Peterfalva, Ukraine English Camp 2014

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 Peterfalva Reformed High School English Camp – Our summers are always busy and filled with camps and hosting volunteers.  It is by far the busiest time of year for us but in many ways the most rewarding as well.  This year our camp season stretched from the first week of June until August 1.  We were involved with five different camps this year.  Some are English themed camps, some are more outreach camps, and one was a Vacation Bible School camp. Of the five camps we had in the summer of 2014, our English camp at the Peterfalva Reformed High School is our first and longest camp, and also possibly our most difficult camp. This year we had around 60 students who are all enrolled in the Peterfalva Reformed School.  It is an English camp, but we also focus on outreach and encouraging the students to grow in the faith, as not all students come from Christian back grounds.  Daily devotions, Christian service projects, and a camp theme of loving and obeying God and loving and serving your neighbor are incorporated into the camp in an effort to share the gospel and encourage the students in their faith.  Following breakfast and devotions, mornings are spent in English classes with the students.  The students rotate between classes focused on practicing conversational English classes.

We require every student to spend one afternoon doing a Christian service project in their local community.  The students can choose between visiting elderly in the village, taking part in a VBS afternoon with local Roma (Gypsy) children at a nearby Roma camp, or picking up trash along the Tisza River. Visiting elderly and widows in the village consists of students spending time, reading the Bible, singing, and praying with elderly neighbors living in the village near the school.  The VBS afternoons in the local Roma (Gypsy) camps involved students leading Bible stories, scripture memory verses, singing and games with children in the nearby camps.  The afternoon hours following lunch are spent doing service projects as well as some group games and activities.  Evenings are spent in group games and competition events with the students.  All of the students are organized into competition groups. The different groups compete throughout the two week camp in activities such as scavenger hunts, ultimate Frisbee, trivia night, relay races, talent night, and water balloon volleyball.  The overall winning team over the course of two weeks is recognized at the camp’s closing program.

We had an excellent group of volunteers this year, both local volunteers and volunteers from the U.S.  We are very thankful to our volunteers this past year who helped us with this camp: Erin Smith, a student from Calvin College,  Jon Bierema, Jason Stuhrenberg, Emily Homan, and Katie Price who are all working for two years in Kyiv with the Navigators organizations and made the trip to Transcarpathia to help us in our camp, Stefanie Töpler from Germany,  István Fodor, a Hungarian Reformed Pastor from Budapest, Krisztina Sárközi and Boglarka Orosz two local helpers, and Irénke Kalanics, the local English teacher. We are always looking for help and volunteers for this camp, if you or anyone you know are interested, please ask for information about camps in 2015.  We would love to have you come. Please visit our photo galleries to see pictures from the camp.  The picture above is from a student led VBS afternoon in the Roma camp.

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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