Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Ready for 2011 Camp Season?

Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is around the corner! How could anyone be thinking of Summer right now? Considering that is my primary responsibility, please overlook the fact that I am obsessed with Summer and Summer Camps!

We've had a very productive Fall. The Camp Directors' meeting went very well, as has been mentioned elsewhere. The Directors are still on board with our work and are very pleased with the efforts and professional demeanor of our teams. They are looking forward to hosting us again in 2011.

It has been wonderful to visit several of you over the last several weeks. Lubbock Christian University was a great experience as was the annual World Tour Day at Harding University. We were able to visit a couple of new campuses and campus events this year. Lipscomb graciously let us set up a booth at their mission day and Darryl was able to visit with the campus ministries of Tarleton State University, Kilgore College, and the University of Tennessee (Knoxville).

At this point it looks as if we have six good teams with a potential for seven.


The question I have is: Have you signed up for 2011? 

If you are a team member from the last few years, you should have received an email from Darryl with a request for your updated information. If you have not received said email then please email Darryl with your updated information including name as it is on your passport, passport number, expiration date, team preference, address, cell number, and congregation.

If you've never served on one of our teams please go immediately to our website and access the application forms here. It is easy to let time creep away. Please take care of this immediately so you can get to the business of raising your funds and building excitement for 2011!

God bless all of you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thoughts and Memories Never Forgotten


by Faye Whiston

JETLAG has now set in big time. All the fantastic events of Camp Mayak are cluttered up inside my brain. There is so much to convey yet words will not be adequate. The feelings about the camp are more from the heart rather than the mind.

About the generation gap, there was no generation gap! Our mission team was made up of teenagers as well as older senior citizens. However we all blended together as I think God wanted us to. We were united in Christ, all willing to do our part to bring love to these children. We all received their love in return, and that was just a little piece of heaven to me. I want to encourage anyone who feels in their heart that they want to go, just go for it. It is a wonderful thing for young Americans to see and know children in another nation. And for those who are older, like me, I felt no age discrimination. The younger team members were absolutely wonderful, caring, and loving to me as to their own grandmother. I in return felt that I had gained more family granddaughters and sons too. They didn’t make me feel older just honored, because of the love of Jesus, that each member of our team embraced and shared with each other.

It is impossible to pick only one photo to even begin to express all the feelings that flood my heart as they all flash by quickly not even giving me time to blink. Each picture is so special. One event that I remember most is the feeling that I had stepped back in time. It was a kinder, gentler, slower place. Walking to the river was like walking back to the 50’s or beyond. How do I even begin to give others a small idea of how we were touched by each little face, and by the nostalgic feeling of the area?

The big house we lived in for our stay at Camp Mayak was in my mind a place where we should all say “Good night John Boy!” as we turned off the lights. But of course the names were different here. However we were all as one big happy family, with four
of us in our small room. We were cozy to say the least.

The children are the number one main event. I was so touched by the love of the children. Our translators were wonderful. God bless them everyone. But love is not translated in words. They knew immediately that we loved them, and we felt their love as well. These Ukrainian children were filled with creativity. Every night there was entertainment of some kind.

Our important jobs were during the day. We all met together first in big group, then we had our special children that we met with separately. These are the ones we grew closer too. My desire was to leave them with that spark from God that would stay with them always. I wanted so much for them to know God, and to have His love in their heart. 

Tanya, my sweet interpreter, was such a blessing to me and the children. I thought they said their memory work beautifully, as they stood one by one, and recited to Tanya. I told Bible stories, and Tanya would repeat in Ukrainian. God had given me an angel to repeat His word perfectly. The Children listened so intently, I felt that God must have performed some kind of miracle. I constantly prayed for wisdom to be able to leave them with something to remember so they would always know love and know that God is love. After we gave them Bibles, I would read a page in English and they would read the same page in Ukrainian. They loved their Bibles; I knew they would keep reading them long after I was gone. 

