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Ukrainian Youth Camp

We had to be ‘flexible’ the previous week. This is a word Ukrainian excursionists often hear before they arrive to visit us. Our plan to pack and distribute food parcels was changed when we inadvertently became involved at a Jewish religious youth-camp for teenagers from Vinnitsa and surroundings. On May 31, we were informed that a youth camp for approximately forty children, aged between 7 and 16, had been organized. The camp was a wonderful idea, but no suitable program had been planned. And so we could offer advice. We are acquainted with young people from the Baptist Church, who are experienced in organizing annual summer camps for young people. And, in the end, all went exceptionally well.

We could inform them about all the available outings, and then they asked us to be on stand-by in order to assist wherever necessary. On the second day, we had the opportunity to tell a group of Jewish people from Vinnitsa and Israel, about the work of Christians for Israel. This touched them profoundly.

Each day had a different theme, and on Thursday, June 14th, the theme was ‘a day for good deeds’! On that day we prepared 95 food parcels, cleaned a location, met with some Shoah survivors and learned about the Shoah and education in Israel. But there was always enough time for recreation and games. We even accompanied the children on a two hours boat trip. For many it was a first-time experience which they enjoyed thoroughly.

It was, as far as we know, the first time that Christians had the opportunity to become practically involved in a religious Jewish youth-camp in the Ukraine. The previous Jewish mayor from Vinnitsa, heard about this, and came ‘to check it out’. His granddaughter is a student at the school that organized the camp, and we had an opportunity to talk to him as well.

 Children at the youth camp in the Ukraine Activities organized with youth of the Baptist Church
 Children assisted with the preparation of food parcels  Songs around the campfire