Hello friends and family! This is Heather, writing for Team Evanople, which used to be Udladifka. We were going to stop and take a picture next to the village sign, but when we got there, we found out that the villagers had changed the name! Yesterday when we got to the school where we were supposed to hold camp, there were no kids there at all, and the new director of the school hadn't heard that we were coming at all! A bunch of ladies were cleaning the school and repainting some of the rooms, so inside the building reeked of paint, and we couldn't use any of the rooms. So we set everything up on the school's porch and made use of the yard in front of the building. Then everyone walked the village and invited kids! Stephanie, Jasmyn, and I stayed at the school to watch the trunks and backpacks, and to pray for the kids that would be coming; we had quite the time when kids started showing up for camp before any of our translators got back! Finally, after an hour and a half of village walking, the whole team ended up back to the school with about 30 kids. The school seems to be on a pretty well traveled road, so parents, grandparents, teens, and more kids seemed to drop in for a moment here and there throughout camp. I know Chance got to speak to three teenage boys for about 30 min towards the end of camp, and Masha spoke to a couple of teenage girls when they stopped by for a min. Because of our late start, the kids only got about 10 min to play games, and we had to scoot out of there pretty quick to make it back to the church for lunch. Today, we got to the school and almost 60 kids were there waiting for us! We found out that we won't be able to use the inside of the school at all, so (again) we set up outside on the porch. Needing a bigger area for lesson time, we took the kids out to the game field and Chance taught the colors Red and White outside. Nine teenage girls showed up this morning, so Stephanie and I talked with them for awhile. After getting to know the girls a little bit, we walked around the village some. When we got back to the school, the girls wanted to do crafts, so they made cross necklaces and little cotton ball sheep. After that, Jasmyn and I used the crafts to introduce the gospel. Turns out that all of the girls go to the orthodox church, but only on holidays. But they've obviously been to camp before, because they were jumping ahead of me while I was sharing the gospel. Our talk was ended a bit early by the rest of the kids' singing during closing ceremony; but I can't wait to come back tomorrow and talk with them more. I think these girls have a lot of head knowledge, but I want to challenge them to apply this knowledge to their lives. Some quick prayer requests for camp are the kids' attention spans and their open hearts (as always); the allergy problems due to the excessively strong paint smell; and the teams' unity. We've been having some drama on the Ukraine side of our team. A couple of the girls aren't getting along and we're having to help them work through it. I also covet your prayers for myself, Jasmyn, and the girls that I'll be talking with again tomorrow. I've never done this before, and it's quite the step of faith! But God is faithful; He will not leave me on my own, but will give me the words to say to reach out to these girls. I'm sad to realize that tomorrow is our last day of camp, but I've been so blessed to think back over the past week and a half to the three other camps I've been in.
Till later, Heather