Faye is a member of Team Mayak 2010 and is in her youthful seventh decade! Thank you, Faye for your incredible spirit and love! -Darryl

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Team Mayak: Exposing Kids to the Word of God

This is the third year [a] team from Southeast has visited Camp Mayak. Over the three years we have reached almost 900 children and 300 staff at this camp. This year the children in camp were older than usual. I believe we distributed Bibles to 268 children and 60 adult staff in camp this year. Personally I had twenty-one 18 year old kids in my class (usually 16 is the upper age limit) and it amazed how interested they were in learning about the Bible and the lessons it teaches. They were involved daily in the Bible lessons, crafts and activities. They were not required to be there but chose to do so. We acted out many of the Bible stories and made practical applications to their lives. When school starts in September this group of children will be sent out on their own to find jobs and provide for themselves. Camp will probably be the only time they will be exposed to the Bible. Each child was provided an adult Bible and a Teen Bible with a study guide that they can take with them as they go out in the world. It is our prayer that they will continue to study and choose follow Christ. Although I may not be able to associate all their names and faces; I will always remember each child. They have touched a place in my heart for eternity.

--Jesse Anthony, Team Leader

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2010 Teams A Success!

Team Mayak
When I arrived home on the evening of July 31 I was completely exhausted and drained. However, even the exhaustion could not contain my excitement. My wife and children were subjected to a constant stream of stories and pictures from my July in Ukraine!


Most exciting were the stories of what I observed among all of our teams who were on the ground during July. From the hot and muggy extremes in Poltavah (Camp Mayak) to the unseasonably cool and wet of the Carpathian Mountains (Camp Smerichka)--and while I'd love to say the mild weather in Svyatogorsk (Camps Gaydar and Gagaryn), I have to be honest: it was hot there too!

Texas contingency of Team Imagine
First, let me commend the team with whom I worked for two weeks: Team Mayak. Jesse Anthony, Virginia Stubbs, and Valeriy Kachuk were incredible team leaders! Valeriy is an old pro as a team leader for our Ukrainian team members. It was obvious that he loves the camp program, his team, and the children. The team, filled with a wide diversity of personalities, functioned smoothly and well together. This is a group that truly exercised the love of Christ among each other and to the kids. Nearly 300 campers were touched and served by this amazing group.

Team Inspire
Teams Inspire and Imagine had special challenges and difficulties due to last minute changes. But when I arrived in Svyatogorsk I found two teams that were making a powerful impact for God: one in a camp of orphans and another in a camp of family kids. It was fun watching the directors of both camps get into a good-natured argument over which American team was the best ("My team is better than your team..."). 

These two camps who were new additions to our program begged for our teams to return next year. Over 700 kids and staff occupied these two camps. Our teams made an unforgettable impact upon them, too. The counselors were especially impressed at how our team members conducted themselves both during camp activities and during their "down" time.

Bible Distribution Day at Camp Gaydar
Gabe Fisher, Brian Durgin, and Katya Berynskay continued to offer great leadership to Team Inspire. Gabe and Brian are veteran leaders from LCU and it shows in the way they smoothly handled every challenge set before them. This was Katya's (Kate's) first year as Inspire's Ukrainian Team Leader--and she did a great job.  

Team Imagine was under the capable leadership of Terry Kile, Bill Allen, and Katya (Kat) Shkarlat. This, too, was a first time for Kat to serve as Ukrainian Team Leader. As Terry says, Kat was a "great political negotiator, great team leader, great translator, and watched over us well." 

Big Group at Camp Smerichka
Team Agape, who has been part of Camp Smerichka in the Ivano-Frankivsk region for years was going great guns when I arrived. I was amazed at how well they held the attention of the kids in their Big Group and Small group times! These kids were enthralled by the team and the team was giving it all they had! Geoff Casella, Terry Montgomery, and EEM's Inna Kuzmenko provided the capable leadership of the camp (veterans that they are).  Camp Director Mikolay was very pleased with both teams who worked in his camp (see the previous post on Team Lubhov) and is eager to see more teams come in the future.

I was especially proud of our translator teams this year! These young men and women give up quite a lot to be a part of our teams. Their hard work is to be commended. Even more, the work many of them do throughout the rest of the year in the good works they perform for others, in the churches where they attend, and in the efforts they are taking to grow spiritually. I wish I could tell you some of their stories, but space will not permit.

Alexander Pechenko & Darryl 

It was a treat to travel with the President of the Association of Youth Camp Directors, Alexander Pechenko. He met me at Camp Mayak where I presented him with a copy of our 2010 workbook. I was amazed at how well he was respected by the camp directors. He is spoken of fondly as "papa" by many of them. 

Alexander is the man who invited EEM to send teams to the Summer Camps in Ukraine. He has been a strong supporter of our program since its inception and has consistently praised the high quality and training of our Team Members. For those who are first time visitors to this blog, it is important to understand these are not "Christian Camps." They are private secular camps that originally were the old Pioneer Youth Camps of the Soviet era.

Darryl & his group of kids at Mayak
I hope each of our team leaders will post some of their team's experiences on the blog so you can catch some of the excitement from each camp. 


If you are a first time visitor of this blog and don't know much about the camps in Ukraine or the camp program, please check us out! See the links on the side bar or contact me at dwills@eem.org. I'd love to talk with you about this powerful service for God to the children of Ukraine!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Team Lubhov/Aggies For Christ Making an Impression!


Wow. Team Lubhov is making a great impression in Ukraine! Way to go, Aggies!

First off, their work with Camp Smerichka ended on a positive note with kids wanting them to stay. Camp Director Nikolai/Mikolai was very impressed with the team. According to EEM Camp Assistant Coordinator, Inna Kuzmenko, Nikolai wants this team to come back next year!

Aggies For Christ tend to do extended mission trips of 4-to-6 weeks, so Team Lubhov stayed longer than most of our teams will. This provided them the opportunity to work with Jeremiah's Hope. Jeremiah's Hope sponsored a "missionary kids" camp and invited the Aggies to work with them. Below is a note from Andrew Kelly to EEM:

Just wanted to let you guys know that the EEM/Aggies team has been a huge blessing. They did an amazing job with the younger Missionary Kids we had at camp last week. A couple of them were responsible for the Bible classes and the rest rotated wtih the kids as group counselors. They are a fantastic team and should be commended!


Thank you for sharing them with us while they were on this trip!


We have been talking...is it ok for us to loose their passports or somehow keep them? We love this team and wish they could stick around. We know they can't, but nothing wrong with wishing you could keep them.


Blessings,
Andrew Kelly

Way to go guys! Looking forward to your return this week! Safe journey and God bless!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What an Idea: Borscht Fest!

Congratulations to Erika and Christine Berglund of Spring Hill, Tennessee! They hit upon a wonderful idea to help Erika raise her funds for Ukraine this year. Welcome to Borscht Fest! When they began discussing the idea of having a fund raising dinner in their home congregation they didn't realize just how their idea would capture the imagination of others. Several ladies and various members got wind of the idea and volunteered to get the ball rolling.

The youth minister's wife and youth intern decorated the tables with Sunflowers (a national symbol for Ukraine) and table cloths in the traditional colors of the Ukrainian flag (yellow and blue). Christine commented: "so many people volunteered to bring soup and bread, we took up about twelve baskets afterward!"  It is a beautiful thing to hear how God's people join together to accomplish a task--especially when that task involves sending one of their own to serve, share God's word, and love on children! Kudos to the Spring Meadow Church of Christ and your energetic support of the Berglunds and Eastern European Mission's efforts in Ukraine! Thank you and God bless!
The Spring Meadows Church of Christ rallied behind Erika and her mom. Even though their pulpit minister, Dale Jenkins, was not a fan of borscht, he excitedly and good-naturedly promoted the event. 

What they had hoped would raise $400 ended up raising over $600!
Erika Berglund is a member of Team Agape and will be traveling to Camp Smerichka in the Ivano Frankivsk region later this summer.Team Agape is led by Geoff Casella and Terry Montgomery from Houston, Texas.




Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Team Lubhov (Aggies for Christ) In Ukraine!


Team Lubhov has been in Ukraine since June 4 and from all reports they are thoroughly enjoying themselves and the kids are enjoying them! Team Lubhov is made up of eight members from Texas A&M University. Their Team Leader is Juston Holton (far left) and Assistant Team Leader is Jake Jones (far right).

The team is serving in Camp Smerichka in the oblast of Ivano-Frankivsk. Since this is the first session of the camp season, the group is a little smaller (170 kids) ranging from age 7 to 15 years old. The team teaches twice a day to five different groups of kids each time.

According to Ukrainian Team Leader, Inna Kuzmenko, Everyone is doing a great job with the kids and the kids seem to be enjoying everything. She adds,

"Seems like everybody loves the food at Smerichka and they keep saying that they expected something worse than what they have here. The boys are always hungry and ALWAYS want to eat something. So, they have empy plates every meal."

Go Aggies (for Christ)!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Post from Donetsk, Ukraine

Hello from Donetsk, Ukraine! It has been a wonderful, exhilarating, and exhausting week! On May 17, Mike Armour and I traveled to Donetsk to accomplish several things. Mike had a few tasks to accomplish unrelated to the camp program. However, we both met with several camp directors and the President of the Camp Directors Association, Alexander Pishcheyko. We were hosted by Ludmila, the administrator of The Pearl of Donetsk which is a complex made up of two camps (Red Carnation and Baby Eagle).

Red Carnation and Baby Eagle are two camps our teams have served. Team Imagine hasbeen going to Red Carnation for quite some time now and Team Inspire has been to Baby Eagle for two years.

Pictured here are the new camp directors: Alexander who is director of Baby Eagle and Elena (Eeleena), the director of Red Carnation. Both of these directors are highly energetic, professional, and committed to serving children. It was a delight to spend an evening and day with them. 

While it was not part of camp activities, we visited the Maryupol church and went with their minister, Alexander to deliver large print Bibles and Mike Armour's book A Beginner's Guide to the Bible to a local nursing home. The pictures here are from that delivery.

I cannot begin to describe how appreciative the staff and residents of this facility were to receive the Bibles. As we drove away, we noticed several residents sitting outside reading their new Bibles. It never quits being a surprise to me to witness how hungry people are for the Bible. We in America are inundated with inexpensive Bibles to the point we ignore it. The people of Eastern Europe treasure the Bible and are always excited to read it. 

On Saturday, Inna Kuzmenko and I met with our Ukrainian Team members for team training. What a delightful group of people! It was wonderful to reconnect with friends from last year. I guess the old youth minister comes out in me: I can't help but think of these young adults as "my kids".

A word about our translators: they are not just "translators", they are team members who are an essential component to the work. These adults, many of them college students, are very professional and conscientious. They take their job very seriously and want to do the very best they can. They generally speak at least three languages and some even more (a couple of them are even studying Chinese). I have the utmost respect for them.  

Of course the Ukrainian Team Leaders are of top quality. I was impressed with their desire to do a good job. Only two of the five have lead teams before, so they are quite nervous (but excited) because they want to do a good job. While they have not been team leaders before, they have served on teams and they demonstrate mature faith and discipline so I am very confident our teams will be in good hands. 


Like our American Team Training, we discussed working as a team, the importance of the work, cultural differences (yes we had to make certain they understood just how crazy Americans were--after all, those Americans drink ice in their tea, sit on the ground, enjoy drafts and wind blowing in their faces, and can be very boisterous in public!). We also taught them a little about American history.


Most importantly we shared with them how God was going to use them in incredible ways this year. They are not just an addition to the team--they are an integral part without whom our teams could not function. I know our American team members will do everything they can to show their love and appreciation for these wonderful partners! 


Please pray for your Team Members whether Ukrainian or American! You have a fantastic opportunity this summer. With the quality of partners you have in Ukraine, you will find the task much easier. I know you will fall in love with them!


It is 1:00 a.m. and I need to get up early! So I hope to see all of you later on this summer! God bless!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Introducing Team Mayak

Note: originally "Team Mayak" was known as the Aurora SE team. They have taken the name of the camp they have been serving which in Russian means "Lighthouse".

This team is truly a "distance team." Team members hail from Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee and no more than three live in close proximity of each other.

My first impression of Team Mayak is that they mirror the image of Christ and fulfill the goals of the lessons we will teach this summer. I have found them to be sincere, helpful, ready and eager to do what ever is handed to them. They are full of the joy of the Lord. Even when they were tired at the end of a long day they continued to work to finish the task without complaining. They showed compassion and humility to one another and put the team ahead of there own feelings. God has always provided the right team for the situation we will face each year. I believe he has done it again. 

-Jesse Anthony, Team Leader

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Team Inspire

It has been a blessing to be able to lead Team Inspire for the third year this summer. While Inspire has been referred to as the "LCU" Team, we have always been diverse with members of different ages from various states. This year we have people from both Texas and New Mexico. As many team leaders can relate, trying to get distanced team members involved is always a concern. But I was very encouraged by the way everyone interacted when they were finally able to meet at Team Training. We seem to have a good mix of quiet leaders and outgoing personalities.

Our “plan” is to return to camp Baby Eagle where we taught last year.  I’m really excited because our team has a very “take charge” attitude.  Last year was a learning year and I’m interested to see how we deal with the challenges of a large camp.  Working in the youth camps has been a time to reflect on God’s larger story and I’m blessed to have a team that’s willing to participate in it.         

-Gabe Fisher, Team Leader

Monday, April 5, 2010

Introducing Team Imagine

Imagine a group of a dozen people that plan to travel together to Ukraine to work in a summer youth camp. But better than that, now imagine a team of Christians that God has hand-picked to travel to Ukraine this summer to be a part of his work there teaching God’s love to the future generations of Ukraine. That’s more than we can ask or imagine. But we believe God has personally selected each member of our team and has plans for us this summer in Ukraine.

The bonding that occurred during our Team Imagine time at team training was more than we could ask or imagine. God established and re-established ties that bind us together so tightly we are not happy to now be apart in Texas and N.Carolina (and Maryland). We are very excited about this year and cannot wait to be back together again in-country, and cannot wait to see what God has planned for us at camp this year. But we know that it will, of course, be more than we can ask or imagine...

-Terry Kile, Team Leader

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Team Training: A wonderful time together!

What a fantastic weekend. As I type this I am exhausted but exhilarated at the same time! Nearly sixty team members representing five teams from Colorado to North Carolina converged upon the Hyatt Place in Grapevine to participate in team preparation.

Teams were comprised of veteran camp team members and a large number of first time team members. The mix of new members and veterans made for quite an exhilarating weekend. There was the excited nervousness of those not knowing what to expect combined with the excited confidence of those who had been a part of this program for a long time. At the same time those experienced team members were able to instill confidence as well as give good solid information to the neophytes. I cannot over-emphasize how important their presence and input was to the entire process.

It was also a time of bittersweet moments. Jackie Mereness, who has served faithfully and competently as Camp Program Assistant was presented with a crystal plaque to honor her work. Her last day of employment was March 31. We will miss her greatly.

A special thanks goes to Denise Baggett, former Camp Director and to Inna Kuzmenko, EEM Assistant to the Camp Program in the Ukraine office for all of their help and encouragement. Denise has been a wonderful mentor and a source of great encouragement. Inna is an effervescent spirit who brings a high level of energy to everything she does. They are such a joy to work with!

On Friday night team members were greeted with tasty welcome bread, loud European techno music (better get used to it now), and reports from last year's teams. During the weekend they learned what goes into making a successful team, various phrases and words both in Russian and Ukrainian, and were able to get a taste of what meals would be like in camp. Food was provided by A Taste of Europe and we enjoyed a wonderful supper at The Russian Banya in Coppell.

What impressed me the most at this first Team Training I have attended, was the attitude of all of the attendees. There was a true desire to learn, to share, and to build each other up. It was great to see veteran team members and team leaders in conversation with those who had never been and giving them suggestions on how to make their teams work smoothly.


Here are our teams for 2010:
Team Imagine (Ft. Worth and North Carolina)
Team Inspire (Lubbock Christian University & Shallow Water Church of Christ)
Team Lubhov (Aggies for Christ)
Team Mayak (Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee)
Team Agape (Bammel Road Church of Christ & Memorial Dr. Church of Christ in Houston)

 Welcome on board everyone! I am anticipating that God will use you in incredible ways this Summer!

Remember:
Любов перемагає!
(Love Wins!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Team Training for 2010 Team Members

Team Training is here! This year's event is scheduled at the Hyatt Place in Grapevine. We are expecting 58 team members comprising five teams to be present for this exciting and informative time together.

What happens at Team Training? First of all, you get to hang out with some really intense and committed people who love God, love kids, and love Ukraine! The weekend begins with sharing of the joys and successes of last year's camp program as veteran team members share their stories and their pictures with the group. 

Secondly, you learn about the culture and history of Ukraine. Ukraine is truly an amazing place filled with amazing people. They have a rich and textured history filled with the dizzying heights of triumph and and the depths of heart-breaking, bone-crushing tragedy.

You will also learn about what happens during camp sessions, how to work with Ukrainian children, and how to build relationships with both campers and camp staff.

Next, there is the experience of Ukrainian food! Well, perhaps that's not something to get really excited about because we want you to experience life at camp. So the food we feed you will be similar to what you would eat at a typical summer camp in Ukraine. During lunch you receive a sack of goodies and at supper we will all enjoy a meal at the Russian Banya of Dallas.
Teams have a chance to spend time together for planning and work. There is competition to see how much you've learned about the history and culture and how well they learn some Russian and/or Ukrainian songs. There is also the opportunity to examine the curriculum, prepare a lesson, and present it before the group.

But the best thing about Team Training is being able to gather with like minded people and focus on how God is moving through every day people like you and me in order to change a nation. By showing love, building relationships, and sharing God's word we can be used to gradually transform a nation into a place where God's kingdom is growing and spreading.

Team Training is this weekend! I can't wait to see you!

-Darryl Willis-

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Tribute to Polina



February 9, 2010

Dear Friends of EEM and Polina Polyakova,

We have never done this before.

However, so many of you have contacted us in the last few days that we have decided to send out a special notice about Polina Polyakova, our beloved employee in our Donetsk, Ukraine office. Many of you know her as a camp team member, friend, co-worker, and interpreter. It is with great sadness we report to you that Polina passed away Sunday February 7th, 2010. On her way home after work, on the 3rd of February, she was struck by a bus while standing on a "island" at a bus terminal. She suffered many serious injuries and underwent immediate surgery. She was put on life support in the critical care unit of the hospital in Donetsk, but unfortunately never regained consciousness.

