In February as part of our gap year we went on a mission trip to Ukraine and there’s no doubt this was one of my favourite things so far. It was an amazing time – I had a chance to spend time with my friends and family, get a wee respite in some way and at the same time be challenged.
When we arrived we went straight to the Open Bible campsite near Kiev and met with the English team, some of whom I’d already known from International camp – it was great to see them again. We were looking forward to sightseeing in Kiev and to the youth weekend which were to come in the next few days.
When we went sightseeing I discovered that I don’t know Kiev as well as I know Edinburgh now, especially museums and interesting places or attractions. So, that made me to decide that when I come back to Kiev I’ll go to explore and rediscover my home city.
On the youth weekend I was so glad to see my friends and introduce my Scottish friends to them. And of course, the teaching was really good! We were reflecting on the theme of prayer and did some Bible studying and worshipping on that. It was a shame the event was only for a weekend, but I knew that there were many other interesting things to come.
After that English team stayed in Kiev and visited schools in that region but ahead of us was quite a journey to the west of Ukraine, to the city of Chernivtsy. I was driving some of us there and found that I’m not as hopeless in driving as I thought I was, the evidence being that we got there safely!
We felt so welcomed. In schools we told children about who are we and what are we doing, and I helped with translation. That was one of the challenging things about this trip, by the way, which I was quite anxious about before I went but found that I really enjoyed doing it.
Some children were very curious and asked a lot of questions. Generally they were very attentive and excited about foreign visitors. During our second weekend Jackie and Colin did training on children’s ministry which I found very informative, helpful and inspiring.
Summing up, it is so great that throughout the world Christians can connect and support each other in their ministries.