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

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