2016 Summer Mission Trip:
We had a great summer trip that was made even better by the nine Americans who sacrificed their vacations to go with PHA to help with our two summer camps. We had teachers, a police officer, a fish farmer, a therapist, a Ph.D. student, a software developer, and two clowns. After the usual travel ordeals, we hit the ground running in full camp mode.
The first week we held our overnight camp that consisted of 86 kids at an awesome facility on the Dniper river. We had campers from three different orphanages as well as staff and local mentors. The children were loved on, relationships were deepened, and best of all the gospel was shared. It was a fun time with all of the traditional church camp/vbs hits. We spent time enjoying crafts, swimming, singing, skits, candy, tie-dye shirts, and games. Before we knew it was Saturday and we were saying our goodbyes with tear-filled eyes.
The second week was our day camp held at one of the orphanages PHA serves on the outskirts of Zaporizhia. This was a much smaller group so we got some great one on one time with each child. The highlight was definitely the clowns! What’s better than a clown who loves God and orphans? We even took the show on the road and visited a refugee center a couple times during the week.
All in all, it was a great experience for the Americans and Ukrainians on the team and we can’t wait for next summer. If it sounds like fun, you should make plans to join us next summer!
“This trip reminded me of how amazing it is to connect with another person and share each other’s joy. This was the first mission trip I went on where I didn’t know the language. I was really nervous about how I was going to interact with the children I would be working with, but fortunately laughter, dancing, and soccer are universal! It’s encouraging to know that where words may be lacking, or just difficult to translate, we have God’s spirit to intercede for us. I truly enjoyed this trip and hope that I brought the kids just as much joy, love, and encouragement as they brought to me.” -Kathy Tomkins, Team Member