In the deep of winter, we are surrounded by cold and long nights. These dark evenings of middle winter are often the time we spend planning for summer programs. Hours are spent in correspondence with potential volunteers and working out details with local schools and pastors who we partner with in conducting summer English/outreach camps. The cold crisp air and the sound of crunching snow beneath your feet makes summer seems impossibly distant. Yet summer will be here in a blink of an eye. It is also a time to reflect on this past summer while planning for the upcoming summer.
We have not done much updating on this blog in the past year due to business of life with a newborn and an extended time in the U.S. for the birth of our son Hans. We intend to be much more active this year in blogging and hope readers will follow along. A good place to start is with a couple of blogs looking back at our English and outreach camps from the summer of 2016.
Our first English/outreach camp this past summer was a two-week English camp in our home village of Peterfalva, at our home school, the Peterfalva Reformed Lyceum. This camp is the original camp we have been a part of. We have been partnering with the school in providing its students with a two-week language camp for the past 10 years. The camp is part of the school curriculum and takes place every June. We are always excited by the opportunity to spend two weeks with our students during the camp. A typical day consists of morning English classes with sporting competitions, trivia nights, skits and many other activities happening in the afternoons and evenings. All of the students must take part in a local service project in the community surrounding the school. Students must choose between collecting trash at the riverside, visiting and singing for elderly and widowed women in the village, or organizing a Vacation Bible School afternoon at the local Roma kindergarten. Days are also filled with two devotional periods led by volunteer teachers and a Singing hour. We are thankful for this opportunity to grow closer to the students and we hope and pray that what they experienced, saw or heard in devotions will bring the students closer to God. Enrollment at the Peterfalva Reformed Lyceum has been growing and this year we had nearly 100 students at the camp. We were thankful to the 14 volunteers who traveled to Transcarpathia to teach in the camp and spend time actively living out their faith among our students. Our volunteers this year in Peterfalva included a team of long term missionaries working in Kyiv with The Navigators organization as well as a short-term mission team from The Navigators from Iowa State University who came to Ukraine for one month and graciously spent 10 days of their time with us. We also had one long term volunteer from Dordt College, Dylan Lundberg, who came for two months to help us in all our camps. We were also helped with the camp by the local staff of the Peterfalva Reformed High School and from six local university students from a nearby college. We praise God for the help and support of so many to make these camps possible. We click on this link to see other pictures, or visit the photo galleries. http://iccdabroad.org/photo-galleries/peterfalva-english-camp-2/