Report on the children's leisure "Pure Heart"
02. - 10. June 2017 in Kharkov, Ukraine
"A pure and impeccable piety before God the Father is to visit orphans and widows in their distress [...]" James 1:27
When the father or mother is removed from a family, a multiple burden is placed on the shoulders of the parent who is left alone: earning money, keeping the household, being the father, and the mother for one's own children. Unfortunately, it is often the case the strength and time for the children is simply not enough. Like every child, they need the love and affection of their parents. As a result, the orphans or half-orphan children grow up on their own. The same thing happens in families where dad and mum are there, but one or both are alcoholics or drug addicts. The children need their childhood, they need attention from adults, they need guidance and good advice for life. [/ Vc_column_text]
This year a group of 18 children from Kharkov were also present from socially very difficult families. Often, these children have one or both parents and a roof over their heads, but they do not have a loving home because of alcohol, drugs and shouting. Starting with the care of only one child and one family by a sister from Kharkiv named Svetlana, the group has grown to 55 children within five years. These are children who spend their whole day at Svetlana regularly or even daily. The parents are happy because Svetlana teaches children Christian values. She takes on her spiritual education, is committed to her and struggles to protect her from the dangers. Svetlana is the first and last contact person for these children and often much closer than their own parents are.
In addition to working with the children, she also regularly organizes parent evenings to show the parents the way to the Savior. The children prepare songs and poems, which especially pleases the parents. In order to do her job, Svetlana had to quit her job and now earns only the bare essentials through flower sales and textile shoe making. For a normal job, she simply has no time.
Before the start of free time, a girl named Dasha fell ill and lost her entire hair during treatment. That's why Dasha did not want to ride because she was afraid of being laughed at by other children. But an ingenious idea served to make the group even more united and Dasha would go to leisure: Svetlana suggested that all the girls in the group should wear a headscarf so that Dasha would not be so noticeable if she wore a headgear on her own , Everyone supported and participated. This concern of the children and Svetlana was very touching for all of us.
Every day of free time was filled with great program.
Some spiritual and sports games have been prepared. The kids should not only have fun, but also take something for their heart. For example, games like "A Pure Heart" were designed to show the kids how important and hard it is to keep a pure heart. Everybody got a heart of paper attached to the T-shirt, which should remain undefiled in different stations, which was really hard for some. From this game the children could learn a lot, especially that the sins often lurk on us where we least expect them. In the "Jäger Game" the teams bet in such disciplines as bow, spin and blowpipe shooting, camouflage, races, etc. The best teams and best players were of course rewarded. Almost daily there were also football and volleyball games.
The schedule included not only rights but also duties, so each room had to be cleaned up every morning. A commission assessed the cleanliness and distributed not only the prices for the cleanest room, but also the brooms for the poorly cleaned rooms. This motivated the children to be clean, because nobody wanted to get a broom in front of everyone.
In order to promote the development of the children in many ways, craft workshops were also held daily. The children were allowed to try themselves in many disciplines, starting with branding and greeting cards, there was a workshop where children could make 3D drawings with special pens or glue together Mundspatel house, knit girls bag, make guitar, weave baskets. The list is not exhaustive. In nine days everyone could participate everywhere, which interested him.
Each day ended with a campfire, where everyone could participate in the interesting spiritual topics through testimonies, poems and songs. The goal of the campfire was to reflect on the past day and to give some thought-provoking impulses.
The culmination of the free time was a forest excursion followed by a boat trip. The children hiked about 8 km through a wonderful forest to a small lake. On the way we got a heavy rain, but nobody disappointed, but rather united. On the boat tour we learned that many of the children have never been on a boat in their lifetime. So some could get a memory for their whole life.
The children behaved very well all the spare time, so we hardly had problems with disobedience. In the eyes of many children, a great thankfulness for love could be read: "You came here for us and left your families and friends behind!" Thanks to the financial support of a fundraising campaign, a lot could be done this year, which was not possible before was, for example, that the children were allowed to eat fresh fruit every day. It was very touching to see how the empty fruit plates were licked by the children (juice residues of cut oranges, etc.). On particularly hot days, ice was also distributed, which gave the children great pleasure every time.
Practical and interesting topics such as obedience, holiness, helpfulness, forgiveness were brought to the daily worship services. There was also a call and some children followed and converted.
May the Lord bless each one of these children, that the seed sown in the hearts does not remain fruitless and brings these little souls a little closer to heaven. For nine days these children have not seen tears, only those of joy. They did not have to starve and could eat the lovingly prepared food of twelve cooks. They have heard no shouting and no violence. The children could be with their friends, learn a lot, ask themselves important life questions and get to know people who love them without knowing their name. It was an oasis for the kids, a little break from everyday life, like a sip of cool water in the heat, an unforgettable part of your life.
This free time is remembered not only by the children, but also by the twelve child leaders from Germany and three from the Ukraine for a long time. Everyone sensed the blessing of the Lord for whom we had been praying for a long time and that makes us very happy to continue working in the vineyard of the Lord. The free time is over now, the children are back home. We all go after our everyday worries .. But let us bring these children to the Lord in our prayers, for He is with them - at all times. He can keep them and lead them on the right track. He loves her much more than us. He is the honor for everything. Amen.