Winter Camp and the Power of the Gospel

More than 12 hours by train in tight compartments with other students.  Around 70 students, all from different cities, backgrounds, and universities all over Ukraine – Kharkiv, L’viv, Kyiv, Pereyaslav. All with a scope of their own beliefs, goals, and expectations. All for the sake of a 5-day camp in the middle of picturesque Carpathian Mountains – basically in the middle of nowhere.

The team of 17 staff workers and volunteers were immensely good at making students’ goals and CCX goals collide. We had fun together, improved our English skills, and found new friends. We sang together, studied Bible passages and picked gems of wisdom from the Bible as we shared stories and our thoughts about it. The students knew that the staff team had its own goals.  The staff team was on a mission: to share the best news ever - The Gospel. The passages for studies were taken from the Gospel according to John, to prepare students to use CCX’s Bible study tool UNCOVER: John after camp. Students gathered in small groups every morning and were immensely active observing, interpreting, and applying, and particularly good at asking tricky questions of the text. Some of the staff workers and volunteers thought that small group time was a fascinating time when the Word could speak for itself.

Surprisingly, students’ self-organization and discipline was high enough for them to hold morning prayers and runs with Denis, one of our staff workers. Mark Finley and some of the leaders of small groups were impressed by Dasha’s story, a gal with blue hair, a soft voice, and unique hobbies – poetry, drawing, and philosophy. Dasha came to camp with a broken heart, carrying scars from the past. She had troubles in her family, identity issues, and tons of spiritual questions, bombarding her small group leader with them. On the last day of camp, she left completely renewed, healed, lively, jolly, full of hope, and eager to pursue her dreams with her new friends from the camp. She promised to keep in touch with us and even agreed to attend Bible study groups and English clubs at her university. That’s why CCX runs camp twice a year, so that students can experience the power of Jesus and hear the Good News about Him. Some like Dasha will find their identity in Christ and reach for the stars with Him. After camp even the most skeptical students might see a change in their hearts and minds, transformed by Jesus through the Gospel of John.

Special thanks to our American volunteers who were involved in planning or/and crossed oceans and seas to serve. You showed a brilliant example to students, loving them, listening, and caring about them.

Please keep praying that the seeds sown at camp will grow as the CCX English team does follow-up events with the students.

Here’s a video about camp by our illustrious Denis -