My normal preparations for an SU event certainly wouldn’t include getting vaccinations, changing money into Euros, and purchasing mosquito repellent. That was because this was a unique SU event I was getting to be part of...
I was heading for Ukraine for just over two weeks as part of my gap year to participate in the International Camp. I was equally excited and anxious for this trip, having never experienced anything like this before and not really knowing what I was preparing myself for.
We spent the first week in Vorzel, Open Bible’s campsite just outside Kiev. For the International Camp the team of Scots were joined by teams from Russia, Siberia, Belarus and Ukraine. After being split into multinational groups, we were tasked with planning day camps which we would deliver during the second week.
I found it interesting to see the culture of Ukraine with it being formerly Soviet. I certainly embraced the different lifestyle, and found it really exciting seeing all these countries represented as we worshipped and served the same God in our own ways and languages.
This experience was truly life-changing for me, as it seemed to solidify my calling to mission work with children and young people, as well as forcing me to be fully reliant and dependent on God throughout the trip. I got to experience true joy and contentment, and grow in my own faith and my relationships with others.
I am so grateful to SU for this opportunity as part of the gap year programme as I have left Ukraine with a desire to return to the country, amazing friends from all over the world, bits and pieces of Russian and Ukrainian languages and songs, as well as a newfound fire and desire for serving and getting to know God.