For other lives – 2006 mission report (newspaper article), elena baumann

28 Monday Aug 2006

Report on the trip to Ukraine (August 12-27, 2006)


Free time with the children and young people in Malewo / Ukraine

With a group consisting of 11 people from 5 different communities (Heilbronn, Calw, Bösingen, Calmbach and Kirchberg), we had the opportunity to make a trip to Ukraine again this year.

With 44 children and adolescents, aged 7-20 years, we carried out a Christian free time from August 17th to 26th with God’s help.

These children and adolescents, of different ages, had come from different backgrounds – some from a good Christian home, many with parents who hardly care for them, others from a children’s home or boarding school.

We called our camp, which we rented for 10 days in Malewo, to be able to organize this Christian leisure time undisturbed, the "GOLDEN CITY JERUSALEM".

During this time we tried to tell the members of our small town more about Jesus and his love for each individual, to show the way to the Golden City. Certainly it will be indescribably beautiful in the heavenly city of Jerusalem, so we tried to give the children at least an outline of the love that will reign there one day. To create an atmosphere that is surrounded by God’s love and grace.

There were also often minor difficulties and one day we were almost at the end of our strength, unless the problem with the lice, the clashes between the adolescents or just undiscipline. But God was with us! His help and blessings were felt daily. Every single day, we could thank our Savior from the heart for numerous answers to prayer.

"Let us feel every morning that you are with us, then our days are filled with cheers and thanks" Psalm 90:14

A few parishioners in Krasne not only prayed for this free time months before, but also fasted. We were also informed that several unbelieving parents of the children who had taken part in the free time in 2005 went to church with their children and some later also converted to God. That was the rising seed that was sown last year!

During this free time, 8 adolescents found God and 4 others renewed their faith. Please pray for the newborn – God help and strengthen them.

Sometimes, unfortunately, we had to see some young people convert our service into a kind of circus or theater. There was also room for doubt in our hearts: "Will this work bear fruit?"

… Oh yeah! Because especially on the last evening we were able to feel God’s existence particularly closely.

I stood there and didn’t believe it – nobody clapped, it was quiet … one child after the other prayed, row by row … At that moment the world seemed so easy to me because I learned something from the young Ukrainians …

We have much more here in Germany than all the children together and yet they have something that we don’t have …

You can thank God from the heart! Thank you for every little joy of everyday life, for the bread on the table, for every person you meet, for every attention of your fellow human being, thank you for what seems so natural to us.

They are all so talented children and adolescents, but they often cannot use and develop their talents and gifts because nobody takes the time for them. The heart it hurts when you have to look at how happy children are when you wash their hair with a fragrant shampoo, when you watch them play and they can show that they can do something, or when young people “dress up” because of every scratch “Come so they get more attention.

We, on the other hand, have everything to be happy – live in pure luxury, have families, friends and yet we are dissatisfied, always want more – better job, faster cars, bigger houses or more and more clothes, but … does that really make you happy? What is it worth living for? For themselves? Then life is tightrope.

I went to the Ukraine without knowing what people, circumstances, climate or food await me there or what impressions I would collect.

To my shame and at the same time with joy I have to admit that these 10 days were the most valuable of my life. For the first time in my life, I was able to experience what it is like to live for others – for those who need you so much, to feel really useful when you do something for those who need it, unless it is simple Giving attention, time and love or having conversations, playing, listening and praying.

The time we spent there – sleeping under one roof, eating the same food, singing the same songs and praying to the same God – brought us all closer together.

"You are all going home where someone is waiting for you and I have no home, I want to stay here best" – said a little one when he said goodbye. Children cried, some young people tried to suppress their tears.

"Mom …" – said a little girl to me. At that moment I was frozen. I looked at her and thought that she must have experienced more suffering in her short life than I …

Oh god, why is there so much suffering? Why? Why don’t you just make all the sufferers happy? Why don’t you help them?

The answer came to me on the way back because Sinn … No one is born a missionary, one becomes one! God gives us the thought and opportunity to make others in the world a little bit happier, and we just have to dare! You often consider yourself unworthy of this task, or you can find many other reasons. Maybe you first want to hunt your own happiness by enjoying life to the fullest, living for yourself and closing your eyes to the suffering of others. But the real happiness lies in the fact that we find time to be there for others, to live for others!

On behalf of our group, I would like to thank everyone who contributed materially and financially to this trip, who prayed and fasted for the community in Krasne and for us during the trip. I am wholeheartedly grateful to my Savior for the unique group, for the wonderful time he gave me in Ukraine, for the children, young people and the community, for the converts and for his constant support in my life.

I wish each of you that if you look back on your life, you can see days on which you lived not only for yourself but for others have.


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Christina Cherry
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