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Soccer camp, the Carpathians Mountains, 2013

We had a wonderful possibility to enjoy a Christian soccer camp from July 24 to August 1 in a small village Polyana in Zakarpatia region, Ukraine. For several years, such a trip to the Carpathian Mountains has served an excellent opportunity to share the Gospel with the children of different age using sports and a fascinating beauty of God’s creation around us. Christians set a very good life example constantly communicating with kids. It starts with an everyday prayer for food and continues with sharing interesting stories about life experience, told by older boys and coaches. An exclusive thing about the camp is a chance for girls to be in. They didn’t use to play soccer, but they were glad to meet new people and to discover a lot of new things about God.

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Christian soccer competition in Rivne, March 2013

 

God, what do you want from me?

01This was the topic of the winter camp of the Christian soccer team “Hope” in the Transcarpathians. The mutual celebration of Christmas was a good reminder to everyone about the reasons of Christ’s life as a human and shows what He wants from us. Every morning started with Bible readings in groups, lead by group leaders. After that, we played soccer, went skiing, ice skating, and other things, which made this trip unforgettable. After lunch, everybody was meeting in the gym for the Bible program.

 

 

02On the third day of the camp, we had a military-sport game: “The assault of the mountain.” Each team with all members had to reach the top of the mountain. For the reason that each of the four teams had little boys and girls, the task was not easy. In the beginning, some began to panic that they won’t reach the top, which they don’t even try. At times, teams had an extremely hard time: lack of oxygen, had to carry the little ones, and help the girls. Regardless of all this, they were full of joy when they reached the top! On the top, we had a short sermon about what happens when God gives us assignments which seem impossible to accomplish. However, we have to keep going, not stop, and believe that God gives enough strength to overcome the obstacles.

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Soccer day camp

"The real victory"01 s

In June, the soccer day camp called "Euro 2012: the real victory" took place in Rivne, and was attended by 50 guys from 8 to 14 years old. The topic of the camp was to discuss the real and temporary victory. Group leaders explained the meaning of the eternal victory in Christ to the campers and the temporality of soccer and other earthly victories. Despite the pouring rain, 30 guys came to the camp opening. Among the participants were those who came to the Christian camp for the first time, so the Gospel was new for them. The testimonies of senior boys about the conversion to God, Bible studies, and shared prayers were important. Each small team was named after a country – a member of the real Euro 2012. Here some feedback from the participants:

 « I enjoyed it. I liked the atmosphere of Euro 2012, which was present in the camp. I also liked the gifts, Bible studies, food, and coaches. I am grateful to the organizers and sponsors. I wish that such camps were happening more often, thank you for everything.».

Taras, 13 years old

 «I really liked the camp. We played as members of the Euro, had great coaches - the guys from the team "Hope." Uncle Sasha [Alexander Goncharov)] is a very good person. The food was delicious. Thanks to people who have donated money.».

Andrew, 11 years old

 «The camp was great, because players who lost have been eliminated from the competition, but could continue by playing for other teams. We had four rolls and birch juice for lunch. It was very tasty. I was especially fascinated to get to play on the big field with big gates. We got to the semi-finals, but lost there. Our team was not upset, because the main thing is not to win but to compete till the end. At the end of the camp we were gifted great a Bible. This camp was the best! »

Alexander, 12 years old

 

Soccer Camp "How do I know God's will for my life?"

03 s

The camp, "How do I know God's will for my life?” took place in the Trans Carpathian village Polyana from 9 through 17th of July. The camp of 50 boys, aged 9 to 17 years, was divided into 6 teams with group leaders. The 17-18-year-old boys were group leaders. The highlight of the camp was that the boys were living in houses on their own, without any adult. Local residents were amazed by the self-organization, the spirit of caring for younger teammates, and the discipline that prevailed in the camp. It was really a big testimony – what it means to be children that fear God. Of course, not all the leaders were immediately able to take over and be responsible for their guys, but in general, the leaders became like older brothers, tried to take care of the younger boys—to help and teach—and they succeeded. This camp has shown how important it is to pass on apprenticeship and mentoring skills to pupils who are growing up. The older boys (group leaders) exactly copied the work of their teachers, who were involved with them in the camps 5-7 years ago. With joy, Alexander notes that the boys grew up, took responsibility and ... deal with all challenges. It might have been necessary to use them in the ministry earlier. Now they not only received care, but also showed love to younger ones….

 We are grateful to God for this summer. Thanks to everyone who participated in the ministry of the future men by sharing the Word, praying for them, providing necessary finances, and personal participation.

 

  05 s

 

More Articles...

  1. News of sport ministry

Pray for Sports

 about the Christian soccer team “Hope”, Rivne (coach O.Gonchar) and the soccer team “Spring”, Mizoch (coach Y. Bondarchuk)

 about soccer ministry in Mizoch
 about personal relationships between coaches and their players
 about strengthening in faith and spiritual growth of boys who already repented
 about an opportunity to share the Gospel about Jesus Christ to the competitors, judges, and other coaches
 about God’s protection against injuries.

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