Summer Camp Highlights
Where We Were
Through your unending support and encouragement this summer, MIWC held six music camps in five locations in Ukraine:
- Ivankiv (a small town NW of Kyiv), July 1–5
- Krasyatychi (small village in the Chernobyl zone), July 8–10
- Irpin (to the west of Kyiv, two camps, one for young children and one for older children), July 15–19
- Lavky (in west Ukraine), July 24–29. This particular camp was geared more toward children who are already musicians and was primarily led by partners from west Ukraine.
- Donbas (eastern Ukraine), August 4 – 10. This sleep away camp took place in the militarized zone of Eastern Ukraine only a few miles from troop activity.
This year, we really praise God for our incredible teaching teams. We saw many young people (under 30) join our ranks and added 10–15 local leaders in each location to help with logistics, leading bible studies, etc. As one can imagine, this a huge undertaking – these teachers were outstanding and having three years experience in holding these camps paid off.
The response from parents was overwhelming. We had many children with disabilities this year, including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, plus other physical and developmental disorders. These children really loved the camps. One of the parents of a child with autism told us this was “the best week of his son’s life. It’s the only place my son felt at home because he didn’t have to struggle to communicate.”
We had the same response from the caretaker of the special needs kids in Krasyatychi. Svetlana said, “You’ve changed their lives. I never expected them to respond so well to the music!”
The children in all of the camps responded to the music, including one girl named Sasha who closed her eyes and began praying silently while we were singing a song called “A long time ago,” which was about how Christ came to die for our sins.
These camps aren’t about music; they are about using music to share the love of Christ with children, and in so doing, to also engage their parents in conversations about God.
We have no doubt that God was truly working in the lives of these children. Their stories, prayers and hearts so clearly demonstrated that they knew who God was and how much He loves them.
What's Coming Next Month
For the final MIWC music camp, a team from Ukraine traveled to a town that was at the center of fighting at the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This town is still very much near the front lines – about three miles away. The children there have suffered great psychological and emotional damage because of the war. Please pray for the children who attended this sleep away camp as they go back into their communities. A more detailed look at what took place at this camp will come your way next month.
We are still raising support to cover the costs of this camp. Donations can be made via our website by clicking here.