Posts Tagged ‘disabled’

Since there is no internet, or any electricity, at the camp, the update will be through the phone. 🙂

The team is doing great, getting to know the teens and the workers of the camp. It has been a blessing to be able to love the kids and teens and show them that they are very important to us.  We have gotten to know the workers a bit more, especially since we hang out with them each evening after the kids are asleep.

It has been challenging in sharing about our faith with the workers of the camp, but slowly we are able to talk about who we are and why we have come to Russia on a mission trip.  All of the workers have such a big heart for the disabled youth and we really hope that they can see God through our words and actions.

Each team member is becoming more and more comfortable with the disabled youth, as we learn the things they like and the things they don’t like to do.  Some of them can voice their dislike, others try to explain non verbally.

God has been teaching the team so much through this camp, especially through the disabled youth. They delight in the small things like reading, swimming, walking, the rain and playing in the sand. It is such joy to watch their faces light up when they like something!

The team sends their love to you family and friends and cannot wait to tell you all about their experiences! 🙂

–The Russia Team by the Gulf of Finland (written by Tatiana, director of SunErgos International)

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Dear family and friends!

We are now camping off the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful campsite that sits just a few steps from the beach. We love it here.

We arrived two days ago after a two hour drive through the country side of Russia. After setting up our things in our tents we each got paired up with a disabled youth and a trained staff member, who we are working with as their assistant.

So far it’s been great! The teens, some of them in wheelchairs, have been enjoying the camping experience as much as we have. We’ve been eating delicious Russian food cooked over the campfire, going on long walks with our teams through the woods and along the beach (which the wheelchairs do surprisingly well in) and then either doing crafts with the teens or taking them swimming. Swimming so far seems to be everyone’s favorite activity; the water is warm and crystal clear.

Although challenging at times, we have all been partnered up nicely with a disabled youth and are getting to know them personally and are happy that we can help them explore and enjoy the great outdoors. SunErgos International partners with the organization we are working with; which is a non-profit that helps families who struggle to support their disabled youth by taking the children, who would otherwise be struck at home, out and to a classroom setting where they can play and simultaneously learn important life skills. Although Russia is working on making changes, many of these families receive no support and since handicap accessibility is rare, mentally and physically disabled people struggle to live a normal life and most are force to stay home and never leave the apartment. Which is why the non-profit and its volunteers is such a wonderful organization, as it gives the teens a chance to experience life as well as allowing the families a bit of a break now and then.

The summer camp is a great way for these teens to leave the city and explore more of the world. We understood how meaningful it was to them the first day we took them swimming! Everyone was splashing, smiling and having the time of their life!

As a group this has been a wonderful bonding experience and we have been enjoying getting to know the people we are working with. Our Russian is improving a lot too!

We will be out here for another week before heading back to St Petersburg for our final few days. Rest assured that we are all safe, healthy and happy. We hope you are all doing well and we love you.

Dosvedanya, the Russia team!

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Here’s a little greeting from each team member:

Deanna: I cannot describe how happy I have been since arriving at camp! The teenager I get to spend time with has the most contagious love for life. Even the small cold I have cannot keep me down.

Vanessa: Preevyet Mom, Dad, David and friends! It is day two at the disabled teens’ camp and it has been GREAT! I feel much more comfortable and helpful here. The camp is gorgeous and I’m slowly learning more and more Russian, this is definitely challenging, but I’m loving it! Love you always!

Emily: Privyet friends and family! I’m having the most fun yet camping on the Gulf of Finland. I am working with a 20 year old girl named Patya. She is sweet. Her mother is the cook at the camp. I have also been on duty with means I have spent a day cooking and cleaning and helping out. It’s been so fun. And we get to swim daily and play volleyball and ultimate Frisbee. And God is teaching me so much here through the challenges and the joys. I can’t wait to share my experiences with you. Love you all!

Jessica: Привет Family & Friends! We have left city life and gone to full camping mode. God’s handiwork at the Gulf of Finland is so breathtaking. While here I have the opportunity to work with one beautiful little girl who has down syndrome. God is stretching all of us, but it really is such a great experience that I cannot thank Him enough for! Love you guys!

Natalya: Preevyet. I am sitting here at the Gulf of Finland enjoying the pure beauty of God’s creation. This week has been a challenge as I learn how to love this group of disabled teens but it is such a blessing. God is teaching me the power of His healing love and the ultimate strength He provides. Thank you for your prayers. Love, Natalya.

Rachel: Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that I’m doing well. Got a stuffy nose but other than that am having a great time. I’ve actually been swimming in the Gulf of Finland, which is big for me. I feel like I’m learning a lot and can’t wait to share when I get back. I love you guys.

Elizabeth: hello from the Gulf of Finland! It is absolutely beautiful here! I’ve already got a nice tan. Camp live is tough, but this is such a great adventure. I am working with a little boy named Dyoma who has cerebral palsy. Looking forward to seeing you all in 12 days.

Shannon: Hello from the Russian wilderness! Camp has been very challenging for me, the first day especially, but I am doing so well now. We are right on the water so I get to go swimming every day. So you know how happy I must be! Love you all and can’t wait to share all my stories!

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Over 30 students decided not to stay at home for their summer break, but to go across the ocean and meet children who are abandoned, abused and orphaned.

For the past two months SunErgos hosted five camps with the help of four Ministry teams from USA and Canada.
Culture and language differences did not stop these students from pouring all they had into the lives of these children and teens.
Tears were flowing, arms wrapping tightly and words – “will you come back?” Hard goodbyes for both sides…

These students took a leap of faith and answered God’s call to come and serve in Russia to the fatherless.  Lives were changed forever.

Here is a Glimpse into their LIVES…

my father is in prison for killing someone and my mother drinks to forget everything and everyone…

my step father raped me when I was a child and my mother did not stop it…she was too high on drugs…

my parents died, I was shipped to grandma’s…soon grandma died…then my aunt and uncle took me in. After a year, they grew tired of me and to my shock they just dropped me off at an orphanage and left…  what did I do wrong?

I know that people
stare at me as I am wheeled around the city in a wheelchair… I can’t go anywhere by myself, not even to the bathroom… how I wish I had legs that worked…

my uncle gave me TB… now I’m at a hospital for 4 months… my mom doesn’t care, she just left me and found a new boyfriend…

why should I care about a God who just looked on while I was raped, abused and left at the orphanage…

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TWU Team is on the plane headed for Vancouver!

It has been an amazing month for these four students who decided to spend part of the summer break serving orphans and the disabled in Russia. Their last week was spent at the Disabled Center, serving the teens who are outcasts in the Russian society.  Abundant love and care was shared towards those that God holds dear! (more…)

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A few days left for the teams’ ministry in Russia.  Both teams are finishing up their day camps at the orphanage and disability center.  If you ask one of the team members:  “Was it hard?” Their answer will be a definite – “Yes!”  But you cannot stop there…. keep asking, “Was it worth the difficult days and the tears?”  And you will hear an unanimous – “Yes!” (more…)

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Greetings from St.Petersburg!  Our time here in Russia has certainly been an enriching experience for each team member and continues to be a blessing to those we encounter. Our team has grown closer, as we have been a source of encouragement and strength for each other. (more…)

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We hope you all have been experiencing God’s many blessings- as we have!

This week our team has been able to see and experience more of St. Petersburg’s beauty.  While the beauty surrounds us daily, It’s often difficult to comprehend the pain and suffering that goes on within the city (which we experience greatly at our ministry sites).  We will proceed to describe our daily activities for the week in order to give you all a better understanding of how we spend our time in Russia. (more…)

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