Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Borkiv KGB

"Hut, 2, 3, 4!" 

Hello faithful readers, this is Michael, reporting from Borkiv. I'm actually typing this at about 11:00 am on Wednesday the 9th. Camp is going on right now, and I'm in our "Command Center" as it were, where we store all of our supplies and bags and other important things like Apple laptops. Everything is running so smoothly here that I am not needed at all. I'm not sure how to feel about that... It's nice to be needed... but the team around me has really stepped up to the ever-demanding challenge of running camp - and everything is going swimmingly. I just entered this happy sanctuary a minute ago, after having made a tour and inspection of the camp, and so I would like to inform you all of what's going on outside the walls of my haven as I type. Crafts: As I'm sure you are aware by now, camp consists of three activity stations. Crafts is, in my opinion, the most challenging of all the stations. That is why Lindsay Norman and Taci Hodgins are there. These two girls have performed excellently over the last two days of camp. I have dropped in on crafts several times, but never felt like I needed to pitch in to help or anything. Both of them seem to be doing great, health-wise. Mrs. Norman, I've been keeping up with Lindsay on the stretches and the tennis shoes. She's doing really well. Mrs. Hodgins, Taci is drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated. She seems to be very well-rested. Both of these girls are excellent at keeping up with the health status of the other members of the team... for one because they don't have any real issues themselves, and for another because their gentle personalities are great for holding the other team members accountable, in a non-confrontational way. I totally trust both of them... and they are both doing an amazing job. It's been a joy to work with them. Lessons: Because I have been the primary teacher, obviously lesson time is not in session as I merrily type away. The children have behaved TERRIBLY in lesson time. I have felt really bad for Katherine, who has been my faithful assistant, during her teaching sessions, because the children have just been so awful and distracted. It was pretty discouraging for me the first day. Teaching lessons is really my only "necessary" task in camp, because everything else goes so well without me. I pretty much just set the goals for the day... and then everyone executes perfectly. (A nerve in my eye just started jumping. Mom, don't worry... it's done it at home before too. It sure is annoying, though.) So... when the children just DON'T seem to be getting it, it gets real old... real fast. But then, today was a nice treat. Did a review with them this morning... and everyone seems to have a very thorough understanding of the 3 colors we have covered thus far (Gold - Heaven, Black - Sin, and Red - The Cross). They basically have a working understanding of the Gospel at this point. That is SOO exciting. By the time you read this we will have presented the complete gospel one last time... along with a call to repentance. I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to represent Him to the people we minister to. It is really a huge privilege. Games: Along with a host of Ukrainians, who really lead game time, Katherine has been great out there. Basically, anything I ask Katherine to do, she does. She's been such a treat to have on my team. I've had so much fun. She is constantly teasing me and giving me a hard time...keeps things light. She's done a great job when she's taught (Black and Red) and the kids really seem to understand her well. Because of my allergies, I can't really be out in the game field very much, so Katherine has taken my place out there and provided a TON of energy that I usually do myself. It's been nice. She is a great encouragement to everyone who she works with. Mr. and Mrs. McNair, thank you for letting her be here with us. All in all, our camp in Borkiv has gone well. Ryan is going to blog later about some of his adventures as he toured the village and accosted random people to share the good news of eternal life with them. The team is performing so well... loving on the children... sharing the gospel... engaging in games and songs... it's been great. This afternoon we will visit the village of Kuliga to promo the camp that we will begin there tomorrow, with all its new challenges and opportunities. We earnestly ask for your prayers. Mom, if you could, write on the Africa blog and tell my brother that I hope he's doing as good a job in lesson time as I am... and that I've been praying for the team every day, and him especially. Mr. Vince said many of you had commented and left encouraging words... we haven't had a chance to see them to this point (printer’s broken) but we hope to see them soon. I just checked to see if I have a wireless network in range. Habit. Funny though... haha. Nope. None. Until the whole world knows, Michael (Wow. Why did typing those words "Until the whole world knows" just bring tears to my eyes so quickly? I don't know... but they did. Please pray that God will give us vision and endurance to see the mission through to the end. I love you all.)


jillian davies mansell said...

how awesome Michael! I don't believe I have ever been so well informed about the Ukraine trip (maybe because I am normally in some village in Africa!) but it is so encouraging to think about y'all, all the way in Europe, serving Christ (even sometimes while we are sleeping).
"For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder." Zeph. 3:8
I will continue to pray for unity though!
And if someone could pass this note on to my Linds: LINDSAY!!! I miss you terribly but am so encouraged to hear about all that God is doing through you (and of your great health!) I thought you might be encouraged to hear that back here in the states, Kristine's work with our Sunday School girls is going really great! Although it has been hard not to be the one "going", I almost forgot that God is just as much at work here then in far of places where y'all are! The girls are learning some awesome stuff, and I am praying God really does a great work in their lives.
Can't wait to see you (and Michael, Mr.Vince, and whoever else is coming) in Beijing! Much love and prayers! Oh, and sadly I don't think you will get your letter till China! :( You can pretend well, though, can't you?
Sorry for this terribly long comment!
from your not-a-mommy commenter!!

Gena Gommer said...

Michael -Thank you for the update I feel somewhat partial to reading your s first knowing that had Dustin gone he would have been with you.I will pray for your allergies (as well as the teams)and also for the attention span of the wee ones. Don't get discouraged your doing a tremendous job and your willingness to GO humbles me.Gena Gommer