Nagybereg and Beregszasz English Camps and Peterfalva Roma VBS Camp

DSC_0267The other three camps we took part in this past summer were located in different parts of Transcarpathia Ukraine.  All three were very different in structure and we will address all three in one blog entry.  The last week of June we traveled to the small village of Nagybereg where the Nagybereg Reformed High School is located.  This was new for us as we were asked only in May if we could help out with this camp.  We have taught conversational English classes in this school during the course of the normal school year but we had never taken part in a summer camp at this school. The camp was only one week and our primary task was to teach English. English classes lasted all morning and into the afternoon.  Study halls, games, free time and class preparation made up the rest of the daily routine.  We worked with the local Reformed High School and their staff, as well as a number of native English speaking volunteers.  We hope and pray that like the first camp we were able to set a Christ-like example in encouraging their faith to grow.  The picture above is a group picture of teachers and students who took part in this camp.

Beregszasz, Ukraine– is a city about 30 miles from Peterfalva.  It is a city we go to for groceries and to go to the market.  It is also a city with a Hungarian university that, despite being in Ukraine, is funded by the Hungarian government.  The past two years we have been involved with this university doing weekly classes, taking part in special events like Shakespeare Day, and also doing a short summer English camp there.  Last year and again this year we did a three day summer English conversation camp with students from the university during the month of July.  This year was a little different as we spent two days with students and one day doing a seminar with local Transcarpathian English teachers.  We praise God that, despite it being a secular university, we are able to share our faith, talk about God and a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and answer questions as to why are living in Ukraine.

Tiszabokeny, Ukraine- is a neighboring village of our home base of Peterfalva.  A kindergarten for Roma (Gypsy) children has been established in this village to minister to the Roma children of both Tiszabokeny and Peterfalva.  The majority of Roma children live in poverty, come from broken homes, and do not regularly go to school or do not go at all. We partnered with a church group from the Netherlands who came to organize a one week Bible camp with the children.  The children heard Bible Stories and lessons, learned memory verses, played games, and did crafts.  We provided transportation, and local helpers and translators for the camp, as well as assisted in the daily running of the camp.  It was, to be honest, quite a difficult week.  Structure and discipline is not something the Roma children are used to and many days it seemed chaotic and challenging.  Differences in culture were apparent and we hope in future camps that we can find local Roma adults who may be willing to take a leadership role.  We hope and pray that this camp was a blessing to the children and God will use it to plant a seed of faith in these young children.

Please be sure to visit our photo gallery to see pictures from these three camps as well.


About Eric Hoeksema

Stacey, my wife, and I are located in western Ukraine, living with and working among a Hungarian population in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.

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