God can transform even the hardest of hearts in an instant, and at our summer Bible camps each year, thousands of young people surrender their lives to Jesus. For the last four years, the village of Andreyevka, Ukraine has endured the violence, destruction, and despair of war. In order to share the eternal hope and peace of Christ with the children and youth living in these tragic circumstances, our School Without Walls (SWW) students from Berdyansk have been hosting summer Bible camps in war-torn Andreyevka since the war broke out.
Last year, Irina, a young woman from Andreyevka, was invited to camp by one of her friends. At first, Irina and her group had no interest in Christianity and just wanted to hang out together, but then God started working in Irina’s heart. “I wanted to relax and get away from my everyday worries, but then I saw a completely different approach to the Christian life in the actions of our camp leaders, and I was very impressed,” she shared. Throughout the week, God showed Irina that all of the stereotypes she believed about Christians were wrong, and at the end of camp she accepted Christ as her Savior! Even after leaving camp, Irina found strength in the Lord to stand firm in her faith. At first, her parents were furious about her decision, but eventually they had no choice but to accept it, because Irina refused to renounce Christ.
It has been a year since Irina was baptized, and now she is growing in her faith every day and striving to honor the Lord. Thanks to the evangelistic efforts of SWW students, a small church has been planted in Andreyevka, and every Tuesday night Irina and several others meet to discuss the Bible and pray together. Even though most of the people in this group are much older than Irina, she still enjoys talking with them and learning from their experiences.
Irina is also serving in many different ministries while she determines where God is leading her, and this summer, she helped lead one of our summer Bible camps in Andreyevka. The children’s enthusiasm and energy inspired her to continue growing in faith and using her life to serve the Lord. She also loves to read and draw, and she hopes to one day pursue journalism. And because she recognizes that she needs to keep learning in order to continue growing, Irina will begin studying at SWW this fall!
To support our Summer Bible Camp Ministry, which is impacting thousands of youth like Irina each summer with the love of Jesus, please give a gift today: