Bear with me as I’m processing the greatest and probably the hardest two weeks of my life.
- Language barriers aren’t everything but they are important. There were several times during the two weeks I was in Ukraine that someone just started rattling off in Russian and there was no translator nearby. I would just kinda shrug my shoulders and they would wander off to find someone that could actually help them. Or the time when kids were jumping on the trampoline and they were making me nervous but I couldn’t tell them to stop, I couldn’t see anyone nearby, and I felt like I couldn’t leave. But there were also moments also moments with a kid that it wasn’t necessary to both speak the same language. I would just hold their hand or hold them in my arms and the world felt right. My favorite thing was worship though. Some of the songs had English counterparts so some people were singing in English, and others in Ukrainian/Russian. God could understand it all. There’s really no language barrier when it come to God.
- Smiles mean a lot. My favorite thing, hands down, was taking pictures of the kids smiling. If I got a good one, I would show it to the mom and watch their face just light up. Their child was happy, felt safe and was loved. I assume that life with a child with any kind of disability is hard-so hard-but for that week, their kid was loved more than he/she could ever know by God and by the volunteers at the camp. The smiles communicated a lot!
- God’s love language to us is “crazy”. This is one I have a hard time really wrapping my head around. Some of the situations we encountered, like pouring rain on a afternoon where we had planned on being outside and no power or wifi, were some of the craziest in how they ended up working out. God used what we thought was a ruined afternoon to bring about the sweetest moments. We just had to be flexible with the craziness of life with God in the driver’s seat.
- God speaks through songs-even annoying songs like “Baby Shark”. Songs have always held a significance in my life. Seasons of my life are defined by key songs. It was interesting to see how captivated the littles were with “Baby Shark”. There was person with an ipad who would play different songs that the littles loved but it always came back to “Baby Shark” or something in the Baby Shark Saga. She was always surrounded by kids. I think, and maybe I’m overthinking this, but God showed those kids that we love them and He loves them through us being willing to play “Baby Shark” 24/7 (to the point that several of us were hearing it in our dreams).
- Sometimes the dearest friends just appear in your life. I wasn’t planning on making a soul friend in Ukraine but I did. God knew I needed someone around my own age to vent to and talk to. We met the first day of camp, ate mulberries and were inseparable after that point. I think we both needed that friendship.
Here is just a few things I wanted to share as I’m processing everything God did in my heart. It was life-changing, and I’m processing it slowly so bear with me as I sporadically process.