The streets in Odessa are tree-lined. Every nook and cranny is used by merchants and cafes. Buses rumble by and wild dogs sneak past. Slavik and I are standing on one of these common Odessa streets under one of those towering trees. We talk...I, in very broken Russian, and Slavik in very broken English. We wait for Alyona, who is currently behind one of those mysterious doors working on mysterious papers.
Slavik is about to make a trip the very next day, he tells me, to Kiev. The reason? To buy tents! The reason he needs to pick up tents is because summer camp is about to begin---like within a few days! He's still trying to get enough tents! (sorry--no bunkhouses here!) He takes the time to draw out a diagram of what the tents will be like on the inside.
To find tents has been quite a task, I later learned. Big tents aren't so easy to find, they're not cheap....oh, and by the way, there's no money to buy them anyway!
So, Alyona and Slavik prayed, and sent out the word to Chrisitans everywhere, that they were called to meet a very big need----that of very poor children to hear the gospel, that of unsaved adults to hear the gospel. This would happen by way of the camps. But, they needed tents, so they prayed God would send some Christians to send the money for them.
No Christians responded. Not one.
They did find, just in the nick of time, an un-saved business man who gave them the money---apparently with a sigh and a promise of "not again would he do this."
Let me insert here that summer camp is quite different than what we Americans would accept. They sleep in tents, there are no outhouses or buildings at all, and there's no kitchen. Camp Wannatonki they are not; to tell you the truth, the camps are actally, well, you know....camping!
So, Slavik took a trip to buy tents. Slavik took a trip to camp.
Slavik served his Jesus!