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Team Mama Report – July 2006  

   We had a great time of ministry this year at Camp Mama. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to be a part of. Our team was made up of four Ukrainians, Angelina, Vika, Sasha, and Lena and then me, Emily, the American. Our team members had amazing senses of humor, worked great for each other, and loved the kids an incredible amount.

   We had a set back on the first Friday that we were there. Through the previous week we had become very close to the kids, and we all had the few kids that we had developed extra special relationships with. On Thursday we found out that 28 young kids and around the same number of older children were going to leave the next day to go to Camp Hope. Our team was very frustrated with this news. I, personally, had the opportunity to have an amazing conversation with some of the boys about following Jesus and finding strength in him the night before. I was really upset that I was

Emily McLean

not going to have an opportunity for follow-up conversations with them. The other team members were equally upset about the kids they had grown close to leaving. We felt that our work had been in vain because we hadn’t been given a long enough time to work with the kids to truly impact them. There were many uncertainties that followed the kids leaving. We didn’t know how many children would be left. We also didn’t know the ages of the kids that were staying. If the kids were all older they wouldn’t want to come to our programs, we felt, because they were designed for the younger children. There was talk of leaving and going to join the team out at Cosmos. That night as I was reading my Bible though I came across 1 Corinthians 15:58 which says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Even though many thought that we were going to be leaving, I felt that God wanted us to stay at Mama because His plans were greater than our plans, which couldn’t see past this set back.

  So we cried and said goodbye to the children and got right back to work developing new relationships with the kids who were left. God knew exactly what he was doing though and we had an amazing time with the children who remained. It was hard at first because we felt like we were starting at square one and only 15-20 kids came to the programs. However by the middle of the week you would walk around the camp and you would hear the kids singing the songs we sang with them during the programs. They would be doing something like working on their grass huts and be singing the songs about Jesus. To think that they might not have been able to learn the songs, or hear them enough to get them stuck in their heads if we had not stayed. God is good!

  All around it was an amazing two weeks. We were able to build and rebuild personal relationships with the children that even not having showers to bathe couldn’t tear apart. We were also able, with only the grace of God, to be given the opportunity and endurance to stay the second week to be able to hear the children sing.

Emily McLean

Summer 2006