Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Russia Memoirs

So, Russia is the first Missions Trip that I did NOT keep a journal throughout. I can't believe I allowed myself to do that! Hopefully, I will make myself sit down and try to write a little bit about my experiences. For now, here is an overview for any of that are interested...

The basis of our trip to Russia was to team up with 4 local churches to run a camp on the Black Sea for teens. This was the very first time for the camp and it went remarkably well, all things considered. Apparently, it is a feat in itself for 4 seperate groups to come together and actually be able to plan something. To allow Americans to come in and help was another big feat. The camp went really well. The kids had a blast. It ran smoothly -- from a Russian perspective. As Americans, we had trouble getting accustomed to the laid back, casual feel of the whole camp. We were used to being in a certain place at a certain time and having every single minute of every single day planned. Not so for a Russian camp. We had a lot of down time and planned times for activities were a little loose. But, as I said, it all worked out and it was an amazing time for everyone. We had over 100 campers, many of which were non-Christians. On the evening that the Gospel was fully presented, 36 kids came forward to give their lives to Jesus! It was an amazing sight. I was expecting a handful of kids to come forward, because there usually will be in that type of situation. But, I almost fell out of my chair when they just kept walking up and the entire front of the stage was full. I almost couldn't catch my breath and my eyes filled with tears. God was moving in tremendous ways that week and it all hit me in those few minutes. It was such an incredible feeling. Everything that I had experienced during my time in Russia, good or bad, was worth it at that moment.