Ukraine: how one question can change lives

By February 17, 2017

Ukraine (MNN) — One of the most common questions Mission Eurasia’s Wally Kulakoff gets asked is: “I’m a really practical person, and I would like to do hands-on ministry.  What can I do for Mission Eurasia?  I want to be used of God in another culture.”

(Photo courtesy Mission Eurasia)

(Ukraine photo courtesy of Mission Eurasia)

Questions like this make him smile because he’s watching someone about to embark on a life-changing, faith-building journey.  In this case, it’s a literal trip.  Mission Eurasia’s School Without Walls students and national churches are inviting people to introduce the love of Jesus and the message of hope to hurting children during a week-long evangelistic summer Bible camp in July 2017.

Many of the kids at summer camp are trapped in poverty, hopelessness, and conflict at home. Summer Bible camps provide one of the only opportunities available to plant the seeds of faith in the hearts of these kids.

In Ukraine, they have three locations with children’s camps: Zaporozhye (which Kulakoff says is the ‘Detroit of Ukraine’), Kremenchuk, and then, “Another location is Korosten. [There] is a group that I’m taking. My group is already at 13 individuals, and the maximum we can take is 15 because five people will build a playground, and then ten individuals will be in the children’s summer camp.”

(Map courtesy Mission Eurasia)

(Map courtesy of Mission Eurasia)

The ten at the summer camp in Korosten will join Next Generation leaders in organizing games and crafts, helping with worship or Bible lessons, teaching English classes, and helping the kids practice conversational English.  There’s a dual purpose for the latter.  “They can do testimonies, they can do devotionals, and we’ll have individuals who will interview.  If we have 100 children, [they will] interview 100 children and gather 100 stories and then the local church they represent will pray for these 100 families.”

Not sure you’re equipped to sow those seeds?  Not to worry.  Kulakoff says, “We’ll teach you how to evangelize a child [with] the Gospel message with the Wordless Book. So, these are wonderful opportunities for American churches, for young people, and people to come alongside Mission Eurasia and do ministry together with us.”

Applications for this summer’s short-term mission trips are due by April 1, 2017.  (Click here if you’d like to get started.)

When someone approaches Kulakoff with that oft-asked question, he gets pretty excited about the transformational power of the Gospel that people will get to see firsthand.  And, it’s not just for kids.

“We’d like to help those churches and also allow the local administration to realize the evangelical churches are holistic — it concerns the children, plus the playground, helping the local community — just to be helpful to the local government, making Jesus Christ [and] the Gospel known, but in a different way, in a hands-on ministry,” he says.

(Photo courtesy Mission Eurasia)

(Photo courtesy of Mission Eurasia)

Mission Eurasia estimates more than 10,000 children will experience the love of Christian mentors and hear the Gospel message in a fun, safe environment this summer in a refuge far from the fear and poverty of their daily lives.  Kulakoff says, for many, this is the first and only time they will hear about Jesus.  You can’t get much more hands-on than that.  Just imagine how God will transform these kids’ hearts with the Gospel!

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