We started off with a group led by Dennis and Sandy Ford. They brought their team for 2 weeks and the first week we did a bible program at the Rehab Center. This is a place where they use to only send boys but now they have a group of girls also. The kids are in this place for 9 months if my memory is correct and then they get placed back in their homes or the orphanages they came from. The sad thing is that these kids get worked with and then put back into the same dysfunctional families so there are a bunch of kids that get sent back to the rehab. But one cool thing that the director told us was that they are also trying to do some stuff with the families to be able to figure out where the root of the problem is because it is not always with the child.
After that week we moved across town to a Baptist Church where we lived in a dormitory. This allowed us to live closer to the boarding school camp where we would be doing our program. This place was closer but we still had to take a bus for 45mins each way to get to the camp, but it was well worth the trouble. #9 Boarding School is a place that our teams have been working with for at least 4-5 years and our relations with the staff and the director is the best it has ever been. But the one issue was that we were not allowed to talk about God at that camp, which posed a real problem for us. Our teams have never been shy to let the directors know that we are teaching about God and so when we were told this it was a bit of a blow. We then discussed with the team how we could still work with the kids and came up with to teach them life truths that focused on Christian living without referring to the Bible. one good thing is that all the kids there know why we come (to share Gods word). The week we spent there was lots of fun and we had a lot of fun times with the team from Canada!!
After our 1st team left some of us had a bit of down time but Vika and Tanya (2 girls that work with us) worked at a local Bible camp that the ministry supports. So they worked for the next 10 days in the kitchen at the camp and we were also able to sponsor 8 kids from the orphanages to go to that camp and another 41 to another camp with your donations!!!
Then on the 1st of July our 2nd team arrived. This was a brand new team from North Carolina and they would be only staying for a weeks working at Solnechney orphanage. It is always exciting to have a new team come but this year different because we had 4 kids under the age of 12 come with their parents! We were a little apprehensive about having younger kids but after the first day all our concerns were wiped away. These 4 kids barley if ever complained about being tired or anything and were real troopers.
One really cool thing was how this team came to be. The team leader Shad Kayser we met a few years back when his family came to adopt 2 kids from Krivoy. We met the Kaysers and ever since then have kept in contact and last year Shad mailed me about bringing a team this summer and we began planning and he also brought back the daughter that they adopted for the Boarding School. The week that we spent with the American team was great and we bonded really fast and by the second day it seemed like we had known the team for weeks! We were only able to work at Solnechney for 4 days and then we also went to the baby orphanage and the handicapped orphanage. But God really had his hand on everything that happened during this trip and I know our Ukrainian team was really uplifted by the encouragement from both teams.
We had lots of fun with our 2nd team but also got into a bit of trouble! LoL, it was on the 4th of July and we had bought some fireworks to celebrate and that evening set them off in the playground where we would set them off every new years. But after we set off the first set of fireworks a man approached us and showed us his ID saying that he was the police!!! And then told us that we were not allowed to set the fireworks off that close to the buildings. Then right at that moment the whole American team was on the balcony singing the American Anthem and the cop said "also tell all those people to stop making so much noise"! The cop was very nice and we tried to be quiet the rest of the night.
So that is what has been happening so far in our lives and we will be going don to the Black Sea for 10 days of rest and then have our final team from Salmon Arm arriving on the 8th of Aug which we are really looking forward to! So ill try to post when I can about the rest of our summer!