with us to say goodbye. We all hugged and prayed then boarded the train. The Sobie’s stayed and watched as the train slowly pulled away and we hung out the windows waving. The kids ran along with the train as long as they were able to.
Wow, what a day! It was busy, busy, going, going all day, but the Lord gave us the strength and energy we needed for every step of the way. Praise the Lord!
This trip has been different for me in that I (and Joel) were on the receiving end of things since we live here now. Words cannot express how blessed we have been by the team from The Home Church. It was so fun for us to see, spend time with, and minister with friends and family again! I was personally blessed and encouraged by the team to continue on in the work that the Lord has for Joel and I to do here. The team was great and they all jumped right in and did what needed to be done. The Lord used them to be a challenge to me by their initiative and eagerness to help even when they were tired from the long days and sleepless nights. A huge thank you to our amazing team! You all were such a delight to have here in this beautiful country.
Much love to all,