Polina was a full time EEM employee and a translator for EEM involved in many areas such as; youth camp teams, the Harding University Seminars – which have been held in Donetsk over the last several years, host and translator for the Lubbock Christian Choir during their Ukraine tour, and more. She also achieved certification in The Kids for Kids Character program from Character International. Polina was a University trained translator who worked in EEM’s office helping coordinate many projects to help deliver EEM Bibles and Biblical literature all across Ukraine. She was baptized at the fall 2009 Ukraine church planting seminar, which EEM helps sponsor. We will very much miss the dedication, positive attitude and energy with which she carried out her duties.
 “What will be missed
Additionally, Polina was the main source of support for her family. Her father is gone and she lived with her mother, grandmother, grandfather and her fourteen year-old brother, in a one bedroom apartment.
Polina’s mother works at the University for a low salary and both of her grandparents are in ill health. It was also Polina’s dream to provide her brother with a good education and she was working toward that goal. All this while she was working on a second degreeas a Manager of International Tourism (Polina had a primary degree in languages). As you can see, that’s full-plate for a 26 year-old. We would like to do all we can for her family who depended so much on Polina.

Since so many of you have asked what you can do for Polina and her family we have decided
to do the following:

1.    Accept gifts to help with the following expenses:

·         Medical, funeral and burial expenses
·         Aid to her family – Polina was the primary financial supporter for her mother, grandmother, grandfather and others. We would like to help them through this difficult transition time.

2.    Provide a way for you to send messages of encouragement to Polina’s family and our EEM family in Donetsk. If you would like to send cards or notes directly to Polina’s family their address is:
32-85 Razdolnaya Street,
Donetsk, Ukraine.

Or you may send them to the Ukraine EEM office:
EEM
PO Box 5727
Donetsk 8301 Ukraine
We will get them translated and delivered to the family for you.

You may also send cards and notes to our Dallas EEM office at:
P.O. Box 670928,
Dallas, TX 75367
P.O. Box 670928 · Dallas, TX 75367 · 1-800-486-1818 · www.eem.org
E-mails can be sent to Natasha at: natasha.t@eemvienna.org

They will be translated and your message will be delivered to Polina’s family.

3.    Accept gifts for the EEM Youth Camp Program children’s workbook. As an honor to Polina we are going to include a tribute section to her in the EEM Youth Camp Program children’s workbook that is currently being prepared for this summer.

If you would like to honor Polina, by helping her family and by helping to provide for her tribute with the Youth Camp Program children’s workbook you may send a gift to EEM at P.O. Box 670928, Dallas, TX 75367. Please mark your gift with this notation: Polina

Our current estimate of how much the medical and funeral expenses will be is about $25,000. We do not have a specific amount designated to give the family, but we would like to generously provide them with enough to help them make it through this difficult time and provide for them as they seek to find other sources of income. This is not easy task in Ukraine. We would like to do as much for them as we possibly can.

Polina will be greatly missed. She began doing translation for us, youth camp program teams and other groups connected to the Church several years ago. Her association with our people helped bring her closer to the Lord and last September she was baptized. So, even in this tragic time there is joy knowing she is with the Lord. Even though her work with us was for just a short time the impact of her efforts will last for a long time. We are grateful for her. Thank you for your good hearts and care for people even in other lands. We are grateful for your partnership in God’s Word and His love.

In Him,

George Miller, President EEM Board of Governors
Mike Armour, President EEM
Richard Baggett, Vice President for Advancement
All of the EEM Staff and Family

PS. We hope you enjoy the pictures interspersed with this letter. Perhaps you can see some of why we will miss her so much.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

WELCOME TO OUR NEW BLOG SITE

Welcome to the new blog for Eastern European Mission's Camp Program! If you are unfamiliar with our ministry to Eastern Europe I encourage you to follow the links on the side bar to EEM's website and the Youth Camp website. These sites will give you background, mission, and most importantly information on how to participate in the camp program.

One point of clarification: we do not run a summer camp! We recruit and train teams of adults from the United States to travel to Ukraine and teach values and character traits in the Pioneer youth camps. Presently there are 800 such camps across the country serving over a million Ukrainian children.

The purpose of this site is to provide a space for reports and updates available to anyone interested. You are free to comment on the site, but please be patient. We moderate all comments.

Darryl Willis, Director
EEM Youth Camp Program