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Ukraine English Camp Team at Spiritual Retreat in 2020

Like many of our plans recently, the plans for English camp in Ukraine changed significantly. Those of us who were excited about going to Ukraine to teach and share the Gospel with the campers were truly grieved when it finally became apparent that the US OBI team could not physically go this summer. We had planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of these English camps and all that the Lord has accomplished in the lives of young people in Ukraine. Valentyn and his team had diligently prepared for this camp.

Valentyn proposed different options as doors closed for Americans to come, for example, interpreters serving as English teachers with teaching suggestions from Americans. Then the last obstacle was the Minister of Health said that camps could not open this summer. But Valentyn found a sanatorium, (health resort/camp like setting) which was not closed, where they could have a camp. He started making plans for the camp there, but found that there was tension and fear on his team, no unity. After serious discussions and a vote, they chose not to have camp.

Below are Valentyn’s words describing the results of that meeting:

“We were not spiritually ready for the camps, so I returned all the parents of teenagers from military families their money and apologized. In addition, I previously gave a financial deposit to the director of a private sanatorium. As a result, the unity of our team was broken. Therefore, we (the Ukrainian team) decided to go to a private sanatorium for seven days from 5 to 12 July in order to: · Learn from God to have a clear vision and set three priorities for themselves in the ministry; · Prayerfully seek unity in the team; · To analyze one's initiation and, as it should be, to bring new promises of consecration to God; · To understand and fulfill the will of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts He has given us for this purpose; · Pay more attention to the relationship with the campers through small groups and personally.”

The photo is the team of 37 people at the sanatorium (health camp) where they had a time to seek the Lord and work together in preparation for future ministry. The team returned to Kyiv energized and ready to kick-off the plan for next year…passionate about reaching the young people of Ukraine with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Valentyn returned to Kyiv with a heart of gratitude for all that the Lord did during the time at the sanatorium and more committed than ever to the mission. But he was weary when he wrote these words: “These events in preparation for the camp and the cancellation of the camp were difficult for me. So for the first time in 12 years, I asked the team for 40 days off.”

Please pray for Valentyn and Marina as they pull away from the demands of their life in Kyiv with their family, their church, and his work at Kyiv Theological Seminary, his responsibilities as the head of Olive Branch Ukraine. May the Lord heal, refresh, and renew them for continued service. May all the members of the Ukrainian team be committed first to the Lord and then to the ministry to which they have been called, so that they will be ready to resume English camp next summer, as well as the ministry in Kyiv at Way of Truth Church.

May they be confident that Olive Branch International will resume camp next summer, if that is the Lord’s will. Please pray for the OBI team that will answer the call to go next summer. May we seek the Lord just as Valentyn’s team has done and be prepared to reach the young people of Ukraine in this powerful life-changing ministry. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support for this mighty work in Ukraine!!

~ Caroline Grube with Valentyn Korenevych

Caroline Grube

Board Member & Family Support Director

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21

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