Ukraine (MNN) — Orphans in
Ukraine live in very bleak circumstances.
Global Action works with the state-run orphanages there, and founder
Lars Dunberg said the children live in deprivation.
"They barely get fed," he said. "While they get an education, their social
life is nil. It is the worst environment
that you can dream of. The older
children in these orphanages have venereal diseases; many of them are
Many of the kids also come from
difficult pasts. Ten days of summer
camp, however, can impact even the most hardened lives.
"This first camp that we did,
which happened when I was there, was probably the hardest group of kids we've
ever had," Dunberg said. "They came from
an orphanage in Kiev. They were older
kids, and some of them said when they came, ‘We will have nothing to do with
your Christ. We worship Satan, and
that's what we're going to continue to do.'"
Over the next ten days, the kids
enjoyed crafts, Bible lessons, outdoor activities, music, and swimming in the
nearby Black Sea. Gradually, they grew
interested in Christianity and began asking questions.
"Slowly, through the camp, they
started to listen," Dunberg said. "And
they stood in the outside and listened to the Bible and the worship, and
started to involve themselves in dialogue. And the last night of the camps, several of
them committed their lives to Christ. In
one dormitory, there were 17 teenage girls.
One was a believer, 16 were not Christians. The final night, there were 16 believers and
one non-Christian in that dormitory."
Global Action has follow-up
preparations in place, to help the kids grow in their new-found faith.
"Now we're following up these
kids, linking them to churches as they go back to their orphanages, so they can
continue to live out their Christian faith," Dunberg explained. He encouraged Christians to pray for the
"One kid was there because his
mother had tried to kill him for a bottle of vodka," he said. "How do people who have seen so much hate
learn to love and find Christ's love? That's
what we need to pray for, that they find Christ's love."
Global Action has two more camps
planned for Ukrainian orphans this summer.
Each day of camp costs $17 for each child.
Dunberg called for Christians to help, and to go on missions trips to do
God's work around the world.
"That is the [most] life-changing
thing you can ever do," he said. "Whether
you go to India, whether you go with us or any organization, go, because that's
what Christ told us to do. And your life
will never be the same."