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The Least of These ©2003 -
A ministry targeting young people around the world, sharing the Love of God in Word and Deed.
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.”
Kingdom work. Such a joyful privilege. To be a cracked vessel and yet to know that Almighty God has chosen you as one He will do great things through. These two weeks in Kerch at Camp Cosmos have been difficult but joyful kingdom work, as our hearts overflowed with God’s love towards the children. Kids from local families blended with Kerch orphanage kids at their yearly summer camp. We were blessed to have been allowed to stay and live at Cosmos with the kids. In between preparing for our own programs, we were able to talk with the kids, walk, hang out, watch their camp skits and programs. Building relationships with the kids and even counselors in order that we might win a hearing to share God’s gift of salvation with them.
With even just a little bit of Russian language skills, the American part of the team was able to share that most important item – love (in word and deed). Hugging, learning crafts together, following the motions of the Russian songs. It was not difficult to build those bridges with the kids. It was so clear from the kids’ response to TLOT team that God’s unconditional love is what they needed most in their lives. The Ukrainian team members with English language skills were on constant call in order that we might communicate with the kids. This brought double the work to them but what joy and love they showed as they took time to minister to us AND the kids through their translation work. What a joy it was to see the Ukrainian team members talking seriously with the kids during the day or night, sharing the gospel message, praying through issues, teaching about their creator God, encouraging them for daily life.
We were blessed these two weeks also with five members of a local church in Kerch who joined us every day in ministry to the kids. There were several breakout teams – one team stayed at Camp Cosmos, another went to the kindergarten every day and yet another team went to another local orphanage. Each team was responsible for songs, skits, puppetry and crafts. These local lay ministers said they have been trying to figure out a way to minister to the local orphanage children. And God provided this opportunity through TLOT! How they fulfilled a prayer of ours as well! We leave Kerch knowing their hearts to minister are filled with the love of Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider.
Life is difficult in Ukraine for many people. It is doubly hard for the kids in orphanages. It is amazing how God will fill your heart from His Word every day, you give it all away, and He fills you up again to overflowing for the next day. Just when you think you are totally out of strength and patience, God shows you that He is sufficient for everything you need. It takes a bit of time to put America behind you and be absorbed as much as you can into Ukrainian culture and the life of a child that has been abandoned by family and marked as someone with less worth than others. But that is what you must do. This is Ukraine and you must understand the difference as much as possible. Minister within whatever parameters that God gives. But the universal truth of the nature of man and his need for the Savior, Jesus Christ, surpasses all cultures and brings all men and women together under one purpose, one future hope of eternal glory.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that God has also been working in the hearts of some of the team members during this time. There were some here for the first time who are now looking within their hearts to know what God would have then to do as their life’s work. Another team member left a mom back in America who is battling cancer. A Ukrainian team member has heard God’s clear call to ministry in Ukraine and must possibly choose between marriage and living in America and ministering to the children who are a part of her heart here in Ukraine. The team went through growing pains of working together and becoming one mind, shared gifts and talents, nursed one another through colds and laryngitis. But how overwhelming was the example of love, caring and sharing of the Ukrainian Believers towards one another. Such a loving exhortation to serve one another in love!!
God allowed us to sow many, many seeds. He provided others who live in Kerch to water those seeds. As we left Kerch our hearts overflowed with tears of love. There is a part of each heart that has been left with those children, a part that God has intended to be left there.
|Statement of Faith|
|Emily - Camp Gorney|
|Emily - Kerch|