A week of happiness - at Kids summer Camp, Russia

Russia | OM International

Summer is the special time of the year for children. Many kids just wait for the camps that are usually held during this season. For the majority of kids, attending summer camps does not present any difficulties. But there are some children for whom visiting a camp could be a real challenge These are the children at risk: children who are faced with poor conditions of life, children living in disadvantaged families, and enduring other difficulties. For them, a life that seems to be usual for us is something unreal.
 
This year, one of the churches organized the kids camp and invited children at risk to participate. It was not easy for those children to accept this invitation. Some kids did not have clothes, and their parents were not able to allow them to go to the camp. One boy, for example, could not go because he had no shoes. The children at risk ministry team always tries to address their needs. When that boy was told that there were not any problems and he would have shoes, he happily answered: “I’m going!”
 
The camp took place from the second to the eighth of July; and nine children at risk were able to take part. All children at the camp were divided in six groups, and each group had one or two children at risk. For some leaders of the groups it was not easy to communicate with these kids because they were so totally different: they did not know how to live in a team, they fought and did not know how to behave well. At the camp these kids studied how to live in new conditions. They learnt how to be grateful and say 'thank you'. They learnt Bible verses and began to pray.
The theme of the camp was the Joseph story. Each day the kids learnt more about Joseph and his relationship with God. The children could see that God was with Joseph, and that He is ready to be with them, too.
 
On the last day, the organizers of the camp were talking about God plans for life for everyone. They explained that the Lord had a plan for Joseph, and that everything that happened to him was His plan.  They also explained that God has a big plan to save the World through His Son, and His plan is for those kids too! That truth touched the kids' hearts. One of the girls at risk, who usually didn’t behave well, cried and then talked to her leader. She prayed and gave her heart to God!  Then she shared this decision on social networks, changing her profile photo and uploading a new one with the Bible. She wrote that it was her life now. It might seem a small step in her life, but it is a big one for her age, as she is only 11.
 
This time will stick in the memory of children at risk for many years. They experienced a lot of emotions, and saw relationships and love that differ from what they usually see. The kids really enjoyed the camp and did not want to go back to the sad reality of their lives. One of the girls said that she liked camps because there was always hot food three times a day, and she was just waiting for another one! Her dad died many years ago and she really misses him. The worker, who is involved in the children at risk ministry, told her that she has God as her father now.The girl answered: “I know it”. This week gave her a chance to realize that life could be different from what she has now.
 
It’s the week of happiness that they are waiting for, all year! 
 
names are not included

Credit: OM International
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