[Photo Courtesy of the Euro-Asia Division]

General Conference

"Upward movement"

Arkhyz hosted the fifth charity camp for teenagers from families in need of support

Arkhyz mountains, Russia | Ekaterina BELIKOVA

This year, the fifth annual camp for teenagers for low-income families was held in the Arkhyz mountains of Russia as part of the "Moving up" project. A total of 20 children and 15 employees participated. The employees were all volunteers from different cities who took time off from work and came at their own expense.

"If you could make only one wish that will definitely come true, because God promised so, what would you wish?" - Pastor Igor Kirichenko, the spiritual mentor for this year’s camp for children from broken homes, asked the children during one of their daily meetings.

The children, after hearing the story of Solomon for the first time, began to answer:

"I would ask for a cup and two medals"

“And I would ask for a huge house. Twelve-stories! "

"And I," Valyushka* said quietly, "would ask [for] my brother to learn to walk." Valyushka’s 11-year-old brother, Vali*, has severe cerebral palsy and their mother helps him walk and get around. Their father left the family, as is often the case in this part of the world.

Getting to Know the Children who attended


The divorce of her parents made Nastya* very upset. For six months she lived with her dad, then with her mother. Each of them suggested that the other parent was bad. During the custody trial, Nastya chose to live with her mother. Her dad was very offended and cut off almost all communication with Nastya. 

Igor and Luda

Igor* is one of eight children in his family. His mother gave birth to his oldest sister, Luda*, at the age of 16 and left her (Luda) with her grandmother. Luda was resentful towards her mother for a long time for leaving her. Recently, she has realized that she has much to be thankful for because, although they are poor, she always has food and clothes. On the other hand, Igor has been left to live with alcoholic parents. He is often left without food and supervision. In his 13 years of life he has experienced more trials than many others do in their entire life.

The Impact of “Moving Up” Project

The children of the "Moving Up" project have a lot of emotional pain. But, is it possible to reduce this much pain in one week of camp? The “Moving Up” project focuses on giving the children hope during this short week of camp. Friendships are formed, the children receive a lot of attention and warm hugs, they have someone to talk to and someone who will listen, and are provided three tasty and healthy meals every day. 

Also, during camp, the children get to do many fun activities together such as: hiking, horseback riding, listening to Bible stories, sharing their experiences, and working together as part of a team. Most importantly, the camp volunteers strive to set an example of what healthy and loving relationships look like.

For an entire year, the camp organizers pray for the camp, hold several charitable programs in the Church of Mineralnye Vody, communicate with the children, provide food assistance for those in need, and bring humanitarian aid. All this they do with faith and hope that their work is not in vain.

You can also be a part of this project with your prayers, physical or financial help. Please contact the manager, Semyon, by phone at 89620116584 to find out more.

(*children's names have been changed for privacy reasons)

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site