Sep 14, 2022 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
Good news is a precious commodity in the midst of a crisis.
When Ukraine’s war with Russia first began, back in 2014, Anna and her twin sister Sofia fled with their family to make a new beginning in Germany. Soon after their arrival, they contacted JV missionaries, Jim and Lina Miller, since they wanted help starting a youth ministry like the one they left in Ukraine.
Now, eight years later, they are university students being used in a special way to bring Good News to their fellow Ukrainians. As you may remember from my July letter, JV raised funds to scholarship as many Ukrainians as possible to summer camps, as well as sponsor outreach events specially designed to serve these needy young people.
As a result, the annual JV English camp with the evangelical church in Leipzig had an additional 15 Ukrainian young people. Now fluent in German and English, along with their native Ukrainian, Anna and Sofia were the communication bridge that made the event possible. The theme of the camp? Good News!
The refugee teenagers shared many heartbreaking stories and it was obvious that they all were experiencing significant challenges. Fleeing from their home country, leaving their fathers behind, and starting a new life chapter in a foreign country had affected many of them in a painful way.
Just a few weeks earlier, 15-year-old Vanya had lost his father due to missile shelling in the Odessa region. But during camp, he grew into the leader of the “Ukrainian boy’s gang,” making them wake up on time and follow the time schedule. During the labyrinth night when the gospel was shared, two other girls, Dasha and Liza, talked to the twins for more than an hour, wanting to comprehend how true faith is different than just an Orthodox tradition.
“This camp has been a fantastic time for all of us,” Anna shared. “Challenging and scary at first, it turned out to become a beautiful multicultural experience where we saw God work in young people’s hearts every day. Sofia and I will keep in touch with the kids and we are already planning the next follow-up meeting in September!”
Our goal was to reach 5,000 Ukrainians this summer, but, in the end, we were able to impact over 7,000 through 163 events for Ukrainians—98 outside Ukraine and 65 inside. Praise God!
Many young people heard the Gospel and put their faith in Jesus. This precious “Good News” was only made possible because of your gifts and prayers. Thank you.
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