4 countries

370 kids

Stories From the Summer

“One of my favorite parts about camp was getting to watch the kids create! We were created in the image of God, and He created the mountains and the seas. From coffee to snacks to legos and more, there is nothing like reflecting the image of God through creation together!”

“In one of the camps in Ukraine, I was talking about the Word to the children, and it seemed as if no one was paying attention, everyone was so loud, talking to each other, and I could barely hear myself. I wanted to end the conversation faster, maybe shorten it, but for some reason I ended up saying everything I had planned.
I was very upset, because I thought that probably no one was really listening. But after the morning program, a girl asked: “So you’re saying that God died for us, how can you say that he is also with us all the time?” And at that moment I realized that even through the noise, through the distractions, this child heard and thought.
No matter what, when God speaks into someone’s heart, they will be able to hear, even through the noise, even through a not-very-skilled preacher, God speaks, and those who are ready to listen, they hear. Fortunately, it does not depend on me whether a child will hear, but on God, because it is He who prepares the hearts of children so that they can hear.”
“Our Filtered Hope program provided a great opportunity for some of our older teens to practice hands-on job skills! They practiced interviewing in Ukrainian and English, learned about being a Barista, and a few girls even practiced hair, makeup, and nails on me! It was such a joy to see doors open for these beloved souls, and to see them begin to dream and work towards the bright futures we know they, with God’s help, are capable of achieving!”
“These camps wouldn’t have been so meaningful and life-giving without our amazing team from all over the world! We got to love these kids together, pray together, go on mini adventures together, and share our cultures with each other! Even in the hard moments, this team was the embodiment of iron sharpening iron. I am so grateful to have been able to serve alongside each of them!”

In the warm embrace of love, miracles happen. During our summer camps, we met a precious young orphan girl who shared something truly heartwarming with Julia, one of our team members. She said, ‘You give me more hugs in a day than I receive in an entire year.’

These words remind us that the simplest acts of kindness can have a profound impact. Every hug, every smile, and every moment spent together brings a ray of hope into their lives. It’s moments like these that inspire us to keep spreading love, one hug at a time.

“Children touch my heart in a special way. They bring me back to life in a way, and with them I really feel happy and free. And during the 12 camps this summer, there were many stories, many emotions.
There are children in Poland whom I have met back in 2019, while volunteering for another charitable organization. And these children surprisingly remember me. It’s wonderful to see how children have changed in 4 years. And see how their desire to be loved, to be listened to, to be surrounded by people who truly love them and want to spend time with them does not change over the years.
They are just as wounded by life, in need of God and people. I met these children 4 years later again “by accident”, but there are no accidents. I am so glad that I have this opportunity to come back and watch them grow up.”
In the midst of life’s darkest chapters, there’s an unwavering light in the eyes of these incredible children. They may share the scariest stories from their lives, the toughest experiences they’ve endured, but their resilience shines brightly. It’s a testament to the incredible protection and love that surrounds them. Julia said it well:
“Sometimes children tell really scary stories from their lives, share the hard things they have experienced. But there is such light in their eyes and the children themselves are so bright, God is incredibly protective of them.”
During one of the camps, this boy came to our team from the village that they were in to see what was going on. He ended up staying and asking some very serious questions about God and why they were doing the camps in general.
In the end, this boy turned out to be one of the most active kids in the program!
Amazing stories like this are why we continue to do what we do. We love it when we can genuinely connect with kids and show them that they are loved and valued by both us and God!