I had the opportunity to speak with team leader and OBI board member, COL(R) Linda Sheimo, right after she returned from the Moldovan English Camp held July 20-29. She was very grateful for a quality experience with the young people who attended, and excited about the great time they had together. Additional OBI team members were Bruce Kittleson (OBI President and founder), Judy Kittleson (retired teacher and OBI co-founder), Caroline Grube (Family Support Director and OBI board member), and COL(R) Aaron Zook (author of several mystery books for young adults).
Linda enthusiastically reported, "We planned for 40 campers and around 5 children of volunteers. Instead, we had a total of 93 at camp, including 61 campers, 27 Moldovan volunteers with 3 small children, and 5 Americans. There were 4 classes, with the beginner class taught by a volunteer. Moldovan military cadets were in this class as well.
One of the most significant aspects of what God did through the camp came out of the times of music and singing together. Aaron used his wonderful gifts for music and he really delivered; preparing songs, including Christian, activity-based, and contemplative songs, all of which were engaging to the kids. The most precious moments were when we heard the kids singing "This is Amazing Grace" "10,000 Reasons for My Heart to Sing", "You Are the Air I Breath" and "Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart" as loud as they could. I am convinced they will remember the words of the songs. This is important to me because we could not share directly from the Bible.
Aaron taught a volunteer and two campers to play the chords on guitars, which they did while he sang “Resurrection Song.” The day before we left, Aaron and a camper played "Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart" on the guitar. The camper did not use sheet music yet he did a super job, even though he was not an experienced guitarist.
I am excited that some of the volunteers were able to be open about their faith and share their thoughts on how Christians should differ from non-Christians.
I believe God assembled our team, each person with his or her important role. We are grateful for the prayers of those who interceded on our behalf, that we would touch hearts and lives. The music was the icebreaker and created openings to build rapport and establish relationships.
We deeply appreciate the Ministry of Defense of Moldova for providing their camp facilities for our use and allowing us to participate at the camp, as well as for the Moldovan volunteers who were there with us."