Time Away

Posted Jun 28, 2010 by 6 Comments

For the people of Mission to Ukraine, the entire calendar year revolves around the month of June. Why? Camp, of course! And for many of the soon-to-be mommies, disabled children, and women needing a little R&R, this has become a long awaited time of year.

The afternoons were spent outside in the sunshine and on Mission to Ukraine’s brand new beautiful yard!

The day camp held at Mission to Ukraine for the women of the crisis pregnancy center is a special time of fellowship, relaxation and learning – without their kids. Between working, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the family, many women don’t get a chance to breathe, let alone spend some time having fun with their friends.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, one thing is true in all languages – laughter is therapeutic and a cheerful heart is good medicine, and everyone needs it.

The schedule was constructed around small group time, a laid back opportunity for women to study and discuss God’s Word.

This is especially true for the women involved in the crisis pregnancy center, as none of these women would be mothers if it weren’t for the Lord’s working hand at MTU. The beauty of this weekend getaway lies in one fact: the women enjoying it have all chosen to become a mother, to have a child, to bring life. And while this choice probably made their lives significantly harder, they all have stories of how the Lord has gone before them.

This time away has become an opportunity to leave family, marital, or financial problems and learn about the attributes of the God who has worked in every one of their lives.

To start off the day, Dr. Lawton spoke a few encouraging words, followed by a time of worship. The main spiritual focus of the camp revolved around a film called Magdelena, the story of Mary Magdelene and her encounter with Jesus.

The American team brought an endless amount of craft supplies because creativity is good for the soul, especially for busy moms who wouldn’t usually have the time.

The ladies were split into small groups, each led by an American team member. This was a time to discuss the film and go through different Biblical stories to encourage the ladies in anything they might be struggling with. Many of the women are in Bible studies together through Mission to Ukraine and were able to take their friendships even deeper.

The crafts were perfectly aimed at each woman’s feminine side. Flowers, shoes and scrapbooking – all the ways to a woman’s heart.

I listened to them sharing their lives, relating to and encouraging each other in the Lord. Having the freedom to open up and share is one thing, but having people actually listen and care is another. I heard women giving advice about unhealthy marriages, telling stories of wayward children and broken relationships and asking for prayer for their families.

I saw the community fostered by Mission to Ukraine grow in love and encouragement with each other.

I saw joy and satisfaction in what the Lord has done in their lives played out in the fellowship and creativity of our sisters in Christ.

While many women were already in Bible studies together, most women had at least one thing in common to make new friends.

I saw that despite what may be going on back home, despite what may have happened in the past, many of these women have seen and continue to see one important truth: God is good.

As I watched the body of Christ enjoying each other, I began thinking: What has the Lord done in my life? Do you and I share by the way we live, our testimony of God’s goodness?

Do we realize the importance of a community that can encourage and empathize through good and bad? And most importantly, are we living breathing vessels of God’s love for his people?

The women whose lives have been changed through Mission to Ukraine have found something that needs to be re-discovered. Looking back at their trials and seeing how the Lord was working gives them the freedom to look forward with the same hope. And this hope comes from a God who is more powerful than any problems to be faced on this earth.

It’s no wonder their laughter and smiles give it away – how could you hold that in?

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About the Author: Lauren Schneider was a summer intern with World Next Door in 2010. She is a Journalism/Mass Communications major at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Lauren loves writing and photography and could eat Chick-fil-A every day for the rest of her life.

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Comments

  1. Jo Nading said... 

    Reply

    June 28th, 2010 at 8:56 am  

    Love it. Love your heart. Love your writing. Love everything about MTU, and their camp, and WND…. and that just about wraps up all my thots this morning.

    Always eagerly awaiting another post – and in the meantime praying for all of you and pondering what you have learned and shared with us.

  2. Jim M said... 

    Reply

    June 28th, 2010 at 10:12 am  

    Summer Camp…most of us has a summer camp memory. Your story expands the picture of summer camp just a bit. Community…living into a common interest and experiencing life together for a few minutes. Coming in one condition, leaving in a different condition. Adding to one another through common a common life experience. Nice story Lauren. Keep bringing the work of MTU to us. Thank You!

  3. Ken Ney said... 

    Reply

    June 28th, 2010 at 6:08 pm  

    Well said Lauren. You continue to hit right on the head. Thanks also for the challenge you give each of us to live and thrive in community and share God’s goodness.

  4. molly lawton said... 

    Reply

    June 28th, 2010 at 9:28 pm  

    Great article, Lauren. I know you’re having an amazing time. God’s blessings on you little sister.

  5. Jonathan Pomazon said... 

    Reply

    June 29th, 2010 at 10:38 am  

    As I read your story and reviewed the pictures, I was instantly reminded of the truth of what you wrote. Thank you for being our eyes and ears and for so faithfully capturing the essence of women’s camp at MtU. I look forward to reading your stories from your summer experiences in Ukraine.

  6. Kris Schneider said... 

    Reply

    June 29th, 2010 at 4:14 pm  

    I love the picture of the precious women and their pregnant bellies!! What a great time of fellowship and fun for these women. Thank you for sharing their story. Thank you also for encouraging me to share God’s love with those around me. Love you!

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