Update on Week 1
Summer Camp, Oradea, Romania
by Lucy Morton
This week has been absolutely amazing. As a team we have all had the chance to play with the children and give them a week of a lifetime. This week we have witnessed a huge variety of different personalities in each of the children and we have been able to really interact with them and been able to show them how much God loves them. We have involved them in a morning warm up before breakfast and they have had a chance to compete for team points to win prizes.
We have been able to pray for the kids whatever their situations may be and I have really enjoyed trying to communicate with them using basic Romanian words and have had the chance to teach them English whilst learning more Romanian myself. It has been lovely to hear the kids say basic sentences like ” I love you” in English and it’s really amazing to hear them say these things.
As a team we have all worked hard together to put on this camp to give the kids a week of a lifetime where they have had 3 good meals a day, friends to talk to, a bed to sleep in and for them to have the chance to be away from their homes. After visiting a few homes before returning to the camp I was able to see the different living conditions that they live in and I can now see why they appreciate this camp so much.
I felt more touched this year whilst visiting homes because now being 19 and more maturer than a 17 year old on my first camp , I was able to notice more about the homes and conditions they live in and it certainly has made me appreciate everything I have much more and I will appreciate my family much more also. I have had an amazing 1st week in Romania where I was able to actually lead my own group with Sam.
I am looking forward to the second week with the older guys and I am looking forward to what God has in store for us this week… Bring it on!
Week Two – Teenage Camp
We have just completed a hugely successful two week mission in Oradea and Arad, Romania. Arriving on Saturday 13th August, we began our trip by visiting some of the children who would later attend the summer camps we had diligently spent the last year preparing for. Seeing some of their homes and dire situations reiterated why we were doing this mission and who was at the heart of it. The images of their homes and the stories we hear never leave our minds and become engrained on our hearts forever. This is why, with God’s help, I go on these missions.
We arrived on the camp late that same day but fortunately, had the next day to set up and prepare for the camps. The children who attended the first camp, arrived on Monday 15th August. These children were aged between 5-12 years old. The theme for the week was ‘God Promises’ as we wanted to instil in them that God has planned some amazing promises for them which he will always kept, if we are willing to abide in him. The children responded incredibly well to this theme and throughout the week we saw changes in many of them. For instance, seeing a young girl aged 7 who had had a very tough life already, like spending time of the streets with her dad and now, although being rescued from the streets, living in very poverty stricken conditions, go from being very boisterous and quiet to very caring and unable to wipe the smile off her face whilst singing and doing the actions to the songs with all her might. This could only have been the work of God in her life as she began to believe the promises He had for her.
At the end of the week, it was heart breaking to see the children leave on the coach as they were crying and asking to stay. However, I think this is testament to how much the week had impacted on their lives. God really is at work in the mission field and it’s great to see instant results but knowing that long lasting seeds have been sown as well.
It was now time for the older children, or rather the young adults, to arrive, most of whom are much taller and stronger than myself. It’s really interesting to see these young people when they first arrive because they all come with freshly cut hair and wearing their best clothes (like any normal teenager would) to try and hide where they actually come from. But it amazing to see their transformations through the week.
The theme for the second week was ‘You Are Chosen’ (‘Sunt Ales’ in Romanian). I think this theme was perfect for the young people that were there that week as they all had difficult situations at home or in their lives to contend with, but it helped them to remember that even though they go through tough times God is still will them and will continue to guide them if they allow him in and remain in his love. One girl aged 15 who I had the privilege to pray with, was having issues with her dad at home and she said that this had clouded her vision of what God, our heavenly father, was truly like and prevented her from getting closer to him. But throughout the week she began to open up and let God in which led to one night when she filled with the Holy Spirit and said that she felt an overwhelming sense of his love for her and that God really did have a plan for her life. She was really excited and wanted pray for wisdom and clarification that she would be able to do what God had planned for her life. From that day on, I could see a real light in her eyes and a real hunger in her heart for God, and as result each night she stayed behind for more pray as she wanted to get as much as possible out of that week.
These are but a few of the children’s testimonies from the two weeks. But there were many, many more. God really did show up in full force and for that I (and I’m sure the whole of the team) am extremely thankful for, as we could not have done it in our own strength.